Redskins

Latest Huskies upset only highlights inconsistency

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Latest Huskies upset only highlights inconsistency

SEATTLE (AP) For the first time since sharing the national title in 1991, Washington has knocked off two teams ranked in the AP Top 10 in the same season thanks to its 20-17 win over then-No. 7 Oregon State on Saturday to go along with the Huskies' upset of Stanford in late September.

Despite those highlights, it's been a maddeningly inconsistent season at Washington.

The Huskies enter the final third of the season at 4-4. They've lost all three of their road games by at least 30 points and haven't won outside Seattle since Oct. 1, 2011. They are the only team from a BCS conference that has yet to score more than 21 points this season against an FBS team.

Yet if Washington (2-3 Pac-12) can solve its problems playing on the road, beginning with a rare Friday night game at California, its final four opponents have just a combined record of 9-24. Three of those final four will come on the road, meaning Washington needs at least one road victory to reach bowl eligibility for the third straight season.

And knowing these Huskies, they won't make it easy on themselves in the final weeks.

``More than anything it's understanding what the challenge is and embracing it. It's not something to shy away from,'' Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday. ``It's a great opportunity for our football team to mature, to take another step in the right direction of understanding the focus that is needed when you go on the road as a team.''

The Huskies' upset of Oregon State on Saturday night featured another strong defensive effort at home, making up for the continued lagging of Washington's offense. The Huskies forced a season-high four turnovers, all interceptions of Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion that helped balance giving up 427 total yards.

It was a significant improvement over the lackluster, half-hearted effort put forward a week earlier in a 52-17 loss at Arizona during which the Wildcats rolled up 533 total yards on Washington and created concerns that the Huskies' season was spiraling out of control.

Those concerns have been tempered for the moment, with the focus now on fixing an offense that continues to show very little pop.

``I'm waiting for the game to come where we put it all together and play consistently disciplined and executing plays down after down after down, because when we do we'll be pretty good,'' Sarkisian said. ``It's never too late to get there.''

Washington is the only team from a BCS conference that has yet to score more than 21 points this season against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent. The Huskies scored 52 in their win over Portland State of the Big Sky Conference, but otherwise their season-high is 21 points in a win over San Diego State and their loss at Oregon.

Five of the defenses the Huskies have faced rank in the top 50 nationally in total defense, but the lack of scoring is a frustrating trend for an offensive coach like Sarkisian.

``It's on us. Granted we have played some pretty good teams, but our inconsistency is just glaring to me. It's not one guy, it's not two guys. I just feel like we keep taking our turns. Sometimes it's the play-caller that takes his turn,'' Sarkisian said. ``It takes 11 guys executing on every snap to win that snap and for whatever reason or another we just stub our own toes with mistakes we really shouldn't be making. That's the fight for us. I know that we are better than the way we have been playing.''

One offensive highlight of the Huskies' win over Oregon State was the more consistent play of quarterback Keith Price. After committing 10 turnovers in the previous three games, Price had only one miscue against the Beavers, an interception that was the fault of a receiver who stopped his route.

Sarkisian's game plan was to rely on the run game. The plan worked as Bishop Sankey ran for a pair of scores and Price was only asked to make a few critical throws.

``I thought our guys really matched the physicality that was needed in that game,'' Sarkisian said.

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 18, eight days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the running backs are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 rushing yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, and quarterbacks

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys—He actually finished 10thin the league in rushing yards behind two backs who will face the Redskins. Elliott gets boosted up the list because he was suspended for six games last year. He averaged 98 yards per game played and had he been able to play in 16 games he would have led the league in rushing yards with over 300 yards to spare. In three games against the Redskins, he has averaged 110 yards per game and he has five touchdowns. The Redskins’ revamped rushing defense will be tested twice.

Mark Ingram, Saints—He will be coming off of a four-game suspension for Redskins vs. Saints in Week 5. Will he be rested or rusty? If he’s in any kind of form, the Redskins defense will have to be on its game. Last year against Washington in the Superdome Ingram rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. 

Leonard Fournette, Jaguars—The rookie did surpass the thousand-yard mark, posting 1,040. Some pointed out that it wasn’t a consistent effort as he gained 310 yards, almost 30 percent of his total, in two back-to-back games in Weeks 5 and 6. That’s fine but he still is a difficult opponent with his combination of size and speed. I look for him to have a big breakout this year. 

Dion Lewis/Derrick Henry, Titans—Lewis averaged 5.0 yards per carry with the Patriots last year and Henry gained 744 yards while sharing time with the now-retired DeMarco Murray. Lewis will play a lot of third downs and will spell Henry sometimes early in games. That will leave the 6-3, 247-pound Henry fresh to grind up the clock if the Titans have a late lead. 

Jay Ajayi, Eagles—Nobody has quite figured out why the Dolphins dealt him to the Eagles in midseason, but Philly was more than happy to add him to the offense. Ajayi became a workhorse in the postseason with 42 rushing attempts and six receptions in three games. 

I do need to mention Giants rookie Saquan Barkley here. I have to think that the second overall pick of the draft will rank somewhere on this list but without seeing him in an NFL uniform yet it’s hard to rank him. He will be dangerous, no doubt. 

Best of the rest: Lamar Miller, Texans, Alvin Kamara, Saints, Ronald Jones, Bucs

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Former Redskins offensive tackle Geroge Starke, one of the original Hogs, was born on this date in 1948.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 8
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 22
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 45

The Redskins last played a game 199 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 53 days. 

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

Tuesday evening's All-Star game was fairly uneventful until its later innings. The American League triumphed over the National League, 8 - 6, for their sixth straight All-Star game victory.

Despite fears of potential rain and inclement weather delaying the game, there were no unexpected stops in play. 

The AL started very strong offensively, with runs from Aaron Judge and Mike Trout in the top of the second and third innings, respectively. Jean Segura's three-run homer in the top of the eighth made victory look inevitable for the AL by the fifth. 

Max Scherzer, unsurprisingly, was well received among fans at Nationals Park. The Nats starter pitched the first two innings, giving up four hits. One was Judge's second-inning homer, but Scherzer remained unfazed and lighthearted. Four strikeouts made his performance commendable.

Bryce Harper did not get on as well, striking out in both of his at-bats. After Harper's Home Run Derby Win last night, there was chatter of him going for the MVP title as well. 

It didn't work out, but given Harper's consistent presence at the All-Star game, there's always another chance.

Elsewhere in the dugout for the NL, who rallied back from the three-run deficit, the kids were all right. Willson Contreras of the Cubs had a solo homer at the bottom of the third, the Rockies' Trevor Story had one in the seventh, and Christian Yelich added another in the eighth. A two-run homer by Scooter Gennett in the bottom of the ninth brought the game back to a 5-5 tie.

Jesus Aguilar struck out for the NL, and extra innings began.

In the top of the tenth, Alex Bregman and George Springer, both of the Astros, hit home runs almost immediately off of Dodgers pitcher Ross Stipling. Stop us if you've heard that one before.

With no outs, Michael Brantley took a sacrifice flyout to right field, and Jean Segura got in one more run to put the score at 8-5.

Though Joey Votto (Reds) hit one last home run in the bottom of the tenth, the NL couldn't quite make up the deficit.

After a late night, the American League will be going home happy.

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