BY Steve Rudman 08:32PM 01/02/2011

Carroll: QBs will split practice reps

Carroll says he will split practice time this week between Whitehurst and Hasselbeck, who had his best passing day of the season in a 34-19 loss to the Saints Nov. 21.

Charlie Whitehurst led the Seahawks to a 16-6 win over the St. Louis Rams and a berth in the 2010 playoffs

The Seahawks and Saints, who lost to Tampa Bay 23-13 on Sunday, met in Week 11 in New Orleans, and Drew Brees shredded Seattle, throwing four touchdown passes in a 34-19 victory.

In that game, Brees became the Saints’ all-time completions leader by connecting on 29 of 42 for 382 yards. His main targets were Marques Colston and Robert Meacham, both of whom caught two touchdown passes.

You can read a complete recap/analysis of that game here.

The Saints played that Week 11 game without the benefit of having Reggie Bush , Pierre Thomas and tight end Jeremy Shockey in the lineup. Yet Brees still managed to complete passes to 10 receivers, including rookie tight end Jimmy Graham , who made five catches for 72 yards.

Matt Hasselbeck had his best statistical game of 2010 against the Saints, completing 32 of 44 for 366 yards, the most allowed by New Orleans’ top-ranked passing defense all year. Hasselbeck connected with Mike Williams six times for 109 yards, including a 68-yarder to the Saints 10, which set up the game’s first points on a field goal. Hasselbeck hit Ben Obomanu five times for 87 yards, including one 42-yard gain and a short TD.

But Seattle had trouble getting in the end zone. The Seahawks lost two fumbles, both by Marshawn Lynch, and had four drives end with field goals by Olindo Mare.

In qualifying to play the Saints, the Seahawks, who entered the game having lost seven of their previous nine games, became the first playoff team with a sub. 500 record by defeating the St. Louis Rams 16-6 in front of a national television audience Sunday night, the Seahawks (7-9) won the NFC West and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Charlie Whitehurst got the start at quarterback in place of Hasselbeck against St. Louis and completed 22 of 36 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown without an interception. But coach Pete Carroll said Monday morning on his radio show on ESPN 710 radio that he planned to split the practice reps between  the quarterbacks and let health determine who will start.

Whitehurst engineered a superb first drive of the game, completing all five of his passing attempts. His biggest completion went for 61 yards to Ruvell Martin, which set up his short TD pass to Mike Williams.

The Rams closed to 7-6 on a pair of Josh Brown field goals, then Mare gave Seattle a 10-6 lead in the third quarter with a 31-yard field goal. Another Mare field goal early in the fourth quarter made it 13-6. Mare nailed another field goal in the fourth quarter to make it a 16-6 final.

Raheem Brock led an inspired Seattle defense with 2.5 sacks.


  • Manny

    Whitehurst basically threw to the flat the entire game, the game plan was made so simple for him. All he had to do was make small passes against a scared defense and they got the win. I’m still unwilling to call him our QB of the future. If this was against an actual playoff caliber team, no way Whitehurst has a seemingly respectable game.

  • Acadian

    Having seen what the Huskies did on Thursday against a team that crushed them earlier in the season, I am tempted to think anything is possible against the Saints. I know, these guys are professionals, and emotion plays a lesser role in the outcome of games. But the performance of the defense was definitely encouraging, and if they play with that intensity, Charlie comes in with confidence and a few more reps, dare we hope that the loud crowd, the long trip to Seattle, and a few breaks could be enough?

  • Nebstorm

     I was at the game last year in Washington and the fans up there where just great to us also. Go Big Red!

  • Henchman222

    Nice article.  For you Husky fans coming here bring your ponchos as there is a chance of rain.  If you have time try a nice meal at Misty’s or Lazlos in Lincoln.  You will love the game day atmosphere.  Here’s to your safe travel both ways, a great game and a great time.  I’ll understand if you still want to have Wahington as your favorite team, but after your experience maybe you will undesrtand why there is No Place Like Nebraska.  Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory”

    • Henchman222

      Sorry for the typos, dang smartphones.

    • Anonymous

      As a Lincoln resident, I will second everything said above.  The prime rib at Misty’s can be a religious experience for someone not raised on Nebraska beef, and I love the microbrews at Lazlo’s with their ribs.  Also – if you are a fan of buffalo wings, it’s hard to beat the grilled wings at the Watering Hole on O Street.

      Husky fans, have fun, enjoy yourselves (spend lots of money) and know that win or lose, we’ll gladly shake your hand or offer you a beer – as long as you’re not acting like jerks (i.e. your new conference mates from Boulder).

      Safe travels and good luck on Saturday!

      • Anonymous

        By the way – in addition to being overly passionate about the football team (Saturday will be consecutive sellout #314) we also have a tendency for taking over message boards.  Sorry!

  • TGK

    Two great programs.  Very nice article.  I have to say, after growing up in eastern NE, there are a few more Husker fans these days who do not know how to act all of the time.  Please remember there are good and bad fans everywhere.  For the most part though, all said above is true.  Husker fans will welcome you and have fun tailgating with you.  Just put your hand out to shake hands and you should have a good time.  What most Husker fans understand is that football is a game – a sport – and not life or death.  Sure, we win and lose with much passion but at the end of the day, we are all on this planet together and let’s treat each other like the brothers and sisters we are suppose to be.  Have fun UW fans – win or lose.   AND GO BIG RED!

  • KJP

    Nice piece.  It’s true, people in Lincoln are generally nice and honestly pleased that people would come visit.  Not to mention that it’s a great town with nice people, and a low crime rate.  If anyone isn’t nice to you, just tell another Husker fan, and the rude offenders will be berated and treated like the pretenders that they are.
    Also, while you’re in Lincoln, don’t forget to check out the nightlife at 14th and O Streets.  Lots of fun bars, and a super fun gameday scene (any night really).  It’s also the home of Duffy’s Tavern, which is a famous gameday venue with a big outdoor area, but an even better known music venue.  Nirvana (among others) played there, and it was rated as the best college bar in America by earlier this year.  Everyone there is super nice.  Have fun in Lincoln.

  • HuskerT

    I was fortunate enough to treated to similar hospitality at Husky stadium in 97. I had people of all ages congradulate me after the Huskers won. Art, I grew up in central Nebraska on the edge of the Sand Hills. I would be glad to give you a tour of our hills.

  • Husker in Land o’ Lakes

    Very nice article. As a Husker fan, I look forward to the game and hopefully a win. I have always considered UWas a class program.Good fans, not a bunch of cheaters like SC or Oregon. Good hard nosed coaches and players. And that view from the campus and stadium is pretty darn impressive. I rate it way above Boulder. And your fans are one heck of alot better mannered.If you fly into Omaha and rent a car to Lincoln, Check out the downtowns a little bit. Lots going on. I live in the Twin Cities but I like what I see going on in Omaha and Lincoln.

  • huska

    One of my favorite memories of all time came after a devastating victory by Texas over Nebraska in Lincoln in 1998.  As recalled by Mack Brown….

    “The highlight of my sports life in sportsmanship was in ’98, when … (Texas’) Ricky Williams gained 150 yards,” he said. He recalled telling Williams to wear his helmet out on the Memorial Stadium field for postgame interviews, only to hear Nebraska fans start chanting, “Heisman, Heisman, Heisman” for Williams

    I hope that Husker fans don’t do anything to diminish that reputation this weekend or anytime for the rest of my life.  Have fun in Lincoln, U-Dub.  GBR.