When we began the season, 2-2 was the record most people predicted after4 games, myself included. A win against BYU and Syracuse and then a team that would probably be out-matched by the talent of Nebraska and USC. That’s not exactly what happened, but it’s better this way.
After showing a serious amount of inconsistency the first 3 games, the Husky offense turned in a showing that all Dawg fans have been dreaming of since demolishing Cal last December. Because of this, the Huskies won their first road game in 3 years and started Pac-10 play with a victory against powerhouse USC.
Since many people have covered this game, and did a better job than I could, I’m going to keep this short. I’ll have more in-depth analysis once I watch this game again later tonight but for now, I’ll look at what this game means. As several coaches and players said, this win was huge for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at those reasons.
- Redemption: The Huskies were just 2 weeks removed from playing the worst game of the Sark era. Being embarrassed at home, 56-21, caused many people to question whether the program was actually on the right track. There were all kinds of criticism coming at the Huskies, and rightfully so. The game-plan was bad, the team didn’t, and Jake Locker played the worst game of his career. But, last night the Huskies came back and had the best game-plan (offensively, anyway) of the Sark era, showed more heart than I’ve seen in years, and had Locker play the best game we’ve seen yet. People didn’t know if this team was built up too much, and they still have reasons to question that, but last night, the Huskies found redemption in the L.A. Coliseum. And, for a week at least, that feels pretty good.
- A Road Victory! As I mentioned earlier, the Huskies had not won a road game since 2007. That was against a bad Stanford team. You could argue that this is the most impressive Husky road victory, as far as quality of opponent, since their 2002 road victory at Oregon. Now, the monkey is off the back. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they’re going to go on and win the rest of their road games. But, as we saw with this years Husky basketball, winning that first road game can do wonders for a teams psyche. If nothing else, people won’t be able to say that, “They just don’t know how to win on the road.” Which is a blessing in its’ own right.
More after the jump.
- Hello Offense! Finally, it all worked. The offense played a near perfect game. The Huskies punted once all game yesterday. Once. I know USC’s defense is suspect at best, but that’s impressive no matter who you are playing. The scary thing for other Pac-10 defensive coordinators is they weren’t perfect. There were way too many dropped passes, and they were very crucial dropped passes too. Shareece Wright made an amazing play to make Jake Locker fumble out of the end zone (I think it went out-of-bounds first, but it really was too close to tell). Then, there was missed a pass interference call on that 4th & 8 play, Aguilar was blatantly interfered with but the call was missed. Those 2 possessions and the punt were the only time the Huskies didn’t put points on the board. The offense can get better and they were still pretty dang great last night.
- Sark and Holt: I don’t usually get into the story-lines. I didn’t really pay attention to the whole “Sark and Holt’s Homecoming” headline because I don’t think they want me to pay attention to it, but it obviously meant something to them. Seeing things like Nick Holt putting his arm around Locker as he came off the field on the game-winning drive, Sark embracing Jake at mid-field after the game, or Nick Holt and Sark hugging in front of bunches of Husky fans a few minutes after the game are things that it’s impossible not to smile at. Oh yeah, and it’s awesome to beat Lane Kiffen.
- A Jumpstart? This is the biggest storyline, but to call it a jump-start already would be premature. The Huskies beat a higher ranked USC team last year and then went on to lose 6 out of the next 7. There are reasons to think that this game could be different. Last year was an ugly game. There were aspects of this game that were ugly, defense, but USC was not sleeping on the Huskies this year. Their offense came ready to play and played pretty well. But, the Huskies still won. Needless to say, being 2-2 right now is much better than being 1-3 if we hope to be a bowl team. Now, the Huskies come home for 2 games against ASU and Oregon State. Both of these teams are good. They will give us all we can handle but this is a chance to get some momentum. Maybe, the Huskies can do something with this. Maybe, this is a jumpstart. But, for now, it’s to early to tell.
I’ll be back later with some more analysis on the game. Could the Seahawks look any worse today? Thanks for reading.