On Thursday night I wrote about what tonight’s game meant for the Washington football program. A win, or even a respectable, hard-fought loss would have earned this team national respect and shown that the Dawgs are another step up Sark’s metaphorical mountain. Well, instead of that happening, the Huskies took out their toboggans and sled down the mountain as if it were the historical December of 2008 (Ty’s last game as Husky head coach).
Being out of the game at halftime was a sight Husky fans have grown accustomed to seeing but we thought it was behind us. Tonight it wasn’t behind us and that’s a pretty disgusting and annoying feeling. The defense didn’t move and the offense, while racking up quite a bit of yards, didn’t have the firepower to stay with a physically dominant Stanford team. The Huskies will be elite again soon, we’ve seen flashes of it, but that doesn’t change how frustrating that game was.
There. I’ve said it and it’s out my system. As far as the Good Guys go, Dan and Joe are usually the emotional reactors. They have no problem telling us about how much our teams sucked it up. There’s value in that because without it, you get the Cougar syndrome (I’ve coined this phrase right now and I do apologize Cougar fans) and then, you justify your team keeping a coach for a 4th year even though he’d won 2 pac-10 games in his tenure. Matthew and I usually take things a little differently then that and try to be a little more optimistic (as hard as that is with Seattle sports). There’s value in that too, especially when talking about the Huskies this year. It’s easy to get greedy, and start dreaming of Rose Bowls but the truth is this team is still only 3 seasons removed from 0-12 and has made steady progress each year.
Having said that, Dan was the one who sent me a text to remind just how far the Huskies have come in a short amount of time and how great this coaching staff has been for the program. There is progress being made and there’s no reason to doubt that progress won’t continue, even after tonight’s debacle.
No, maybe the Huskies aren’t quite ready for a regular slot in prime-time. They are a good football team, who clearly wasn’t at their best tonight, that is fun to watch and will continue to grow. If they plan to continue to grow they have to forget about this game quickly.
Sark has a 24 hour-rule, where the team is allowed to think about the game for 24 hours afterwards whether it’s a win or a loss. From what I can tell in his tenure, this rule has worked and the team has generally shown up to play the week after an ugly loss. Maybe this week the 24 hour-rule should turn into a 2 hour-rule though. And maybe this rule should go for fans this week too? There is no point in dwelling on this game. There may be a few teachable moments for the team, but mostly they got beat by a much better team tonight. That might not be the case next year, but it is this year. Because of that, it’s time to move on. Once the team gets off that plane tonight I hope Keith Price is smiling, Sark is scheming up some more amazing offensive game-plans, Nick Holt is coaching instead of screaming, and our Dawgs are ready to beat the crap out of Arizona.
A few more thoughts after the jump and then the 2-hour rule (it might be 3 hour-rule by the time I’m done writing this) kicks in.
- A few Huskies were ready for prime time tonight. Chris Polk was just unbelievable in the first half. It’s a pity that this game wasn’t closer and we had to go away from the running game. He could have run for 200 yards and maybe more. Sean Parker also seemed to make some really good plays. I like the way he’s improving and he’ll be a great player by the time he’s done here. Devin Aguilar had a workmanlike game. Keith Price, outside of the pick-6, was his usual efficient self even if he was facing ridiculous amounts of pressure.
- Stanford is really good. They aren’t fancy, gimmicky, or even spectacular to watch but they just know how to play football. Andrew Luck is really good. Their line is amazing and they have a defense that surprised me in how quickly they hawked to the ball. Something about playing them makes even just watching tiring, I can’t imagine how tough it would be to actually play.
- As great as Stanford is, this was an unacceptable performance by the defense. Before this game, I thought firing Nick Holt after the season was a bad idea. I wouldn’t have called myself a Holt supporter, but I didn’t think he deserved to be fired either. If the defense has one or two more of these abysmal performances, Sark would really need to think about making a change. The defense had been improving but after that game it looks like it was just a product of playing weaker opponents. Lets do better, guys!
- At the end of the day, I don’t think we can feel nearly as bad as Oklahoma, Wisconsin or West Virginia fans. Heck, even the Cougars should be more discouraged than us. Oklahoma probably would win their game if it was played again and I truly believe the Huskies would have played a better and closer game if they played again.
- Speaking of the Cougars, shouldn’t that be the final straw for Wulff? Heck, shouldn’t have 2 years been the final straw for him. Maybe some Cougar fans can help me out with what they see but his team just laid a complete egg in a game that they had to win against an opponent who is pretty bad. I don’t think they are that much improved and I don’t know if they’ll win another game. Maybe I’m just an outsider who doesn’t get it.
- One more thing about Stanford – they were ready to play tonight. You could just tell when they came out on their first drive they were fired up and weren’t going to let anything stop them. It was a sinking feeling but it must have been great for their fans. They’d been lackadaisical in the first half this year but, if they play a complete game like they did tonight, they will beat anyone. Their game against the Ducks will be a classic, especially considering how different those two teams are. That game will have everything.
- Colorado sucks.