Merry Christmas, everybody! Last time I wrote was about a month ago, before the Husky football team lost the Apple Cup. I’ve been asleep since. Just kidding. I took about a week vacation from sports and then got caught up in school and such. Life gets busy. Matthew has been doing a good job of keeping us up to date on the Mariners’ off-season but I’ve slacked on the football side of things.
I’m going to try to do some reviews on the Husky football season in the coming weeks but for now, I thought I’d throw in a bit of a quick assortment of bullet holes to recap the last month and preview the Las Vegas Bowl.
- Let’s start with the game tomorrow. The Huskies take on Boise State at 12:30 Pacific time. The Dawgs do play the Broncos again to start the season next year, in the first game at the new Husky Stadium. Boise State didn’t seem to be very thrilled with that but Sark didn’t seem to mind. I do wonder if it favors one team or another. We’ll never really know, but I would guess the advantage is minimal. Anyway, as for the game tomorrow, the Huskies are the underdog by about 5 points at most places. I think that’s about right. This is the Boise State team that we’ve seen for the last 6 years but they’re still pretty good. Their offense struggles, especially if you stop the run. Their defense is really the strong point of the team, especially the secondary. The Huskies will have to run the ball well, to open things up top. I can’t provide much analysis (I’m not sure if we’re doing picks for this game or not), but stopping the run will be the key for both teams. I believe that the Huskies have better athletes than Boise State but the Broncos are more consistent.
- One of my favorite things about the last few bowl games is seeing what Sark comes up with on offense. Even dating back to the Rose Bowl he coached for USC before taking over at U-Dub, Sark has put on impressive offensive performances. Even the Holiday Bowl 2 years ago, when the team only scored 19 points, was impressive to me in the play-calling. Sark is known for his offensive X’s and O’s and that should come to play tomorrow.
- As for what this game means to close off the season, everyone has a different answer. I think a win would be nice and would show progress but I don’t think it defines this season. This team turned out to be what we thought it was after the first week. There were too many injuries to become an elite team and too much talent to not be a winning team. The team was too young to be consistent but provided enough good flashes to have a moderately successful season. A win tomorrow would cause momentum on the recruiting trail and bring some interest for the upcoming season but I don’t think it will change how we feel about the season totally.
- There’s a certain number of people who complained about this team, to that group I have two things to say. One, the team is still only 4 years removed from 0-12. Now, we’ve had three winning seasons in a row. I understand that you want to be an elite program but it takes time. The expectations are rising, as they should be, but they still need to stay reasonable. The second thing I point to is injuries. Here is a list of players who were injured for more than a game this year: RB Jesse Callier, RB Deontae Cooper, WR James Johnson, WR Kevin Smith, OL Erik Kohler, OL Ben Riva, OL Colin Tanigawa, DL Hau’oli Jamora, DL Josh Banks, DL Talia Crichton, LB Princeton Fuimaono, LB Nate Fellner, LB Jamaal Kearse, CB Desmond Trufant. All but two of those guys were expected to start in some capacity. I know football teams experience injuries but this was something that plagued the Huskies all season and the amount of them was something I’ve never seen before. If the trend continues next season then there may be a problem with the strength and conditioning but I’m guessing this was just bad luck.
- There have been a number of players on the Huskies who have said how much the Apple Cup loss has bothered them and that this is a way to get that taste out of their mouth. It’s good to see how bothered the players were by that loss. As disgusted as we were as fans by that loss, the coaches and players were even more disgusted. The loss sucks, but it could prove how important consistency is to a young team.
- Keith Price will start at quarterback next year for the Huskies. That’s a good thing.
That’s all for now, Dawg fans! I’ll try to do some recapping before the 24th but, if I don’t, Merry Christmas! Oh, and go Seahawks. I’ve caught the Seahawk fever.