Sunday, September 29, 2013

Huskies are 4-0!

For the first time since 2001 the University of Washington Huskies are 4-0 after defeating Arizona last night in a game marked by wind and heavy rain.

I didn't write about last weeks' victory against Idaho State because it was a pretty dumb game.  I don't know who scheduled a small, FCS school against UW but is was very much a mismatched game.  When the score hit 42-0 in the second quarter, Coach Sarkisian pulled out the starters and put in the second string players.  And the backup quarterback looked pretty good against ISU.  And the Huskies still won 56-0.  They moved up in the AP poll to #16 as a result.

Last nights' game against Arizona was really the Huskies' first real test and was their first Pac-12 game.  When the game started it was raining hard.  Rain in Seattle is usually not hard, just incessant.  But last night it was pouring and the wind was blowing.  This made the passing game nearly impossible due to the inability to catch a sopping wet ball.  So the running game became important.  There were unusual mistakes: a missed PAT, bad snaps (one that led to a Husky safety), and punts and kick-offs that looked like they'd been sliced, all most likely due to the rain and wind.  Things looked shaky the first half but by the second half the rain had slowed (not the wind) and the Huskies found their stride, pretty much dominating the game both offensively and defensively.  And in the end they won 31-13, most of Arizona's points coming in the first half.

Another positive trend was there were a lot less penalties on the Huskies.  Sarkisian must have worked hard on that the week prior.

And this morning the Huskies were #15 in the AP poll.

The Pac-12 is a very strong conference this year.  Right now after the fifth week there are four undefeated teams and only one team, California, has a losing record.  Five teams are ranked including Oregon (#2) and Stanford (#5).  And next week the Huskies meet Stanford in Palo Alto and the week after that play Oregon in Husky Stadium.  It would be wonderful if they won either of those games (especially Oregon) but I'm not getting my hopes up.  The Huskies are strong this year, but Phil Knights money bought Oregon a very good team.  But we could be looking at a 10-2 season for the Huskies, which would be remarkable just five years after going 0-12.  Too bad Keith Price is a senior because the starting quarterback has just come into his stride, it seems.

Also, traffic in Seattle must have been worse than usual.  The Mariners were at home in Safeco Field in the afternoon.  The Huskies played at home in Husky Stadium at 4:00 P.M.  And at 7:30 the Washington State Cougars played Stanford (and lost) at "home" in the Seahawks' venue, Century Link Field, across the street from Safeco.  Add to that sheets of rain, and it probably gave a new meaning to the term "gridlock."

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