Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Decisive Win

Last week I said of this week's University of Washington Huskies game against Illinois that "it's going to be an ugly game if the defense is as bad has they have been the last two games." In both of the first two games of the season, the Husky defense was awful. They managed to squeak out wins about Hawaii (a team that went 1-11 last season) and Eastern Washington (a Division II team, albeit, ranked #2 in the FCS). Illinois was prior to yesterday's game 2-0 (although that was against two FCS teams, apparently). While Illinois is a Division I, FBS team, they were only 4-8 last year.  Still, I was worried, if the Husky defense was as bad as it had been, the Huskies could have lost easily.

Turns out I needn't worry. Not only was the Husky defense in the game they made two big plays, scoring touchdowns on an interception and a fumble. They did make some mistakes giving Illinois some opportunities, but the Fighting Illini couldn't capitalize on them. In the end they were held to 19 points while the Huskies put 44 on the scoreboard.

Our quarterback, Cyler Miles, is looking good but I wish when he runs with the ball he'd tuck it in better. The Huskies' first turnover of the season came on a Miles run that ended with a fumble. The offense is getting better and better with each game and yesterday was only Miles' third college start (he started once last season and was suspended for the Hawaii game). The defense still needs more work before we go into play against the meat grinder that is the PAC-12. Allowing Oregon 19 points could lose you the game.

But, as I went into this match nervous, I found my fears were somewhat allayed by the performance of the defense. And they should only improve. Next week we play Georgia State and I'm not worried at all about that game. But the week after is Stanford, currently ranked #16 in FBS. We do play them in Husky Stadium so that will help (and the place should be packed for a PAC-12 game).

So far I'm liking our new head coach Chris Petersen who has gone 3-0 to start his career at U-Dub. I hope he is as successful with the Huskies as he was with Boise State.

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