Sunday, November 23, 2014

Huskies Win to Secure Bowl Eligibility

Last night, late, the University of Washington Huskies played the Oregon State Beavers. Pretty much expected to be a lack-luster game between two middle-of-the-Pac teams, it was shunted off to the 7:30 time slot on the Pac-12 Network. But that didn't seem to diminish the enthusiasm of the Husky fans at this year's last home game.

The game started with a Husky sack of the Beaver's quarterback on the first play. The Beavers then went three-and out to give the Huskies the ball. The Huskies almost immediately capitalized on this, making a touchdown with 11:40 left in the first quarter.

While late in the second quarter the Beavers seemed to be gaining momentum (down 17-0) with a touchdown, an interception turned the game back the Huskies' way and from then on it was the Dawg's day. Or night. The final score was 37-13. The Beavers managed one more touchdown, went for the 2-point conversion, and missed it.

The Beavers needed to win this game to be bowl eligible so they had incentive to fight hard as it's very unlikely they'll manage to beat #3 Oregon next week.

The Huskies looked very good last night. This is a talented team that if it could overcome mistakes would have a much better record. Last week they had 13 penalties for over 100 yards. Last night they had a much improved 5. If they had played #14 Arizona last week as well as they played last night, they probably would have won.

This win makes the Huskies 7-5 for the season, but only 3-5 in the Pac-12. Still, now the Huskies will be playing in the post-season in a bowl game, probably an early one.

I think Coach Chris Petersen sort of had a rude awakening going from the Mountain West Conference where his Boise State Broncos dominated to the Pac-12. Quite often Boise was the only team in the Mountain West conference that was ranked. But that was playing those other second-tier Mountain West teams.

Now he's in the Pac-12. He's had to play 5 ranked teams (and have lost to them all). Right now, half of the Pac-12 teams are ranked and eight have been ranked at some point in the season.

Petersen needs to figure out his competition is much stronger than what's he's used to.

Next week is the Apple Cup, the annual cross-state rivalry game between Washington and Washington State. This year it's in Pulman. And with the Apple Cup, anything can happen.

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