September 19, 2012. Or five years and five days ago. How about that?)
Thanks to Facebook's "On this Day" feature, I was reminded this morning that last year the University of Washington Huskies struggled in their first conference game against Arizona. They still won that game, 35-28.
For their first conference (Pac-12) game this year, the Huskies had to play Colorado in Boulder. Colorado was looking for revenge for last year's Pac-12 Championship Game where the Huskies destroyed them. Also, while Husky Stadium is at probably 20 feet above sea level, Boulder is at 5,430 feet, or more than a mile high. I worried about our guys struggling with the altitude. How do you train for at at 20 feet altitude?
Yesterday, at least for the first half of the game, the Huskies struggled against Colorado. The Buffs received the first kickoff and marched 75 yards down the field to make a touchdown. The Huskies got the ball, struggled to get down the field, were stopped in the red zone, tried to make a field goal, but it missed. The first quarter ended 0-7, Buffaloes in the lead.
By the half, it was 10-7 Huskies, but they struggled to get those points. But they were looking better and the defense was stopping Colorado.
The second half was a blow-out. The Huskies out-scored Colorado by 27 to 3 in the second half to win the game 37-10. With nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, UW Coach Petersen took out our starting quarterback, Jake Browning, and put in the back up quarterback. That's how badly we were beating Colorado. While I worried about the Huskies getting winded at that altitude, it was the Buffs that were acting worn out and fatigued by the end of the third quarter.
Unfortunately, Donte Pettis didn't have a run back from a punt for a touchdown so he won't break the record of consecutive games with that accomplishment. But he can still break the NCAA record for career touchdowns from a punt return. He has at least 8 games to go.
The regular season is one-third done. In the Pac-12 only four teams are undefeated. In the Pac-12 South division, it's USC and Utah. In the Pac-12 North Division it's Washington and Washington State. Next week WSU plays USC (at home) so one of those teams will no longer be undefeated.
UW and WSU are tied for the number one spot in the North Division at 4-0 overall and 1-0 in conference.
Washington visits Oregon State, a team that they should have no problem beating. And Utah as a bye next week. Their next game is against Stanford on October 7th. Stanford, who were supposed to be the Huskies' main rival in the Pac-12 North, are now 2-2 over all, 1-1 in conference.
USC stayed at number 5 in the AP top 25 poll. Washington moved up one to #6. Washington State moved up to #16 (from 18) after beating hapless Nevada yesterday. Utah moved up to 20 from 23. And Oregon, who lost to Arizona St. dropped off the top 25 after one week at #24.
The problem is, USC and UW are running up against the top four teams in the country which, unless one of them loses, will not give up a spot. This may be, for a while, the highest they get in the AP poll.