As I tweeted last night:
Last night the University of Washington Huskies took on the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights. The Huskies won, but for a while it looked like they might not.
Last year when the Huskies played Rutgers, it was a blow out. The Huskies put in second stringers in the second half of the game. Rutgers scored 3 points in the entire first half. The final score (with second and third stringers playing most of the second half) was 13-48. That game was at Husky Stadium so a friendly crowd and home-field advantage probably helped.
Last night's game at Rutgers was nothing like that. The Huskies' first series they went three and out. Then the Scarlet Knights scored a touchdown on their first possession. For most of the first half the Huskies struggled with missed throws and penalties. At the end of the first quarter, Rutgers led 7-3. The one highlight of the first half was a punt return by Dante Pettis that he ran in for a touchdown in the second quarter. That was his sixth career touchdown from a punt return, tying the Pac-12 record.
The Rutgers stadium was a hostile environment. The home crowd was mean. They would boo and hiss the Huskies and cheer when bad things happened to the Dawgs. They didn't applaud when an injured Husky walked off the field as would be the norm in college football and the NFL.
The second half was much better. Quarterback Jake Browning settled down and got into a rhythm. He made two touchdown throws. The final score was 30-14. It might have been less but the officials basically gave Rutgers a touchdown in the fourth quarter that they didn't earn (the player was down before the ball entered the end zone). Yes, they would have been on about the half-yard line and might have made a touchdown anyway. But they might not have.
The AP Poll doesn't come out until Tuesday due to the Labor Day holiday. So we won't know until then how this will affect the Huskies' ranking. This was a prime-time Friday night game so probably more people were watching it than your typical Husky game.
Next week the Huskies play the Montana Grizzlies at Husky Stadium. The Grizzlies are an FCS team (too small to be bowl eligible). I'll be at that game on about the 40-yard line and 8 seats up from the field. I'm assuming the Huskies are going to do better than they did this week.
But at least they won last night and are 1-0 on the season.