Monday, September 11, 2017

The Huskies are 2-0

Photo Credit: Lynn D. Townsend
Instead of my usual practice of watching my beloved University of Washington Huskies play football on television, I actually went to the game at Alaska Airline Field at Husky Stadium (yes, that is the full name). I hadn't been to Husky Stadium since its remodel in 2013 and wanted to see it. Plus I wanted to go to a game. I picked an early game (their first game at home) hoping the weather would be better than a  game later in the year.

We had very good seats on about the 35 yard line, 8 rows up from the field. I felt like I was within spiting distance of the visiting team's bench.

The distance between the 10-yard markers seems a lot shorter from that position than on television. Also, it was as if everything happened faster. I'd watch a play, take a moment to relax, and the next play would happen.

Getting to the game was a bit of a hassle. Construction on Snoqualmie Pass led to slow traffic. And then getting 68,491 people to the game caused stop and go traffic in Seattle. I was having Madras, Oregon flashbacks (although it was really not nearly that bad). We had to park about half a mile away from the stadium and walk there. They charged $40 for parking so the University probably made a killing on parking fees (there's really no near-by parking except on University property).

The Game

The Huskies were playing the University of Montana Grizzlies. The "Griz" are an FCS team (too small a school to be bowl eligible) so this
68,490 of my closest friends
was supposed to be a warm up game for the Huskies, apparently. (I have issues with FBS teams playing FCS teams but most of them do it.)

It turned out to be a complete mismatch. The Huskies dominated the Grizzlies and ended up winning 63-7. The two highlights for the Griz were an interception early in the first quarter that was run back in for a touchdown, and a blocked field goal attempt. The Griz often went for it on fourth down and only failed to convert twice out of five attempts. This surprised me. The Huskies went for it once on a fourth down late in the game and converted.

The Huskies looked much better than they did last week. Quarterback Jake Browning connected with his receivers and scrambled a couple of times to pick up yards, once getting a first down. Dante Pettis broke the Pac-12 record for punts returned for a touchdown by doing his seventh.

In the fourth quarter the Huskies put in backup players and even then scored two touchdowns. By then a lot of the people in attendance had left.

While rain was predicted, it only sprinkled a little and wasn't even very cold. I took my Husky pullover and never wore it.

After the Game

Traffic leaving the game wasn't nearly as bad. About like around the university at rush hour. A lot of people left early and by the time we got back to the car, the really bad traffic had mostly cleared out. As we we got to Highway 520 and the bridge over Lake Washington, there was almost no extra traffic.

For some reason that half-mile hike back to the car seemed longer than the same distance to the stadium. And we were gong downhill on the return.

The Polls

The AP top 25 poll came out yesterday. The Huskies moved up one to #6. Southern California (USC) moved from #6 to #4 after beating Stanford (who dropped to #19 from #14). Washington State, even after beating Boise State in triple overtime, dropped one spot to #21. And UCLA entered the poll at #25 after beating Hawaii.

Next week the Huskies take on the Fresno State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs lost this week to #1 ranked Alabama. Fresno is an FBS team so should be more of a challenge for the Huskies. That game is at 6:30 on Pac-12 Network. I'll be home in my recliner.

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