Oh, did the Huskies play a football game on Saturday? You’ll have to forgive me if eight straight hours of tailgating left me a little browned out for the majority of the first half.
The defense is doing the lord’s work! What else can you say? They scored our only touchdown and gave us every opportunity to take control of this game. This has to be, without question, the best defensive line since the turn of the century, and it has to rival some of the best D-Lines in Husky football history. Absolutely unreal. Hau’oli Kikaha would look MIGHTY good as the Seahawks’ LEO defensive end next year, that’s all I’m gonna say.
This game boils down to pretty much what our team has been about all season: we don’t have a quarterback. Troy Williams got his shot on Saturday, because honestly, why the hell not? Can he be any worse than Cyler Miles has looked at times, and than how Jeff Lindquist looked in the game against Hawaii? The answer, of course, is yes. He can be worse. And on Saturday, he was. 139 yards on 26 attempts for a pathetic 5.3-yard average, to go along with two picks (one of them returned for the game-clinching touchdown).
I want to say that the Huskies would be SO GOOD if we just had a quarterback capable of running the offense, but I’m not sure that’s the case. At least in the last 5-6 years, we’ve had a dominant running game to take the pressure off. But, without our top two running backs (Coleman and Washington out with injuries), we were left with Cooper and Shaq Thompson carrying the mail.
Indeed, Shaq led the way with 21 carries and 98 yards, which is pretty impressive considering he hasn’t had a ton of play on the offensive side of the ball this year. To the Huskies’ credit, they didn’t bring Shaq out to make him a decoy. When he was in the game, he usually got the ball, and did his best to make the most of it. The only problem was, the Huskies tended to be a little predictable whenever Shaq was on the field. It felt like everyone in the stadium knew exactly what was going to happen when they saw #7 back there.
I’ll pick up the action in the fourth quarter, when I finally started sobering up enough to remember what the fuck was going on. The Huskies had one good drive all day and it happened when we were down 10-7. We managed to chew up almost six minutes of clock on 15 plays, driving deep into ASU territory. The bulk of the drive consisted of being in something of a hurry-up mode, with lots of short runs and lots of third down conversions. We got it to 3rd & Goal at the 2 yard line and ran some dumb bullshit sweep play that ended up losing us yards. We’d been shoving it down their throats up the gut the whole drive! Just pound it two more times and get that touchdown!
Once we had to settle for the field goal, the game was pretty much decided. ASU immediately marched right down the field and scored a TD to take the lead for good. As soon as we were down seven, it was all over. With only three minutes to go in the game, there wasn’t enough time for another pound-it-out rushing drive. We had to rely on the arm of Troy Williams, and that just wasn’t happening. Not in those nasty weather conditions. Not with a quarterback making his first college start. Not against a very good ASU defense.
The Huskies put up a good fight, but in the end this game boiled down to quarterback play. It’s going to continue coming down to quarterback play until someone finally steps up. Here’s to hoping whoever is red-shirting this year ends up being the savior this program needs.