He’s A god. He’s not THE God.
The end result is KINDA what I expected. A lot of points scored by both teams, with the Huskies finding a way to pull away at the end. Of course, how we got there isn’t exactly what I had in mind.
There was a definite sense of unease in that first quarter (and again in that third quarter) with the way we were playing on defense, with the way we were sputtering on offense, and especially with the way that game was officiated. Now, let me be clear, I’m not necessarily complaining about the refs – truth be told, I was sitting in the East End Zone and didn’t have a great view of the field or the jumbotron behind me, so I can’t say for sure if the calls going against us were ridiculous calls, or if the fans were just being fans and voicing displeasure at anything and everything not going our way. But, I gotta say, there was what SEEMED to be a lot of piss-poor officiating going on on Saturday, and with the fans really coming down hard on the refs, that couldn’t have been good. Let me explain:
Fans are emotional. Many fans are over-emotional. It was also a 7:30pm kickoff. In other words, these over-emotional fans had PLENTY of time to get good and liquored up before they stumbled into the stadium. Hey, everyone associated with college football and football in general: you want your fans to be extra rowdy? Play a bunch of night games! The drunker the fans, the crazier the atmosphere! Anyway, as I was saying, we had some drunken-ass rowdy fans in the stands, but they don’t even compare to how emotional the players are. They’re actually playing the game! Of COURSE they’re going to be emotional! They have more invested in that game than all of the fans put together. So, if the fans are booing like crazy over perceived bad calls (whether they were bad or not), that’s going to invariably fire up the players who are getting shafted (again, whether they were or not). Emotional players getting pissed off over the officiating in their game don’t always play their best football. Sometimes they do, but oftentimes they let the refs get in their heads, they start making mistakes out of sheer frustration, and the whole thing snowballs until you get what we had in Nebraska going into and coming out of halftime.
Fortunately, this time, the Huskies found a way to overcome. Maybe that Nebraska game was a good primer for the kind of BS we’d inevitably get from Pac-12 refs. Whatever the case, we did it, and we did it on the shoulders of Chris Polk.
I’m telling you, WHAT A PLAYER! This guy is hands down the greatest running back I’ve seen in a Husky uniform (taking into account I didn’t start following the Huskies until I went to school there in 1999). I don’t even want to know where we would be as a team without him. And I’m not even talking about his scoring (he’s had 7 of his 11 overall touchdowns in the past two contests); it’s his leadership, it’s his work ethic, it’s the number of yards he’s getting for our offense! Keith Price has been a revelation this year, but you gotta wonder if he’s so far ahead of expectations because we have Chris Polk not only attracting the bulk of the attention from defenses, but also PRODUCING with the bulk of the attention from defenses!
He’s averaging an even 127 yards per game. On the surface, that’s good, but it’s hardly otherworldly. But, take into account a first-year starter at quarterback, an offensive line that’s just okay, and the fact that other teams have to load the box to respect him. I mean, my GOD, that 127 yards per game is outstanding! He’s already over 1,000 yards and we’ve got five games to go (including bowl, which we just qualified for). His average yards per carry has improved every season since he started here (currently resting at 5.6 yards), and he’s improved dramatically as a pass-catcher (already with 249 yards on 18 receptions, which is a career high in yards and on pace to obliterate his career high in receptions of 25).
In short, Chris Polk is an every-down back, the best back in the Pac-12 this year, and a future star in the NFL. And let’s not forget the guy had surgery back in August on his knee and hasn’t missed a game!
It’s still very possible that Chris Polk might go down as the Greatest Husky Of All Time. I’m hoping for it. I’m also hoping he comes back for his Senior season, but I won’t be greedy. Watching this guy has been a real treat and I’m going to appreciate these last five games with him like they’re my last. Hopefully, we can send a champion out on top, because he deserves nothing less.