The Husky Kicker Cost Us The Apple Cup

I would like to direct your attention to something I wrote back on September 2nd, right after we beat San Diego State.  If you don’t want to click on the link, I’ll pull out the relevant text:

I hate the kicking game … Don’t say I didn’t warn you; we will lose at least one game this season because our kicker failed us.  Let’s just hope it’s not a game we need to get into the post-season.

There are really two things I want to talk about at this point.  The first is:  this Husky football team wasn’t the disappointment I thought it was going to be.  I think I’ll save that for a later post and get to the heart of the matter:  the kicking game.

Our punter was so bad that he lost his job to our starting field goal kicker.  I’m not saying Coons had too much on his plate and that’s why he missed that kick; I’m just saying it adds a little color to the situation.

Travis Coons finished 7 for 11 on the season.  He was a junior college transfer, so presumably he has had some college kicking experience that made him of some value.  Enough value for Sark to offer him scholarship and hand him all of our kicking duties.  Either way, he’s not a freshman, not really, so I don’t feel so bad ripping this guy.

He fucking blew it, plain and simple!  I know people are going to come on the Internet today and say, “Oh, it wasn’t all his fault, this loss was a team effort!”  They’ll point to the offensive line, which let Keith Price get killed for most of the day, which directly led to the two turnovers that let WSU back into this game (and let them ultimately win it).  On the fumble, when we were up by 18 … the defensive tackle went untouched up the middle!  YOU CAN’T FUCKING DO THAT!  Seemed to be a similar scenario in overtime, which led to Price trying to throw the ball away (as opposed to losing another 12 yards) and the ball falling in the hands of another D-tackle.  If the offensive line plays adequate ball, we probably run the clock out on the Cougars’ season with a comfortable victory.

Or, they’ll point to all the penalties.  The numerous drives where the Huskies carred the Cougars into the endzone thanks to their pass interferences and personal fouls.

Or, they could look at the play-calling.  Why not more play-action passes?  Why not take more chances down-field to get those safeties to play back a little more and open up our run game?  They’ll discount the fact that our offensive line played its worst game since Arizona, even though that was one of their points as to why we shouldn’t level any and all blame on the kicker!

The truth of the matter is, the kicker lost us this game.  There’s no other way around it.  That final drive, with two minutes to play, tied at 28-28, was specifically engineered for a kicker to win it for us!  We got it down there to the WSU 17 yard line, we bled the clock down to 5 seconds, and fuck, we put it in the center of the fucking field!  That kick was a gimme!  That kick WAS the game!  We didn’t go for the touchdown on that drive because we didn’t NEED a touchdown!  We needed three fucking points!  THAT’S why you fucking have a kicker on your fucking team!  To make 35-yard fucking field goals as time expires!

Their kicker made the field goals; ours didn’t.  That’s what it boils down to.  Forget the turnovers, forget the penalties, forget the play-calling.  It came down to two guys, and Travis Coons choked.  He choked and I hope he enjoys being exclusively a punter next year, if not a backup at both positions, because if he’s the starting kicker next season, then it’ll be a joke.  Because if you can’t count on your kicker – and by all means, this team cannot – then you’re fucked.

Thanks, Travis Coons.  8-4 was on the table.  9-4 was on the table.  Thanks to you, we’re right back at 7-5, with nothing but a bottom-feeding bowl to play for.

You can’t talk about accountability out of one side of your mouth and not blame this entirely on the kicker!  We had the game won; he blew it.  That’s all you need to say about this game.

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