Last year’s team would’ve lost this game, just like they lost last year’s game. This year’s team damn near did the same thing.
For starters, I’m not necessarily convinced that playing Keith Price was the smartest decision. Granted, the ends may justify the means, but that says more about the guys playing WITH Keith Price than it does Keith Price himself. He wasn’t ready, bottom line. He was erratic, he was tentative, he was playing scared. Of course, with this offensive line, who can blame him? But still, even when the line was DOING its job, he still got a case of the ants in the pants and found himself scrambling to avoid contact with that obviously-still-injured throwing shoulder.
I’ve said it before: I hate it when guys play through injuries just to show how tough they are. We get it! You’re tough! But, you’re also actively hurting the team’s chances with your selfish attitude. Keith Price hadn’t practiced at all in the last two weeks. He got some throws in before the game, but he did little more than watch Cyler Miles run the offense (and do a pretty damn good job of it, I might add).
We didn’t NEED Keith Price to beat this Cougar team. I think Sankey’s 200 yards on the ground and 40 yards through the air speak to that point quite clearly. What we needed out of our quarterback was to not fuck shit up. Price’s fumble and interception went a long way towards fucking shit up, and left us in a huge first half hole (the score only being 10-3 didn’t tell the whole story).
Our defense did everything it could, but you’re not going to hold that Coug offense at bay forever! If our offense didn’t come out on fire like it did in that third quarter, we most definitely would’ve lost this game.
And, if we DID lose? Hoo boy, would there have been a SHITSTORM around this program! I’m a pretty big reactionary when it comes to my favorite teams, but if I like someone, I tend to want to give them the benefit of turning things around. Sark is one of those guys I like. To date, I’ve never once said we should get rid of him, because I know the challenges surrounding a regime change. The best coaches don’t want to come, especially if they’re always looking over their shoulders; the best recruits don’t want to play here if they have to worry about playing for someone else in a year or two. I’d much rather the Huskies succeed WITH Sark than take our chances with someone else.
That having been said, at halftime of this game, I was all-in on the Fire Sark bandwagon. He was going to go down with the sinking ship of his decision to start Keith Price in this game. Lose, and Sark’s credibility and his competence would’ve been in legitimate question. It’s tough to say someone’s coaching for his career, especially after we’d just beaten Oregon State 69-27 the week prior, but that was the case in this Apple Cup.
Will it make a difference? I guess that all depends on what happens going forward. I have to believe Sark has at least another year, and most likely another two years. I’ll get into this area a little later in the offseason, but I’ll leave you with my overall impression of the program:
Regardless of what anyone else says, this team has improved each and every year since Sark arrived. The record may not necessarily reflect that (we’re still, after all, 5-4 in conference for the fourth straight year, losing to all the usual suspects in embarrassing fashion), but it’s true. Nevertheless, with Price, Sankey, and ASJ all most likely leaving after this year, 2014 will be a transitional year. We should still have the talent to be bowl-eligible, but will that guarantee us making a bowl game? And, if we lose out, what does that mean for Sark in 2015? Something to think about.