Lost in all the excitement of literally anything else is the fact that the Huskies have themselves a bowl game! On Friday, January 2nd, at 7:15pm, the Washington Huskies will travel to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The 8-5 Huskies went 4-5 in the Pac-12, finishing 8th overall. We had the worst record among bowl-eligible teams in the conference. But, this is the 21st Century, and they can’t give away these bowl openings fast enough! It’s not quite Everybody Gets A Ribbon Day, but it’s close.
Nevertheless, consider it a positive, because we get an extra however-many practices with our guys to prepare them for the game in just over three weeks. That’s valuable experience for our returning players for next season.
As for the matchup itself, I dunno. The Cowboys are apparently in a “down year” or a “rebuilding year” or whatever. They wouldn’t even BE here if they hadn’t beaten 20th ranked Oklahoma in overtime, in their final game of the season. Other than that, they lost every game they played against ranked opponents (which was actually quite a lot; they faced Florida State, TCU, West Virginia, Kansas State, and Baylor). That’s gotta be one of the more difficult schedules I’ve seen anyone play in a long time! On the one hand, you could say they’re battle tested, but in almost all of those tough games, they lost by double digits. As it stands, they’re probably an equal foe to the Huskies, and this should be a pretty good game.
Overall, they don’t do much on offense, and are even worse on defense. Their QB play is a little iffy, their running backs don’t look too crazy, and there’s not really any dominant receiver to worry about. The Huskies have all the talent in the world on defense, and with the extra preparation time, we should be able to hold them down pretty good.
On the flipside, it’s all about offensive execution for the Huskies. Can we run the ball? Can we push the ball down field through the air? Can we limit mistakes? Ultimately, I think we can, and I think this has a chance to be a walk-over for the Huskies.
As for the game itself, let’s just thank our lucky stars we got a good spot in the lineup. Granted, it’ll be after 10pm on the East coast when the game starts, but who gives a shit about the East coast? We’ve got a Friday night slot the day after New Year’s. I don’t know about you, but I like having sports on the television on Friday nights, so this game is going to be right in my wheelhouse.
The rest of the Pac-12 games start on the first Bowl day of the season, December 20th, with Utah facing off against Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Then, on the 27th, ASU goes up against Duke in the Sun Bowl, and later that night USC faces Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. On Tuesday the 30th, Stanford takes on Maryland in the Foster Farms Bowl (what?). And, on New Year’s Eve, we’ve got Arizona going up against Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. Then, of course, there’s Oregon/Florida State in the opening round of the playoff on New Year’s Day. Wrapping it up, playing right before the Huskies on the 2nd, we have UCLA vs. Kansas State. I’m not gonna lie to you, I see some really good things out of the Pac-12 this bowl season. Except, of course, for Oregon, who I hope goes down hard. I’d even be willing to listen to everyone suck the SEC’s dick for another decade if we can keep the Ducks from winning a national championship.