There’s a point in every football game where you start to wonder if the slow start your team is experiencing is more than just a slow start. Panic sets in. If this thing keeps dragging on the way it’s going, we could fucking lose this thing!
For me, that happened early in the second quarter. Colorado got the ball first and pulled out a very methodical drive for a touchdown. The Huskies took their opening possession to around midfield before Browning threw an ill-advised interception. Then, once again, the Buffaloes were able to march down the field on an 11-play drive, which stalled at the Husky 40-yard line. Washington took the next possession into the Colorado red zone, but whiffed on the field goal, and I felt like just enough bad shit was happening to make this One Of Those Games.
Colorado was obviously hungry for revenge after falling on their asses in the Pac-12 Championship Game last year, and with the game being on their home field, with the pounding rain, pre-game injury announcements, and everything else, it just felt like the game could get away from us if we weren’t careful.
But, then the defense clamped down, and the tide overwhelmingly shifted to the Huskies’ favor. We forced a 3 & Out, blocked the punt, punched the ball in over the goalline to tie it up, picked off a couple passes, and were able to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.
The Huskies blew it open in the second half. A Browning to Quinten Pounds 43-yard touchdown made the game 17-7 on the opening drive. Colorado would hit a field goal to make it 17-10, and that’s as close as it ever got. Myles Bryant brought an interception back to the house, Salvon Ahmed got his first in-conference touchdown, Myles Gaskin busted one 57 yards for his second score of the evening, and then it was time for the reserves. An impressive 37-10 road victory over what I believe will be a very good Colorado team when all is said and done.
Gaskin was the man in this one. Before the game, it was announced that Lavon Coleman had a concussion and would miss at least this week, so the entire rushing load was put on Gaskin’s shoulders and he rose to the challenge. 27 carries, 202 yards, 2 TDs. Ahmed, as I noted, got some run with the first unit as well, and finished with 6 carries for 27 yards and a score. I can see why everyone likes him; he’s got a burst. It’s only a matter of time before he really makes a big impact.
The other big news of the pre-game was Byron Murphy breaking his foot and being out for six weeks. He’s our best cornerback, which obviously hurts, but we’re still really deep there (punctuated by the 3 picks in this one, including two by Jordan Miller), so hopefully we can weather the storm. It’ll be good to have him back for the stretch run, when the games get really tough at the end of the season.
Azeem Victor had a huge game, with 10 tackles, a sack, and a TFL. The receivers had a relatively quiet game, given how much we pounded it on the ground, and given Browning’s non-descript outing (11/21 for 160 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT).
Things could hardly have gone better for the Huskies this weekend. I think that will prove to be a big win for us. Oklahoma State lost, so we reclaimed our #6 ranking in both polls. We go to Oregon State this Saturday and they look like the worst team in the conference, so that should be another easy victory. After THAT, five of our final seven games are at home, with a BYE week also tucked in there for good measure.
It’s all setting up as it should, now we just have to go out there and win the games.