Jake Browning threw for 293 yards and 3 touchdowns (and running for another), Dante Pettis caught 12 balls for 105 yards and 3 TDs, Myles Gaskin ran 15 times for 113 yards and a touchdown, and for good measure, Lavon Coleman returned from his concussion to run it 9 times for 70 yards, including an impressive 20-yard run on 4th and 10 early in the second half to set up a runaway touchdown.
Meanwhile, the defense held the Oregon State Beavers to 184 yards (only 74 through the air), 8 first downs, and a meaningless 4th quarter touchdown. No sacks or INTs, but they did recover a couple fumbles.
All in all, it was a nice 42-7 victory on the road to push Washington’s record to 5-0. With USC’s loss to Wazzu, the Huskies climbed to #5 in the Coaches Poll. The stupid fucking AP allowed Georgia to leapfrog the Dawgs, leaving us at #6 (cue immediate Georgia defeat this week). I mean, why even allow the AP to have a poll when half of them are just going to suck the dick of every SEC team?
Like just about all of our games this year, there wasn’t much to learn about the Huskies. They started off shockingly slow, able to take just a 7-0 halftime lead before turning on the jets in the 3rd quarter. Even our win in Colorado starts to lose some of its luster as the Buffaloes were narrowly defeated on the road to UCLA. I’m also hard-pressed to find anything in the way of talking points the next two weeks. This Saturday, we host Cal, who is already 0-2 in conference (and were just blown out by the Ducks); the following week we go to Arizona State, who has one of the worst defenses in all of college football. The Huskies should sleepwalk to a 7-0 record by the time we get to the end of the month to host UCLA.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love how this schedule shakes out. Obviously, the huge, glaring drawback is having a creampuff non-conference slate. But, let’s look at this thing here: we start the season ranked in the Top 10. That’s big. We follow that up by steadily beating up on the first seven teams we face, while many teams ranked ahead of us, or right around us, lose at least a game. Then, the meat of the schedule kicks in. The final five games, we face UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, and Wazzu (all but Stanford at home); the class of the Pac-12 (minus USC).
And, yeah, I’m right there with you, I’m not too impressed with what I’ve seen out of the Bruins. But, they’ve still got a Top 5 quarterback, they can put up points in bunches, and beating an L.A. school is always a good look.
And, sure, the Ducks are pretty far from where they once were. But, not too long ago, they were the best team in the Pac-12 for a bunch of years. They’ve still got a lot of talent, they too can score in bunches, and they were ranked in the Top 25 as recently as a week ago. The AP is just ITCHING to put them back in the Top 25 if they can keep it to 2-3 losses this year.
Stanford has that dreadful defeat to San Diego State, but they’re still (somehow) tough to beat at home, in spite of their non-entity of a home crowd. It wouldn’t take a lot for them to get back into the Top 25.
Utah is currently in the Top 20 in both polls, and they’ve been good ever since they joined the conference. A win over Utah is never an easy venture, so this should be a quality game.
Finally, Wazzu appears to be the only team that stands in our way of a Pac-12 Championship. They took down the mighty USC Trojans on Friday and looked GREAT on both sides of the ball. The Cougs play a lot of road games going forward (they started out with 5 straight at home; they finish with 5 of 7 on the road), so it’s hard to believe that they won’t stumble at some point. But, I don’t see more than 1 loss for them between now and the Apple Cup. There’s a CHANCE they lose at Oregon this week (in which case, I’ll have concerns about how the nation sees the Pac-12, even more than I already do), but I think it’s more likely the Cougs lose at home to Stanford or on the road to Utah, both games in November.
Also, that’s a curious scheduling job there, with Washington State getting their BYE the week before the Apple Cup. Very curious indeed.
Anyway, best case scenario has both Washington schools undefeated heading into the Apple Cup. That would put both Washington schools in the Top 10 and give the Huskies a tremendous quality win heading into the Pac-12 Championship Game.
From there, the best case scenario is obviously facing a 1-loss USC team. The 1-loss part shouldn’t be a problem, because the rest of the way the Trojans’ only difficult games are at home against Utah and on the road to Notre Dame (which isn’t even a conference game anyway, but is still one they will need to win to climb back into the Top 10).
The Trojans right now are only 14th in the AP and 15th in the Coaches; if they keep it to the lone defeat, on the road, against a Top 10 Cougars team, I see no reason why they couldn’t climb back into the Top 10. That would put a whopping THREE Pac-12 teams in the Top 10, at which point you wouldn’t be able to deny an undefeated Huskies team a slot in the College Football Playoffs.
The only concern is if the Trojans drop another one, and a team like Utah wins the Pac-12 South, while at the same time Wazzu Cougs it up a couple times before the Apple Cup. That’s why, I think, we had a lot of Husky fans who were rooting for USC last Friday in Pullman. Not just because we hate the Cougars, but because beating an undefeated USC team in the Pac-12 Championship Game looks A LOT better than beating a 2-loss WSU followed by possibly a 1- or 2-loss Utah for a second time.
But, you know, that’s how it breaks sometimes. It’s as much luck as it is talent, unless you’re Alabama, and then you don’t NEED luck because you HAVE so much talent.
God I love College Football!