Look, to try to recount every single way the Washington Huskies shot themselves in the foot would be an exercise in futility. A Browning fumble here, a mind-boggling interception there, a missed field goal, a missed targeting penalty that falls on both the refs on the field and the replay review board … I mean, my blood is boiling the more I think about this shit.
The losers of these types of games always say this, but I’ll say it anyway: THE BETTER TEAM LOST! Auburn didn’t deserve that win. But, I guess neither did Washington.
It’s not JUST Jake Browning’s fault, but boy does he carry his fair share of the burden. The thing is, he didn’t totally shit the bed. He threw for 296 yards and a 9.3 yard average. I’d argue the play-calling did him little favors, and he compounded those by making things a million times worse. I mean, if you’re throwing the ball away, THROW IT OUT OF FUCKING BOUNDS! You’re a 4th year starter; that’s a mistake a true Freshman makes! Also, if you’re going to run a fucking option play near the goalline, PITCH THE FUCKING BALL ON TIME! Once again, it smacks of Browning trying to do too much; trying to shed this label of him not showing up in big games. Just play within the offense and let your teammates make plays, THAT’S where Browning is elite. We don’t need him to be Russell Wilson, we just need him to be Alex Smith and manage the fucking game.
Also, man, how soft was that defense? They tightened up in the second half with some adjustments, but Auburn was still able to move the ball at will pretty much all game. No turnovers, only 2 sacks, minimal pressure on the quarterback, and our vaunted secondary was picked apart! Auburn’s mediocre quarterback was able to throw for 273 yards on 26/36 passing (and obviously a bevy of missed tackles were the shitty icing on top).
Just a fucking disaster from the get-go. Obviously, it’s never good when your starting left tackle is hurt, but there should be enough depth on this team to compensate. This was more about execution and I put as much of the blame on the coaching staff for not getting these players ready in time. You had all off-season! These looked like lost, scared little kids through most of the first half, and that’s on Coach Pete.
The shitty thing is that I don’t know how good Auburn really is. They didn’t look particularly elite to me; I could easily see them losing 3-4 games this year. We most likely lost to an inferior team in what was truly a home game for them, and losing that game will do us much more harm than the good of the fact that they’re on our schedule in the first place.
What I’m clinging to – because it feels wrong to abandon all hope on the season after 1 game – is that the Huskies are still a great team. So great, in fact, that I have no doubt we can run the table if we catch a few breaks here and there. Honestly, after some of the shit that’s gone down the last couple years, we DESERVE some breaks to go our fucking way! I thought the passing game in general really stepped up in this one; we might not see a better defense the rest of the regular season. So, that means we should be able to move the ball with regularity.
As predicted, this game came down to the Husky run game, and as I warned, if we ran for less than 150 yards as a team, we’d lose the game. We ran for 102 on 33 carries. Really, 8 of those carries were on the QB scrambling, so throw those away. Our actual running backs had 24 carries for 111, which still isn’t great, but it’s a fine average. Even though our pass game was getting big chunk plays, I thought we went away from the run too much. I also thought the team should’ve used Salvon Ahmed more, as his quick burst as a change-of-pace to Gaskin was able to gash them pretty regularly.
So, yeah, SHITTY start to the season. Got to put it behind us and get on with the rest of it. There are a ton of games left in the college football season and when it comes time to decide the bowl/playoff teams, no one is really going to remember a whole lot about this Washington/Auburn game. If I’m wrong and the Tigers are great, then the Huskies can hang their hats on playing them close; if I’m right and they’re mediocre, then whatever, it’s only one road loss in a tough environment against a pre-season top 10 team. The Huskies have to take care of business the rest of the way, so let’s go to work.