I love Husky night games. If it were up to me, ALL the games would be on Saturday nights, because either that means a full day of tailgating at the stadium, or a full day of day-drinking at home ahead of watching it on TV. Either way, I want to be blitzed by the time the Huskies take the field, and I want to use that lather to scream my lungs raw!
We didn’t quite have a full group at our tailgate last week, but we made the most of it. I was, of course, up at the crack of dawn, so I had a full morning to drink coffee, shower, go to Tower Lanes in Tacoma for breakfast, read the entire newspaper, do most of the puzzles in the Local section (making the Jumble my bitch, as usual), and buy all the necessities I needed for a day of drunken revelry (two 18-packs of Bud Light, two bags of ice, and one big ol’ Smart Water for my post-game re-hydration).
There only ended up being four of us playing beer pong, but we managed to go HARD in the motherfuckin’ paint. I’ve … I’ve had better days. Good thing about beer pong is that even if you lose, that just means you’re drinking more, so it’s not like you’re losing at all! Except when you spend hours on end arguing about fantasy football, in which case there are no winners. Do I yell and scream about our league’s rules like most people yell and scream about their political beliefs? Listen, I’m just trying to make our league great again, and if those cucks refuse to listen to reason, then I don’t know what to tell you.
Anyway, somehow we made it inside Husky Stadium for the start, and were rewarded with a wide receiver throwing an interception on the first play of the game, which I guess you don’t see every day. I know everyone’s killing it, but how many times have we seen that play work to our advantage through the years? What better time to do it than on the opening play of the game; who would POSSIBLY be expecting it?!
So, that led to ASU taking an early 7-0 lead. But, the offense was on point, and we were able to go up 14-10 by the end of the first quarter. From there, both defenses really took over, but moreso the Husky defense, which was its usual brand of fucking brilliant.
I read some recap on some blog somewhere about this game and the writer didn’t even once mention Ben Burr-Kirven, which is insane to me because he deserves to be the FIRST name mentioned when people talk about this game! Dude had 20 tackles! He was a MACHINE! I think we all liked him enough when he took over the starting job, but I know I didn’t expect him to be the force he’s become. He could go down as an all-time great when it’s all said and done!
It was a very interesting attack by ASU. I didn’t have the greatest vantage – sitting/standing in the open endzone (opposite the student section) – but it looked like they were really careful with their offense. They had 40 runs for 164 yards and actually averaged more yards per run than pass (4.1 to 3.9) as most throws looked to be of the bubble-screen variety. That put them in a lot of Third & Manageables and they were able to convert 9/17 3rd/4th downs. How they didn’t win the time of possession battle is mind-boggling to me, as it looked like their plan was to wear down our defense. Too bad for them, we had plenty in the tank.
The Husky rushing attack was spread pretty decently between Gaskin and Ahmed (86 and 71 yards respectively), and Jake Browning had easily his best game of the season (202 yards on 15/22 passing, with 3 TDs against 0 INTs). The real story was all the miracle catches hauled in by the likes of Aaron Fuller (3 for 50 and a TD), Ty Jones (2 for 43 and a TD), and Cade Otton (3 for 40 and a TD), among others. A lotta toe-tapping, diving sideline catches for big scores and conversions.
In the end, with just under 7 minutes to go, the Huskies were up 27-13. We punted to ASU and while the Sun Devils ended up scoring to pull it to 27-20, it took them over 4 minutes on 10 plays to do it. We got the ball back with 2:54 left, with ASU holding 2 time outs, and we did what championship teams do: we bled ALL the clock! After two runs made it 3rd & 6, Jake Browning converted on a beautiful pass to Andre Baccellia. An ASU personal foul penalty gave us another first down with just over 2 minutes to go, and we put it to bed from there.
Against a stout ASU team who beat a ranked Michigan State team, the Huskies took care of business. It wasn’t the cleanest, prettiest game, but we got the job done.
This Husky schedule is as tough and formidable as they come, and it doesn’t get any easier this week with BYU coming to town. The Cougars beat a top 10 Wisconsin team on the road, not to mention held an awesome Arizona offense in check, also on the road. They’re in the top 20 at the moment, so we’re looking at our first signature win of the season if we can pull it off. We know this much: they won’t be intimidated by our atmosphere, so the football team is going to need to bring it.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Huskies going forward, as we have back-to-back road games (including at Oregon, who’s also in the top 20), with another road game against a now-ranked Cal team right before our showdown at home against Stanford in early November. Running the table is still very much necessary, and it’s looking more difficult with every passing week.
Fortunately, the Huskies appear to be improving with every passing week. They’re going to need to keep improving if they want to make this thing happen.