I spent the entire afternoon on Saturday tailgating to my heart’s content. There was beer, there was beer pong, there was food, there was chatting with friends. And then, before I knew it, I was whisked away, down the Padelford steps, along the Burke-Gilman Trail, down towards Husky Stadium …
Followed by a sharp right, down into the train tunnel, onto the train, and out at the Safeco Field stop. See, this would be my final Mariners game of the season, and it’s the annual Oktoberfest celebration. You buy a seat in a certain section, and you get a giant glass beer stein, a free beer, and the enjoyment of watching the Mariners beating up on the Rangers in a meaningless game in a meaningless season of our meaningless lives. I want to say I browned out through 78% of it, and I definitely got lost on my way back to the seats after wolfing down an order of wings and a hot dog (I think). The rest of the time, I want to say I was my usual charming, sophisticated self. My night ended on my friend’s couch.
In my inebriated state, I do seem to recall someone telling me the Huskies were up 35 to 0, so I had that to look forward to on Sunday morning. I DVR’d the game so I could watch it before the NFL kicked off, and boy was it a good one!
The running game was great (Ahmed had 86 on 10 carries with 2 TDs; Gaskin had 81 on 14 carries with 1 TD). Jake Browning was damn near flawless (23/25, 277 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, and an incredible 9-yard TD run just before halftime). Aaron Fuller led the way on the receiving side of things, with 8 catches for 107 yards.
After a punt on the first drive of the game, the Huskies scored on 5 of their next 6 drives (and, really, it should’ve been 7 of their next 7, except for 2 missed close-range field goals of 40 and 24 yards). For all the hype of BYU’s stout defense (I mean, they DID go into Wisconsin and come away victorious), the Huskies were able to do whatever the fuck they wanted.
And yet, somehow the Husky defense STILL out-played the offense! BYU had 7 first downs all game. They had 194 total yards! Only 34 on the ground! They did biff a 45-yard field goal in the first half, but still, we would’ve shut them out entirely if it weren’t for a Chico McClatcher muffed punt late in the 4th quarter. That was a legitimate Top 20 football team, and we DECIMATED THEM!
As a reward, the Huskies are back in the Top 10 in both polls. That was, without question, our most impressive win of the season, and it came at a time where we really needed it. Stanford did us no favors by losing to Notre Dame over the weekend. Utah did us no favors by losing to the Cougs (making our 14-point road victory that much less impressive). We were always the great hope of the Pac-12, and that’s only been further reinforced by what’s happened over the weekend.
This Saturday, we go to UCLA, who is currently winless and has looked pretty pathetic doing it. I couldn’t be less worried about this one – even if it is on the road – but my focus is squarely on Oregon in two weeks. They get to spend all this time working on JUST beating the Huskies, since the Pac-12 – in all of its wisdom – gave them a BYE week this week (while we get to go on the road in back-to-back games, because that’s fair for some reason). I’m already quaking with rage for when we go to Eugene and …
I don’t even want to think about it.
Just hope that the Huskies aren’t peaking too early. It’s hard to improve upon a game like that against BYU, but we might be going up against the very worst team in the conference this Saturday, so who knows? The onslaught starts NEXT week. Oregon is currently in the Top 20, Colorado is undefeated and in the Top 25, Cal was just in the Top 25 before losing to the aforementioned Ducks, and Stanford is in the Top 20 after losing to the aforementioned Fighting Irish. Then, there’s a creampuff in the Beavers before going on the road for the Apple Cup, at which time you have to hope the Cougars will be ranked (they’re currently 4-1 and looking MUCH better than anyone had any right to expect them to be).
I’m telling you, if we pull it off, there’s no WAY this schedule can be held against us when it comes to the playoffs!