I think I’m the Bad Luck Guy. There’s generally a common denominator with regards to the outcomes of important Husky football games. My friends and I like to gather together for the big ones. Huge opponents from another power five conference, bowl games, and the annual Oregon game. I can’t say that every time I miss one of these gatherings, the Huskies win, because that’s not true. But, what I can say is that the Huskies have ONLY won when I’ve had some serious FOMO, because I was doing other things. I’m sure my friends were gathered around the TV, screaming their heads off. Meanwhile, I was following along on the ESPN Gamecast while sitting in my seats at the Jane’s Addiction/Smashing Pumpkins concert at Climate Pledge Arena.
So, I don’t know what happened, exactly. I know this game didn’t look anything like my vision!
The only way the Huskies were ever going to prevail was to win in a shootout. I’d say a score of 37-34 qualifies, even if it didn’t look that way through the first half. The Huskies somehow nursed a 13-10 advantage at the break, which seems flukey as all get-out. We settled for two field goals that prevented us from really blowing things wide open. But, we also forced a timely turnover and lucked into a missed Oregon field goal.
The third quarter was nonstop touchdowns, five in all between the two teams. At this point, defense was non-existent, and it looked like that would be the case for the rest of the game. Which is what made Penix’s goalline interception so dire. It was 1st & Goal from the 1, you just can’t have a pick there. Oregon took the ball at that spot and almost put the game away. 20 plays, 91 yards, and over 10 minutes of 4th quarter game clock transpired. But, thankfully, we were able to hold them to a field goal, limiting our deficit to 7 points (34-27).
We got the ball back with just under 4 minutes left, with fans thinking about a potential Husky touchdown and Go For Two situation. It didn’t come to that, as on our third play of the drive – 3rd & 7 – Penix dialed up a 62 yard touchdown to Taj Davis to tie it back up.
Somehow, holding Oregon to a field goal on that 20-play drive woke up the defense, as we held the Ducks to a 4 & Out (going for it on their own 34 yard line on 4th & 1, and losing a yard on the play). It was unfortunate we weren’t able to ice the game right there, but we did net the go-ahead field goal from Peyton Henry with 51 seconds left.
I don’t know WHAT the fuck happened on the final drive of the game. All I saw was we had them on a 4th & 14 play, which they converted for 19 yards. Then, they threw another pass to get to midfield with 6 seconds left. Then, there was some “illegal touch-pass” that happened on a play that would have put them in field goal range, causing the play to be waived off and leaving them with an untimed down. Presumably, there was a hail mary that fell incomplete to seal it.
What a whale of a game! What an incredible ending!
There’s been a lot of chatter about what needs to happen for the Huskies to make the Pac-12 championship game. What’s unfortunate is that in years past, all we’d need is for the Ducks to lose one more. Then, we’d have the tie-breaker edge and go on to play the winner of the Pac-12 South. But, with this Top Two Teams/No Divisions nonsense, there’s officially A LOT that needs to go right for the Huskies to make it.
I keep thinking back to how many years where the Pac-12 North would’ve had the top two records, but it feels like this was implemented to help the Pac-12 South teams take control, and I don’t understand why I think this way.
Anyway, I think our shot ended when we blew it down in the desert against ASU. It was true then, and it pretty much remains true today.
In all likelihood, this won’t even prevent the Ducks from making the Pac-12 Championship Game. But, we eliminated them as a contender for the national title, and that’s something at least. Furthermore, we beat the fucking Ducks! What more do you need?!
That was our Super Bowl, and we came through victorious. I wish I could’ve been there to see it.
Michael Penix – aside from that one turnover – was magnificent. 408 yards and 2 TDs. We also managed – as a team – to rush for 114 yards (5.2 average) and a couple more TDs. But, I’ll say this, give me Peyton Henry as the hero of the game. He famously missed a kick in Oregon a few years ago, so this was a nice redemption story. But, more importantly, he’s been fucking nails this year. 15 of 17 (including 4/5 from 40+) and perfect on PATs. I don’t have much faith in college kickers – from ANY distance – so it’s nice to have someone we can rely on in big moments. It took him a while to get there, but Peyton Henry is a very good college kicker. I don’t know what that means for his pro prospects, but good for him either way.
Now, we play the hapless Buffaloes of Colorado before going on the road in the Apple Cup. Two more wins should get us to 10-2 on the regular season, which is pretty fucking amazing for Kalen DeBoer’s first year here. What an under-the-radar hire that might pay legitimate dividends down the line! This isn’t just a guy on a hot streak with someone else’s players. This is a guy who brought in a top tier quarterback, and totally revamped this offense into one of the best in the game!
Now, we just need to tighten the screws on this defense and we’ll be set.