Oregon? More Like BOREgon!

We like to have fun.

When you spend the better part of seven hours tailgating, playing lots of beer pong, eating lots of food, watching lots of football on a TV out of the back of a van, huddled around a fire and shooting the shit with friends, time tends to get away from you.  As such, first quarters of football games tend to get missed.  By the time we got into the stadium, and up to our 300-level seats, most of the first quarter had already passed.

And I wouldn’t say we were missing it, Bob!

Oregon put together what sounded like a pretty impressive opening-game drive:  15 plays, 62 yards, which resulted in a field goal.  That 3-0 lead (followed by a missed field goal on Washington’s opening drive) would be the high point of Oregon’s day, as the Huskies put up 38-unanswered to make this one a laugher.

The Ducks managed 278 yards of offense, only 31 through the air.  Sure, they were able to open up some holes here and there, but their quarterback wasn’t up to the task of making this game even remotely interesting.

My only real concern in this one was how the Husky offense looked.  The running game was there, naturally.  A total of 247 yards on 39 carries.  Both Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed had terrific games, going for 123 yards and a TD, and 84 yards and a TD respectively.  Dante Pettis got his, with 4 catches for 87 yards and a TD, as well as his 9th career punt return for a touchdown to set an NCAA record.  And, even Jake Browning had a quietly efficient game, going 11/19 for 204 yards, with 2 TDs and 1 INT.  Again, though, when you win a game by five touchdowns, you don’t really need to do a whole lot as a quarterback.

So, yeah, the offense was fine.  Couldn’t quite get into the 40s, but I’m not going to harp on it too much.

What we should all be talking about is how amazing this defense is, because fuckin’ A is it the best!

  • #1 in total yards with 2,168 (Alabama is #2 with 2,194)
  • #1 in yards per game with 241 (Alabama is #2 with 244)
  • #3 in total passing yards with 1,348 (Michigan is #1 with 1,285)
  • #2 in passing yards per game with 149.8 (Michigan is #1 with 142.8)
  • #6 in total rushing yards with 820 (TCU is #1 with 627)
  • #6 in rushing yards per game with 91.1 (TCU is #1 with 69.7)
  • #2 in points allowed with 100 (Alabama is #1 with 88)
  • #2 in points per game with 11.1 (Alabama is #1 with 9.8)

It’s just unbelievable!  We lose guys to the NFL/graduation, we lose even more guys to injury, and here we are still kicking ass and taking names.  Granted, Oregon isn’t anything special, and they do tend to shut down if you put a good defense in front of them, but that’s still a team capable of piling up yards and points with the best of ’em when they’re on.

With Stanford losing to Wazzu, that gives Washington a full game edge in the Pac-12 North.  Of course, we would lose that edge if we lose to either of those two teams (who we play in the next three weeks; at Stanford this Friday & vs. Wazzu the Saturday after Thanksgiving), but we’re right there in the driver’s seat.  With USC beating Arizona, all they have to do is avoid catastrophe when they go up against the dregs of the Pac-12 South (Colorado and UCLA) the next two weeks and they’ll be right there waiting for us in the Pac-12 Championship Game (with a BYE week in between, no less).

In the grander scheme of things, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and Penn State all lost.  The Huskies are now 9th in the AP Poll and 8th in the Coaches Poll.  I don’t know what that means for the College Football Playoff poll, but I see that TCU is going up against Oklahoma this weekend, as well as Miami going up against Notre Dame.  So, if we take care of business, that’s two more teams (at least) we figure to leapfrog.

I’ll admit, though, I’m pretty nervous about this Stanford game.  It’s our final road game of the regular season, it’s on a Friday night (where kooky things tend to happen), and we haven’t won a game in Stanford since 2007 (Jim Harbaugh’s first year with the Cardinal, when they finished 4-8).  Believe you me, I’m going to be pretty keyed up for this one.

After that, it looks like pretty smooth sailing.  Utah is a mess this year, and Wazzu doesn’t look NEARLY as good away from Martin Stadium.

One more hurdle.  Let’s go Dawgs!

The Huskies Kicked Off Conference Play With A Resounding Road Victory Over The Buffaloes

There’s a point in every football game where you start to wonder if the slow start your team is experiencing is more than just a slow start.  Panic sets in.  If this thing keeps dragging on the way it’s going, we could fucking lose this thing!

For me, that happened early in the second quarter.  Colorado got the ball first and pulled out a very methodical drive for a touchdown.  The Huskies took their opening possession to around midfield before Browning threw an ill-advised interception.  Then, once again, the Buffaloes were able to march down the field on an 11-play drive, which stalled at the Husky 40-yard line.  Washington took the next possession into the Colorado red zone, but whiffed on the field goal, and I felt like just enough bad shit was happening to make this One Of Those Games.

Colorado was obviously hungry for revenge after falling on their asses in the Pac-12 Championship Game last year, and with the game being on their home field, with the pounding rain, pre-game injury announcements, and everything else, it just felt like the game could get away from us if we weren’t careful.

But, then the defense clamped down, and the tide overwhelmingly shifted to the Huskies’ favor.  We forced a 3 & Out, blocked the punt, punched the ball in over the goalline to tie it up, picked off a couple passes, and were able to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.

The Huskies blew it open in the second half.  A Browning to Quinten Pounds 43-yard touchdown made the game 17-7 on the opening drive.  Colorado would hit a field goal to make it 17-10, and that’s as close as it ever got.  Myles Bryant brought an interception back to the house, Salvon Ahmed got his first in-conference touchdown, Myles Gaskin busted one 57 yards for his second score of the evening, and then it was time for the reserves.  An impressive 37-10 road victory over what I believe will be a very good Colorado team when all is said and done.

Gaskin was the man in this one.  Before the game, it was announced that Lavon Coleman had a concussion and would miss at least this week, so the entire rushing load was put on Gaskin’s shoulders and he rose to the challenge.  27 carries, 202 yards, 2 TDs.  Ahmed, as I noted, got some run with the first unit as well, and finished with 6 carries for 27 yards and a score.  I can see why everyone likes him; he’s got a burst.  It’s only a matter of time before he really makes a big impact.

The other big news of the pre-game was Byron Murphy breaking his foot and being out for six weeks.  He’s our best cornerback, which obviously hurts, but we’re still really deep there (punctuated by the 3 picks in this one, including two by Jordan Miller), so hopefully we can weather the storm.  It’ll be good to have him back for the stretch run, when the games get really tough at the end of the season.

Azeem Victor had a huge game, with 10 tackles, a sack, and a TFL.  The receivers had a relatively quiet game, given how much we pounded it on the ground, and given Browning’s non-descript outing (11/21 for 160 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT).

Things could hardly have gone better for the Huskies this weekend.  I think that will prove to be a big win for us.  Oklahoma State lost, so we reclaimed our #6 ranking in both polls.  We go to Oregon State this Saturday and they look like the worst team in the conference, so that should be another easy victory.  After THAT, five of our final seven games are at home, with a BYE week also tucked in there for good measure.

It’s all setting up as it should, now we just have to go out there and win the games.