The Huskies showed a lot of emotion in yesterdays Apple Cup win over Washington State. They were a completely different team than they were last week against Oregon State. Credit all the coaches and players for coming together and making it happen.
Quarterback - Keith Price was as flawless as a banged up guy could be hitting in 21 of 29 pass attempts including three touchdowns and no interceptions. It would be really interesting to see what he could do with some mobility. Perhaps we get that chance in either San Antonio or San Diego? Grade - A
Running Backs - Chris Polk turned in a great game against a Coug defense that was basically set up to stop him all night. Chris picked up 100 yards on 22 carries. Jessie Callier provided excellent spark out of the wildcat picking up 44 yards on four carries. Grade A
Receivers - Pretty interesting how Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian- Jenkins have grown over the last part of the season. Both have become big time targets. Jermaine had a nice evening and had only one drop that I noticed. Chris Polk continues to receive well out of the backfield which screams NFL ready. Grade A
Offensive Line - Washington won the game but these guys are still struggling. They are not sustaining their blocks long enough to spring Chris Polk for long ones or give Price the protection he deserves. You can blame it all on youth but Kelemete hasn't been exactly grading out well. He has been beaten badly numerous times over the last half of the season. - Grade C Plus
Defensive Line - I wished these guys had played with this type of intensity last week. They came in fired up and did a pretty good job until they let down in the second quarter. That let down allowed the Cougs to tie the game at 14. They regrouped after that and feasted on Lobster the rest of the evening. Five sacks really says it all. Josh Shirley had his best game as a Husky even though he tends to take some plays off. Ta'amu was magnificent. Thompson saved one of his best games for last too. Grade B Plus
Linebackers - Cort Dennison had his usual solid game. How many times have I written that over the last four years? We are all going to really miss this kid. Timu and Fuimaono had a great bounce back game after the nightmare of last weekend. You could tell the coaches had been working with them on their tackling. Fui had four tackles for loss! Grade B Plus
Secondary - Q Richardson silently had his best game of the season participating in seven tackles. Sean Parker is really starting to assert himself at safety. He had a nice interception off of a tipped ball. Hard to believe the Huskies only came up with one because the "Lobster" was handing out his Christmas gifts early. Grade B Plus
Special Teams - Folk missed a FG in the first half and continues to slump. He made up for it by hitting a 46 yarder in the fourth quarter. The punting was superb as usual. I think we will miss having two NFL quality punters on the roster next season. Coverage was decent and even though the Huskies didn't break anything in the return game they didn't make any major mistakes either. The blocked punt that was returned for a TD was a first during the Sarkisian era. Grade A
Coaching - The much (and unfairly) maligned Nick Holt did a great job preparing his team for this game. These kids could have easily mailed it in or even turned in a worse performance than last week but they didn't. They came out on the field fired up and prepared. They tackled and executed better than they have in weeks. Hats off to the defensive coaches and the senior leadership of players like Cort Dennison. It was definitely a solid team effort.
A number of you including myself think Sark is way too pass happy. That just may be the case but before making that statement watch the play of the offensive line closely. These guys aren't getting the job done and that makes it really hard to run the ball 35 times per game. If the Huskies don't have the arm and leadership of Keith Price they don't win the game. Grade A