Barring a catastrophic upset Saturday against Idaho State, it looks like Steve Sarkisian has finally led the Huskies out of their non-conference gauntlet unscathed for the first time. It wasn't a landmark accomplishment just for Sarkisian, though, as the Huskies haven't run the table out-of-conference since the last time they won the conference in 2000.
Now, before anyone gets too far ahead of themselves, the Huskies still have a game Saturday against Idaho State to seal the deal, and there is still a lot to learn from the their tough quasi-road win against Illinois.
Bishop Sankey - Maybe the best sneaky player in the country, Sankey doesn't blow you away with highlight reel plays, but man, can that guy fill out a stat sheet. 208 yards on the ground and a touchdown and 63 yards receiving and a touchdown - Sankey is the looks like he might be the Pac-12's best pure running back early on.
Yard stick - Like Sankey, the Husky offense overall has been putting up shockingly high amounts of yardage despite not being flashy. 615 yards on the road, against a much-improved Big Ten team, that's simply ridiculous.
Price is right - Keith Price continues to look like v. 2011 as opposed to v. 2012, and he put up a stat line that was almost as impressive as Sankey's. Nearly 350 yards with two touchdowns and only seven incompletions - the Huskies could be ready to take the next step in the Pac-12 if he can maintain this level of play in-conference.
Punching it in - Once again, especially in the first half, the Huskies didn't score nearly as many points as one would assume they would with the yardage they picked up. The Huskies' offense is sneaky because it lacks the big plays put points up on the board and is probably the difference right now between the Huskies' effective hurry-up offense and Oregon's devastating hurry-up. The Huskies have found a way to use the hurry-up for consistent production, but need to find a way to make big plays before it can truly take them to the next level.
Field position - Part of the reason why the Huskies gained so many yards without a ton of points was due to some terrible field position that seemed to stalk them all game. Special teams issues and turnovers, gave the Husky offense long fields all game, and likely prevented them from putting more points on the board.
Penalties - These were tough to stomach. For a while, it seemed like every Husky play was being marred by a flag, and unnecessary fouls on good kick returns played into their horrible field position. What's most concerning, is this appears to be a serious problem that has remained with them from 2012, and will cost them a game or two against better completion if they can't clean it up.
Missed tackles - The Huskies did a good job of bottling up Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, but could have made his day even worse, had they been able to get him down on the first shot a number of times. Scheelhaase regularly was able to get away from defenders and evade sacks and make plays, and the Huskies will have zero chance against quarterbacks like Marcus Mariota or Brett Hundley down the road if they can't figure out how to break down against mobile quarterbacks.
Level of competition - These early-season non-conference games can sometimes be misleading, and while Boise State and Illinois have looked strong at times in their games outside of their match-up with Washington, neither look like huge wins at the moment in the grand national scheme. How good will these wins look at the end of the season, and do their outcomes truly point to Husky improvement?
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - The All-American candidate might have had his worst game as a Husky in his first game back from suspension. Seferian-Jenkins had just eight yards on three catches, had a penalty, and struggled in pass protection. Was he just rusty, or did a perilous off-season take a toll on the big man?
Kasen Williams - Much of Williams' silence has been due to guys like Kevin Smith and Jaydon Mickens exploding (which is great), but Williams has just seven catches two games into the season and hasn't been targeted a ton. Could it be a similar situation to the one in 2011 where Jermaine Kearse's stats slipped because of the emergence of a number of other great targets?