The Tyrone Willingham era ended yesterday with a total thumping against the California Golden Bears in Berkeley. I don't think many of us expected a competitive game and we were rewarded with another bitter footnote to remember Willingham by as the team finished with an all time worst record of 0-12.
The Huskies were simply terrible yesterday falling behind 31-0 at halftime to a California team playing for nothing but fun. The defense barely put a hand on Cal's Jahvid Best who glided a school-record 311 yards and four touchdowns. You could tell the effort simply wasn't there.
"You hurt for your kids," said Willingham, a lame duck since his dismissal in late October. "You hate to see them have to deal with anything of this nature. ... I'm just disappointed that we didn't get done what we set out to do."
Willingham again hinted that Washington had institutional problems that impeded his effectiveness at the school, but he made no overt excuses for the mess Sarkisian is likely to inherit. you can expect more finger pointing by Willingham in coming weeks as he tries to save his career and get another shot somewhere. The 0-12 however is pretty tough to explain as is his overall record at Washington which makes him the worst coach record wise in Washington history,
"0-12 is just horrible!" Washington linebacker Mason Foster said. "It's appalling to go 0-12 ... [but] I think it's going to turn around real quick next season. Hopefully guys will take this season and remember it so we never have this feeling again."
Mason Foster was one of the few bright sports this season. The sophompore from California was one of the few bright spots this season finishing second in overall tackles in the Pac 10 this season.
"Going 0-12, I bet some of these guys, especially the freshmen, are kind of down on themselves," cornerback Mesphin Forrester said. "Since we played a lot of freshmen, I don't think they felt the passion for the game yet. It grows in you. You can't just walk into Husky Stadium and have it." "It's just terrible, terrible," Forrester said. "I've got to look at the bright side. I made a lot of friends, so that's good, I guess."
Washington will introduce Southern California offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian on Monday to replace Willingham, the former Stanford and Notre Dame coach who won just 11 games with the Huskies. Sarkisian will have his work cut out for him with this squad. It is going to take a lot of hard work in the off season to turn it around.