It wasn't a pretty game and Husky fans weren't very happy that the team went down to another loss in a game they could have won 24-23. The result brought up the usual questions about the coaching staff which have been reverberating ever since the Notre Dame loss. The major one is perhaps Steve Sarkisian should stick to managing the overall team and the game rather than having the extra burden of calling plays and running the offense next season.
The point has some validity because the head coach has a lot on his plate on game day and only so much time to get everything done. One of the things that didn't get done Saturday was a review of a questionable UCLA TD. First of all the Pac 10 officials should have automatically reviewed the play. Since they did not Washington should have called time out and requested the review. UCLA hurried to the line and kicked the PAT rendering any review moot.
Another point that has a lot of validity is this team even though it is 3-6 is much better than last years squad. We all complain that they should be 6-3 but in reality it is this coaching staff that has helped put the team in the position to be close enough in those games to come away with the win.
The 2009 squad is made up of the pretty much the same players that went 0-12 last season and were in the position to win at the end of only the BYU and WSU games in 2008. The 2009 edition is killing us because they have had a chance to win in the fourth quarter against every team but Oregon this season. That is progress and the only way things are going to turn those close losses into wins is having better talent and experience on the field.
A disturbing trend that I have picked up on inthe second half of the season has been a serious lack of depth and a lack of gas in the second half of games. This team is tired in the third quarter. an example of that was blowing a 9 point lead to UCLA in the second half. We can all the blame the coaches but a big part of the quotient is that this team is wearing down in the last quarter of the season.
I think the future of Husky football is bright and is in good hands. This is a major rebuilding project and the only thing that turns it around once and for all is a big influx of fresh talent. Sark intends to bring in a class of around thirty next season which would replace one third of the current roster. That is the type of class you can anchor your program with in coming seasons.
If you are a Husky fan that wait is excruciating. We all hoped that at the very least this team would become bowl eligible this season. With three games left that goal is still on the table but improbable because up next is the Oregon State Beavers on the road. Lose the next one and the team is just playing for respectability against WSU and California.
My advice is to not get too down on this team and its coaching staff. The wins are going to come and this staff is going to turn it around. Rebuilding a football program isn't an overnight process. Being competitive in almost every game is a huge step in that direction. None of us should be into moral victories and honestly this team should be 6-3 right now. The players, coaches, and fans know that. Lets see what happens over the next three weeks. There is lots of football still to be played.
Around the Pac Ten
Arizona 47 Washington State 7
The victory, combined with Oregon's loss at Stanford, moves the Wildcats (6-2, 4-1 Pac-10) within a half-game of the first-place Ducks. Arizona and Oregon are the only teams in the conference with just one loss.
Oregon State 31 California 14
Sean Canfield threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score Saturday night in Oregon State's 31-14 victory over California.
USC 14 Arizona State 9
Will Harris returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown -- one of four turnovers forced by the Trojans -- and No. 12 USC held on for a shaky 14-9 victory over Arizona State.
Stanford 51 Oregon 42
Gerhart ran for a school-record 223 yards and three scores, Andrew Luck threw for two touchdowns and Stanford held on to beat Oregon (No. 8 BCS, No. 7 AP) 51-42 Saturday to become bowl eligible for the first time in eight years. The loss drops Oregon into a tie for first place with Arizona in the Pac 10.
Pac Ten Power Ratings
1. Arizona...Mike Stoops has the Wildcats in a position to contend for the Rose Bowl. Up next is Cal on the road.
2. Oregon...The Ducks face ASU at home this coming weekend. The ASU defense will challenge the Duck offense.
3. Southern Cal...The Trojans are struggling on offense and next week they get a Stanford team at home that is very capable of beating them.
4. Oregon State...Riley teams get better as the season goes on. This team is no exception. Up next is Washington at home.
5. Stanford...The Cards are bowl eligible! Up next is a tough game with USC.
6. California...This is a hurting football team that hasn't performed that well. Up next is Arizona at home.
7. Arizona State...The defense is intimidating but the offense is very challenged. ASU might now win another game this season but they are going to make them all close and interesting.
8. UCLA...The Bruins break a five game losing streak and this week extend to 2-0 on the road at WSU.
9. Washington...Missed opportunities are killing this team. Up next is Oregon State and they look pretty scary.
10. Washington State...Coug's can't wait till the Apple Cup.
Pac 10 Offensive Player of the Week
Stanford's Toby Gerhart who led the Cardinal in an upset against Oregon.
Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Week
UCLA's Rahim Moore intercepts Jake Locker in the final minutes of the game to seal a victory against the Huskies.
UW Offensive Player of the Week
Chris Polk rushed for a career high 134 yards against UCLA.
UW Defensive Player of the Week
Donald Butler knocked UCLA QB Kevin Prince out of the game with a jarring hit in the first half and played tough all day.
Quote of the Week
"There are three games right there that could go either way that really kind of makes your season, and we just didn't get those games," Holt said. "And here we are 3-6 and battling for the last three games of the year to have a good season. So I think we are still learning. There's a lot of transition still."