I have been waiting to write a story like this for the entire four years I have run this blog! I started the blog because everything was so completely negative about Ty Willingham. I gave Ty two years of grace and started judging him in his 3rd year. After the third year I felt he should be fired. It didn't happen and Jim Mora Jr. didn't become our head coach. Like Don Coryell during the late 60's and early 70's the timing just wasn't right and we ended up with some nobody named Don James after Mike White, Darryl Rogers, and Dan Devine.
Steve Sarkisian wasn't the first guy on the initial list after the dimissal of Ty Willingham. If you go back to 1957 a guy named Jim Owems wasn't on that list either. Washington wanted Duffy Daugherty, Pete Elliott, Bud Wilkinson, and Bear Bryant. They ended up picking from some up and coming assistants named Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi, and some guy named Jim Owens.
Fast forward to 2009 and a relatively unknown USC assistant coach has moved to Montlake and has guided a previously 0-12 team to a 2-1 record against two top ten teams in the first three games of his first season on the job. Make no mistake about it. Today's 16-10 victory over USC is an epic victory that signals the University of Washington football program is back after a six year hiatus.
It didn't look good early as USC drove down the field for a first possesion touchdown. It didn't look good after the second possesion when they went up 10-0. Frankly it looked like Washington was over its head and they were going to have a problem keeping it respectable in the first half.
Washington steeled itself on defense and only allowed USC a single field goal for the rest of the game! The heroes of the game are Nick Folk who kicked three feild goals and one PAT, TB Chris Polk who picked up tough yards all day against the toughest run defense he will ever play against, Mason Foster who made big stop after big stop, same with Donald Butler....well...I could go on and on...but every single player, coach, and Husky fan was a hero tody because it was a total team effort!
Husky Football is back!
This win will reverberate up and down the entire West coast. this victory guarantee's a top ten recruiting class. If you are Josh Shirley and were at the game today where else would you want to spend the next four years? This win was the early cement this staff needs to rebuild the talent pool. this win was one of the biggest in Washington history! You want to rebuild the stadium? This win was the cornerstone!
Sarkisian called this one conservative just like his mentor Pete Carroll. He trusted his defense to win it and they did. This is no sleight to Jake Locker who was masterful. Jake's game all day was about eliminating mistakes. When he needed to win it late in the fourth quarter they unleashed him
How about Erik Folk going 3-3 from the hash mark?
Before Erik made his last kick he put himself into his total zen spot. I watched him as they broke the huddle and he had a confident smile and knew he was going to split the uprights for three and the victory. It was up and good! Washington was ahead of USC 16-13 with three seconds to go.
Lets talk about Chris Polk. That was a gutty performance. He took some serious shots all day and kept his feet moving for extra yards. He fought for every inch he got all day! He picked up 71 yards on 21 carries against the best defense in the country. There wasn't an easy yard on offense all day long.
True frosh James Johnson caught seven passes for 70 yards. We are only taking about ten yards per catch but every single one was clutch, Jermaine Kearse had three huge carches or 70 yards. Jake Locker hit a total of nine recievers for 237 yards. Jake was 21-37. He ended up with a rare minus 15 yards rushing for the day. when he had to run in fourth quarter he did and survived the tough USC defense to fight another day which was one of the prime objectives of the day.
The big story of the day was turnovers. USC had three and Washington had none. I said earlier this week if Washington had a plus two turnover ratio it would be close, if it was plus three whey would win, and that is what happened.
Another big key is Jake Locker. Jake is the best QB in the conference by a side margin. The Husky defense has to face Jake very single day in practice. Facing Aaron Corp wasn't a real big deal. Once the Huskies adjusted to the speed of USC they gained the confidence they could play with these guys.
This was one of the biggest wins in Husky history. Savor it for a day or two and we will get ready to hit the road against Stanford next week.
Think Rose Bowl because we just knocked off the best football team in the country.
Anything is possible!
Key Stats of the Day
USC was 0-10 on third down!
USC had three devastating turnovers, Stafon Johnson and fullback Stanley Havili fumbling at the UW 26 and 16, respectively, and quarterback Aaron Corp throwing a third-quarter interception at the Washington 18. Washington erased a potential 21 Trojan points by taking advantage of those miscues!
The Huskies, though outgained 360 yards to 293, were 7-of-15 on third down, including two conversions on the winning drive.
Quotes of the Day from Nick Holt
Nick Holt: I will give the kid from Idaho credit. He is a big kid and he throws a strong ball, and had an excellent game. He was a lot better than the kid we played today.
Classy Quote from Pete Carroll
Carroll tipped his cap to Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who out-coached their mentor and his reordered staff in their rookie season outside the womb of winning that envelopes the USC program.
"When you really like people, you want good things to happen," Carroll said. "So I'm happy for them in that regard."
Slightly Less of a Classic Quote from Joe Mcknight who will be nursing some bruises.
"Washington wasn't the better team. They just outplayed us," said Trojans running back Joe McKnight, who ran for 100 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. "Clearly, we have superior athletes. But hard work beats athleticism every time. That's what happened today."