The rubber match is in the books and the win goes to Nebraska despite a pretty good effort by the Washington Huskies on the road. Officiating was a problem but it always is in a hostile environment.
In the end the true reason for the loss was that Washington's defense and special teams simply didn't get the job done well enough to come away with a win.
The first series is one that really stands out for me. A long kickoff return followed by blown pass coverage that allowed the Huskers to prance into the end zone for an easy TD to take the lead 7-0 before even a minute had elapsed from the game clock.
Steve Kelly of the Times decided it was time to call out defensive coordinator for the performance of his defense. When you factor in all the money this guy is getting to be here perhaps that type of criticism is fair. The first three weeks of the season have certainly been disappointing from a defensive perspective.
Do you blame it on the guy doing a Shrek impression over on the sidelines as Kelly almost suggests or go to the actual route of the problem on that play which is Quinton Richardson. How many times have we seen this kid fall asleep out there over the past four years?
Richardson has always been a mental mistake waiting to happen. Physically he has all the tools but mentally it comes and goes with "Q". Obviously his head wasn't in the game from the opening snap. Is that on the coach or the kid?
Holt's defense does line up out of position at inopportune times. A prime example of that was defensive end Haouli Jamora playing pass defense during one of Nebraska's second half TD passes. How exactly does that type of play develop or even happen? Where was the linebacker? Where was the cornerback? Where was the safety?
To be fair I saw overall team wide improvement on Saturday. I saw a lot of great effort which to me is extremely important after watching that emotionless opener against Eastern. The kids obviously care and they are working hard at getting better.
My grades for this game were overly generous in some respects. One reason is I didn't have time to watch the game twice like I usually do. Another huge reason is that this team left it all out there on the field on Saturday and if you are Husky fan you should be proud of these kids.
Cort Dennison is a prime example of a kid who left it all out there on Saturday. His body was almost completely covered by ice bags after the game. Sure the defense could have played better but could they have played any harder?
Keith Price led a three TD rally in the fourth quarter on two gimpy knee's. He came very close to putting up another TD before getting intercepted late in the game. I love the way Price leads his team and plays the game. He is a winner and Washington will win the majority of games that he starts.
A loss is always a loss. There are no moral victories anymore but keep in mind that teams seldom go undefeated. This a good team that will only get better. Next week is California at home and I like our chances to open conference play with a win over a quality Pac 12 squad.
ACC adds Pitt and Syracuse
The ACC added Pitt and Syracuse in a purely defensive move over the weekend. Both schools could have been coveted by the Big Ten if they made the move to 16 teams. The ACC of course has to be worried about the SEC grabbing 2-3 of its members over the next few weeks.
I will have a separate article on super conferences in the next day or two. It is obviously going to happen and the only real intrigue at this point is who is going to end up with who.
I only have one expansion wish and that is that the Pac12/16 does not make any special concessions to Texas if they decide to join. Texas needs us more than we need them and that is becoming more obvious with every passing day.
Pac 12 Power Ratings
1. Stanford...The Cards pretty much shut down Arizona which is what I expected. The Cards are really consistent on both sides of the ball. Next up is a week off for the Tree.
2. Oregon...Another scrimmage for the Ducks against an inferior opponent is in the books. Ducks should have no problem this week against Arizona in Tucson.
3. Southern California...Syracuse is far from being great but they aren't bad. The Trojans played well enough to move on up in our rankings. Next up is a showdown on the road against ASU on the road.
4. Utah...Wow! I picked the Ute's to lose on the road to BYU but somebody forgot to tell the Cougars. BYU turned it over seven times and Utah romped. The Ute's get a well deserved week off after pummeling their arch rival. They will be well rested when the Huskies come to town.
5. Arizona State...Tough loss for the Devils who were sacked six times on the road in 17-14 loss to Illinois. Next up is USC at home.
6. Washington...The Huskies showed a lot of potential in a close loss to Nebraska on the road. The defense however needs to step it up for conference play if this team intends to go bowling. Up next is Cal at home.
7. California...The Bears picked up a predictable win against an outmatched opponent. Up next is Washington which is a team they struggle against during good times and bad. The Bears also aren't a great road team.
8. Arizona...It is now officially a rebuilding year for the Wildcats. They simply weren't competitive with Stanford on Saturday. The schedule doesn't get any easier with Oregon coming to town this weekend.
9. Washington State...Just when you expect more out of the Cougars you end up getting less. WSU gave up 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to SDSU en-route to a 42-24 loss. This is a game they had no business losing. The Cougs get next week off.
10. Colorado...Nice 28-14 win for the Buff's against cross state rival Colorado State. Next up is Ohio State who fell out of the top 25 for the first time since Moses was a child.
11. UCLA...The Bruins fell behind 21-0 before they came up for air against a Texas team which isn't all that good. Things aren't looking good for the tenure of "Tricky Ricky". He lost his team and it shows in their performance every week. Next up Oregon State...Rick needs to win that one or he could be making an early season exit from the program.
12. Oregon State...The Beavers had a well deserved week off to prepare for a team that they can beat...see above. Next up UCLA....I will be cheering for the Beav's in that one.