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The Good, The Bad & The Unknown: Arizona State

The Huskies offense were very bad in a windy and rainy loss to Arizona State.

Stephen Brashear

The Good

Run defense - The Husky defense knew that they were going to see a lot of running with the weather conditions going into Saturday and they probably realistically could not have done a better job of holding up against it. The Huskies held the Sun Devils to just 2.4 yards per-carry and regularly did an excellent job of slowing them on first and second down.

Pass defense - The Husky pass defense got help from the weather, but overall did a good job of containing Arizona State's passing game and Jaelen Strong and held Taylor Kelly to just 180 yards. They gave up some tough touchdowns, but when you factor in that 36 of Kelly's yards came from the weird early tip ball, those stats are pretty impressive.

Goal line stand - The goal line was the most impressive a Husky defense has put together in a long, long time and it almost saved the game for the Huskies. The defense repeatedly turned away a good Arizona State offense just inches away from the end zone when all of the momentum had been handed to the Sun Devils. Also, had they gotten a questionable call and had there been a fumble ruled on the field on third down, the Husky defense could have got another touchdown.

John Timu pick six - Timu finally got the game-changing pick six that he missed against Oregon and Stanford and gave the Huskies hope not only making a great play on the ball, but having the speed to take it the distance for the only Washington touchdown of the game.

Hau'oli Kikaha - The nation's best pure pass rusher and maybe the best the Huskies have ever had was at it again with four tackles-for-loss and two sacks. He looked unstoppable at times and was a big part of why Kelly had so few yards throwing the ball.

Sacks - The Husky defense took advantage of Kikaha's skills, a banged up Kelly and the weather to get seven sacks against a still fairly mobile quarterback and a good offensive line.

The Hudsons - This was the best game I can ever remember from Andrew and Evan Hudson. Andrew had 10 tackles, two for-loss and two sacks and Evan had three tackles, blew up a screen, was generally around the ball and knocked down a key pass in the red zone, nearly creating an interception.

Deontae Cooper & Shaq Thompson - I thought Cooper and Thompson did a good job with expanded roles with Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington out and running behind a banged up offensive line. They weren't great, but they probably did enough to get the job done with the defense stacked against them and no help from the passing game.

The Bad

The passing game - Troy Williams certainly didn't impress in his first start, but I am not pinning this all on him with how bad the pass blocking, receivers' ability to get over him and weather was around him. Overall, almost nothing with the passing game worked in one of the worst passing performances I can ever remember a Husky offense putting together.

Turnovers - In a game where the Husky defense was playing lights out, this was a game where the Huskies could have won had they simply controlled the ball and not made mistakes, but they did not do that. The defense bailed the Huskies out of a blowout on the goal line stand, but Williams' two interceptions were back breakers.

Punting & special teams - Some if it had to do with the weather I am sure, but Korey Durkee had as bad of a game as Husky punter has had in a long time. His short punts made it very easy for the Sun Devils to win the field position game and make the struggling Husky offensive have to go a long ways for the score. I will lump the rest of the special teams units though because he got really bad snaps all game, the kicking game got a field goal blocked and the return unit erased a big return with a penalty.

Heartbreaking penalties - The Huskies yet again negated a huge John Ross return with a penalty (especially painful in a game where the offense needed a lot of help), a holding penalty put the offense in a horrible spot the play before the game-ending pick six and a penalty negated a blocked punt.

No Shaq on defense - Amazing, but kind of sad to think how good the Husky defense could have been had Shaq Thompson not had to be used almost exclusively on offense.

Offense letting the defense down, yet again - This is the most painful for me, especially since it is a running theme. The defense played lights out, but the offense being so bad, simply made it nearly impossible for Washington to win the game. The Huskies are squandering one of the best defenses in school history by fielding one of the worst offenses in school history.

The Unknown

Weather? How much did the ghoulish weather affect how the Huskies looked? Did it make the offense and Troy Williams look much worse than they actually are? Did it make the defense look even better than it is against a good offense?

Quarterback situation? It already looks like Cyler Miles is set to start against Colorado, but with the concussion situation, could he easily be pulled out of the game if he starts taking hits? Also, how much of a struggle would it take from him to get Troy Williams another look?

Running back situation? It sounds like Coleman and Washington could be ready to go, but you have to wonder how big of a load they will be able to shoulder and how much the staff is going to put on them.

Offensive line situation? It seems as if Ben Riva might never come back and Dexter Charles missed the game. When will these guys be back? And can the Husky offensive line put together a good performance without them?

How much can the defense do? It is sad to watch a defense play as well as the Husky D has played most of the year and get nothing from the offense. It is depressing to think that this team would probably be 7-1 right now and a legitimate longshot Playoff contender if they had even just a below average offense. It is insane to think that, not counting the touchdowns the Huskies scored against Oregon when the game was basically over, the Husky offense has scored just four touchdowns to the defense's three in Pac-12 play.

Now, can they avoid an upset? This Colorado team is much better than the teams that the Huskies have steamrolled in recent seasons.  They have already almost upset Cal, Oregon State and UCLA (all teams that look about as good as Washington). The Huskies still have much more talent than the Buffaloes, but they have a much more functional offense than the Huskies (Washington cannot afford to get behind), they are playing at home and should be very hungry to get a Pac-12 win after coming so close so many times. This is still the easiest game left on the schedule, but the Huskies are going to have to play well to get the win.