clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Mailbag: “Death to the Streak” Edition

New, 91 comments

Every time I’m about to achieve true happiness, a part of me says, “You don’t deserve this.” And another small part replies, “I agree.”

USC v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
  • Ants come sometimes misinterpret the chemical trails left by other ants, and start walking in circles. If too many members of the colony join in, it can kill off the entire colony in what is sometimes known as a “death spiral.”
  • Children grow faster in the spring time.
  • Scotland has more red heads than any other part of the world.
  • Alabama was the first state to officially recognize Christmas as a holiday.
  • Lithuania has the highest suicide rate in the world.
  • Venus fly traps can eat cheeseburgers.
  • The first toilet ever shown on television was on the show “Leave it to Beaver.”
  • A snail can have up to 25,000 teeth.
  • The sister ship of the Titanic was the Olympic, and she provided 25 years of service.
  • Truck driving is the most dangerous occupation by accidental deaths.
  • According to census information, the chances of being born male are 51.2%.
  • Ithyphallophobia is the fear of seeing, thinking about, or having an erect penis.
  • A swarm of locusts can eat up to 80,000 tons of corn per day.
  • There was once an underwater post office in the Bahamas.
  • The red spot on the 7-Up logo is a tribute to the inventor of the drink, who was an albino and had red eyes.
  • An amount equivalent to 15-20% of the blood pumped by the heart each minute passes through the brain.
  • “Judge Judy” Sheindlin had a salary of $25,000,000 her last year of work. The highest-paid US Supreme Court justice makes $255,500 per year.
  • Hedenophobia is the fear of pleasure.
  • In 1859, 24 rabbits were released in Australia. Six years later, the population of rabbits was estimated at approximately two million.



Was Tedford in the booth? Seems like he may have been during the first quarter but then caught a flight to Fresno


Why do you think the coaches decided to abandon the run and go pass heavy when part of Jake's strength is ability to hit short passes and mix it up to keep it balanced? Do you think this unbalanced attack is going to carry over to asu, or more importantly wsu? Since I live 8 miles from Pullman and rep my huskies every day, I want some assurances that the coaching staff won't mess with their winning formula and make me miss out on the opportunity to rep the huskies as kings of the north for the next year to the oh so gracious cougar fans.


So that was obviously because Tedford is gone, right? /s

UWDP: Listening to the Honks show on my drive home from the game, it was good to hear how quickly Husky fans were to jump back on Jonathan Smith following the USC game. The second caller, in fact.

I’m waiting for fans to jump on Jonathan Smith’s interview in the Seattle Times, where he talks about not having a lot of success in the run game.

The thing is, the Huskies didn’t actually abandon the run until the fourth quarter. The first half, and even the third quarter, looked very much like every Husky game this season in terms of run/pass ratio. There was a concerted effort to make plays early throwing the ball, just like every game, and to have that open up the running game later. Just like every game. In the first half, counting sacks as pass plays, the Huskies had 35 plays - 16 runs, and 19 passes. Three of those passes came in the last 23 seconds of the half as the Huskies tried to quickly get in to field goal position.

In the third quarter, the Huskies ran 13 plays - 8 passes, 5 runs. Again, sacks and scrambles count as passes, other than the designed Browning run on fourth down. Three of those passes came on 3rd and 9, 2nd and 16, and 3rd and 7.

The first time the Huskies got the ball in the fourth quarter, they were down 24-13. Every play in the fourth was a pass. There was ample time left. They could’ve run the ball, and I think they should have, as what the offense really needed was a sustained drive to get some momentum from real success, not just the bravado that comes from a big play. But it’s not indefensible to suggest that a rushing attack that had gained 54 yards on 20 carries through three quarters might need to be shelved with a two score deficit. I don’t necessarily agree, but it’s not illogical. And I think the fourth quarter impacts the perception that a lot of people have on the rest of the game.

Did the Huskies spend too much time trying to run wide on USC? Maybe. But the actual number of plays that were called wide (as opposed to being taken wide by the running back) was very low. I think it was two carries by Gaskin, one by Ross, and one by McClatcher.

In short, I think the execution was a much bigger problem than the play calling. The offensive line struggled, and Jake Browning didn’t have a great game. Nor did his receivers.

I don’t expect the offense to change next week, or the week after. Chris Petersen and Jonathan Smith are still going to use the pass to set up the run, just like Petersen has done in virtually every game he’s coached either as an offensive coordinator or head man.

I expect the Huskies to come out throwing on Saturday against ASU. The Sun Devils’ blitzing style makes them susceptible to big plays, so I think you’ll see Browning throw the ball down the field. For the Huskies to win, he needs to get back to what he does best - beating teams with his head, before the snap. And I think the running game is going to have success, just like it has every game but one in Pac 12 play. Fans are going to have to live with negative plays; that’s the nature of the beast against teams that live on pressure.

WSU scares me, as they have a good defensive line. I’m not going to think about that one this week, though.

Combat Learjetter:

I'm a Husky/Hawks fan who hasn't been to a home game for either team since I moved away from Seattle in '03.

Watching on TV, I'm always impressed by the 12th Man at Seahawks games and their ability to make noise anytime the D is on the field. What's up with Huskies fans?

I'm guessing the young millineal demographic that frequents Seahawks games wasn't around when UW was any good and therefore skips the games on Saturdays. Is that it? Is it getting better with the new stadium and/or a carryover from the 12's reputation for noisemaking?

UWDP: I’ve watched the game several times now, but haven’t paid attention to the crowd noise. It seemed pretty loud at the stadium. Not as loud as Stanford, but part of that is the nature of playing from behind as opposed to playing with a lead. And trailing a team you’re expecting to beat, as opposed to leading the conference bully....

I thought I heard that attendance was over 72,000. A couple thousand over capacity.

Do millennials go to Seahawks games? Those are pretty spendy tickets.


Is our defense good enough to compete for a Pac-12 title minus 2 of our best players?

Was Saturday a fluke or is the run game a serious issue for this team?

UWDP: To the first part, absolutely, unequivocally yes.

The defense against USC wasn’t dominant - it was highly flawed, even - but the Huskies held USC to 26 (really 24) points. That’s a good enough effort to win the game. Any game. T

Without Joe Mathis and Azeem Victor, the difference is that the defense isn’t going to be able to win games like this on its own. That’s the real loss of those two all-conference-caliber players. With them the Dawgs could win a game with only one side of the ball playing well. That’s the sign of a dominant team. Without them, the Huskies will need complete, team efforts to win games like the one last Saturday. That didn’t happen. The key breakdowns of the defense (like the touchdown drive in the last two minute of the first half) only become so because the Husky offense couldn’t counter the Trojans’ punches.

The defense wasn’t truly “bad” by any stretch on Saturday, it just wasn’t its usual immovable object. It was merely “really good.” And imperfect.

For the second part, do you mean on offense or defense? Defensively, the Huskies were actually really good against the run. Ronald Jones, who is a very good Pac 12 running back, was held to 93 yards on 23 carries, for four yards a carry. His long run was only 12 yards. As a team, USC averaged 3.1 yards per carry. That’s good defense.

Offensively, the Huskies simply never got moving, through the air or on the ground. The first half of the game simply had no flow, particularly on offense. In the second half, the Huskies just didn’t get very many snaps. Only 13 in the third quarter, and 54 for the game. As I said, I believe they could’ve, and should’ve, run the ball in the fourth quarter. The running game was actually better than the numbers suggested in the first half with Myles Gaskin. There isn’t a team left on the schedule with a defensive line that can do to the Huskies what USC did. I have plenty of confidence in the rushing attack.


I need to know right now! Is Foster Sarell committing to UW?!?!?!?

UWDP: Since I have no idea, I’m going to say No. That way, if he does, you can be pleasantly surprised.

You’re welcome.


Are the struggles our heroes demonstrated vs USC fixable within the scope of the season?

UWDP: Some yes, some no.

A lot of them are going to fix themselves simply based on not facing USC again in the regular season. Coming in to 2016, a lot of people considered the Trojans’ offensive line to be the best in the conference. They got off to a slow start, but have been rolling the last six games. While their defensive line was an unknown, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that the team as loaded in talent as the Trojans managed to find players. The transfer in of #96 Stevie Tu’ikolovatu from Utah has bolstered that immensely.

No team has won the battle in the trenches like USC did. WSU has good offensive and defensive lines, but they aren’t quite the same caliber. Washington will still have to continue to blitz more than they did early in the season, but the four-man rush is going to have more success the next two weeks than it did on Saturday. Offensively, it’s the same thing. The line should look better simply due to the level of competition. Arizona State brings so much pressure so frequently that they will get to Jake Browning, and they will create negative plays in the run game. But that pressure will also naturally create big plays for the offense, if they can maintain their poise better than they did Saturday.

The Huskies won’t have Joe Mathis or Azeem Victor in the lineup. Those things can’t be fixed. Their replacements won’t have the same impact. But the defense behind the blitz can certainly be better. And the defense can be more assignment-sound in general.

While Saturday was bad, I don’t think it’s a death knell to the season. USC didn’t show a recipe to defeat Washington, outside of having playmakers other teams don’t have.


The Huskies currently have 15 commits and projected to have 17 scholarships available with many other prospects in play. Is it likely (or even possible) that the staff would pull any scholarships from current team members that likely will never see the field in order to create additional scholarship space ?

Size matters:

When does UW start having big recruiting classes again? Isn't next year's senior class small too?

UWDP: Steve Sarkisian is vilified by many for the practice of “pulling” scholarships. It’s possible it was the manner in which he did it. But I think it’s entirely possible that the Huskies’ coaches are going to have to encourage some players to consider other options for their football careers after this season. It’s the ugly part of the game. I don’t think Chris Petersen is going to give anyone the proverbial boot, but I do think he’s going to have to have some difficult conversations with upperclassmen that don’t have a realistic chance to see the field. I’d expect that some of the players will make the choice on their own. Some will leave early for the NFL draft. There’s typically a injury retirement or two each offseason. But Chris Petersen is going to do what’s necessary to upgrade the talent on the roster, and it’s largely semantics as to how it’s different than any other coach in the country.

I think there are 22 scholarship juniors on the roster right now. Three or four are likely to leave after this year for the draft (Budda Baker, Sidney Jones, and then possibly one of John Ross, Elijah Qualls, Azeem Victor, etc.). So that’s 19 scholarships, call it. Add two or three more for attrition of one type or another. That’s a reasonably decent sized class.


I wish to retract my question from last week regarding media respect, etc. They may have been correct. How could I have been so foolish? In all honesty, UW has a better record than I thought they would at this point in the season. Am I bummed by a loss? Sure. Am I still pumped about this team and it's future? Without question!

UWDP: I’d resist the urge to read too much into a single game. I don’t think the Huskies are as bad as they looked against USC, just like I didn’t think they were world-beaters after the games against Stanford or Oregon.

With maybe the exception of Alabama, every team in the country is flawed. We’re just more aware of the ones the Huskies have because we pay so much closer attention to them.

Prior to the injuries to Mathis and Victor, the Huskies were enjoying a lot of good fortune this season. That might not be the same case, even in a year the team is better than this one. And for as imperfect as Jake Browning looked against USC, he’s still an exceptional quarterback. The Huskies may very well have a hard time replacing him.

But I agree. The future is bright. The offensive line will be better next season. The talent at receiver is on the rise. There’s no reason to expect this team to be a one-hit wonder. The thing to keep in mind is how much luck it takes to finish a season undefeated, or even with a single loss.


With the loss of Victor, would they consider moving Ezekiel Turner to linebacker for depth. The guy brings some violence, when he hits people. And at 6'2" 210 almost as big as Beavers.

UWDP: I’d put the odds of that only slightly above zero, if you mean during the season. For one thing, Ezekiel Turner is a fairly important component of the depth at safety. For another, he’s never played the position. The learning curve is just way too steep to think he can make the change.

During the offseason, it’s a thought. It’d take a tremendous amount of work on Turner’s part, and it’d only be a one-year stop-gap. I think you’d see outside linebackers moving inside before you’d see that.

The coaches do a lot of experimentation during the spring. It’ll be interesting to watch how position battles develop the first part of 2017.

PAC12 NFL QB prospects:

Rank the current starters by their likely draft position. Please comment on draft year.

UWDP: I sort of have to make some assumptions about your question. Do you mean all Pac 12 quarterbacks (as your name would suggest), or the current Huskies?

I’ll choose the latter.


All-American Sidney Jones is going in the top half of the first round. If he manages to run faster at the combine than I’d wager (I think he’ll be 4.5 =/- 0.02), he could get into the top 10.

Budda Baker could get into the bottom half of the first round. But he’d probably need to run really fast as well, as he just isn’t quite big enough right now for a draft that’s based on potential as much as accomplishment.

If Elijah Qualls leaves, I’m wagering he shows up to the combine at around 300 pounds instead of the 320 he’s playing at right now. With big numbers, he could go in the first, but probably the 2nd.

I’m really interested to see where Kevin King goes. On the one hand, he’s 6’ 3”, and he’s shown incredible speed and quickness at the Husky combines. On the other hand, he’s probably fairly generously listed at 192 pounds on that 6’ 3” frame. I don’t think a single Husky has done more to improve his draft stock during his career than King. I think there’ll be a team that falls in love with his size, and he ends up in the first round.

I don’t think John Ross has the size or the body of work to be a high draft pick this year, although I think a lot of other people do. He’ll have to play the slot in the NFL, and he just hasn’t shown that type of stuff this year (largely due to opportunity). Teams would love his speed, but I don’t think that’s enough. 3rd round, maybe later. Probably later.

I think Azeem Victor would be a 3rd round-type guy as well. The combine would be important for him, as he’d need to show the lateral quickness that translates to pass coverage.

I don’t think Psalm Wooching, Jake Eldrenkamp, or Darrell Daniels are realistic draft candidates. I think they’ll get opportunities as undrafted free agents (particularly Daniels, due to his speed).


Depending on who stays and who goes from this year, it gets tougher to project here.

Anybody that stayed from above probably plays himself up a round. If Ross shows the ability to make contested catches and has a role that involves him playing the middle more, he could move up even higher.

Dante Pettis could be a late-round guy, especially if he continues to show well as a punt returner.

Vita Vea has incredible power and size. If he leaves, he’ll get drafted highly because of that alone.

I don’t think Jake Browning leaves early. Nor Greg Gaines.

With big years, one or both of the offensive tackles could have a tough decision. Both are relatively athletic, and have the size the NFL will love. I don’t know about either’s sheer strength, though. That could be an issue. Either would be drafted, but it’s just a matter of where. It’s tough to predict what the class would look like for offensive tackles, but they’re always valued.

Drew Sample and Coleman Shelton will be interesting to see. I think both need to have big senior seasons to get drafted, but there’s a realistic opportunity.

Beyond the next two years, it’s just way too tough to say. The talent and development in the program are on the rise - significantly so - and Huskies in the early rounds of the draft will be the norm moving forward.

Denver Dawg:

Assuming UW wins out (not as safe an assumption now as it was before Victor's injury), rank your preference of P12 championship opponents among USC, Utah and CU.

UWDP: Of those three, I think Colorado is the team the Huskies can beat the easiest. I certainly get how well they’ve played this season and the dramatic improvement they’ve shown, and I think it’d be a tough game. But they aren’t playing their best football right now, and I just think Utah and USC (in particular) are tougher.

From the standpoint of the wins that most help the Huskies if you’re concerned about the playoffs, the answer is Utah. The reasoning is that it means WSU gets a bump in value prior to the Apple Cup by beating the Buffs, and then the Dawgs beat WSU. Utah maintains its positioning by also beating the Buffs, and their win over USC has more value as USC wins out. The Huskies then beat the Utes in the championship game, giving them a win over a top-10 team, plus Stanford sneaks back into the rankings. The loss to USC has similar weight as Ohio State’s to Penn State.


What is being done to improve our kicking and punting?


Will the Dawgs be holding open tryouts for punters anytime soon? Can we get someone from the soccer team to lend us a leg for the final few games?

UWDP: Nothing is going to change this season. We just have to hope Tristan Vizcaino improves (or at least becomes more consistent), and that the coaching staff figures out what went wrong on the field goal attempt against USC that was blocked.

The Huskies are going to have three kickers on scholarship next season. It could be scary again next year.


How would you rank the concerns fans have about the team following the loss?

A: Lack of Pass Rush

B: Jake's timing with receivers on deep throws

C: Linebacker depth after Victor injury

D: Offensive Line failing to establish run and create a clean pocket

E: Play-calling giving up on the run

F: Any other concern you may have about the team

UWDP: Here’s the way I see it:

1A and 1B are the lack of pass rush, and Browning’s play in general, not specific to the deep ball. It’s a matter of whether you value offense or defense as to their relative order.

The lack of pass rush changes every thing the defense does. On offense, it’s very clear that Chris Petersen and Jonathan Smith place an extremely high value on establishing the passing attack at the outset, and will keep coming back to it until it’s able to do so. Outside of the running game simply blowing defenses out of the water from the outset, the run is subservient to the pass, and always will be.

2 is the offensive line. But as I’ve already said, I think the biggest factor in their performance was USC. The line has exceeded reasonable expectations this season. I think they’ll continue to perform at their “normal” level the rest of the year.

3rd is the depth at linebacker. It’s been the shakiest position group on the defense all season in my estimation, and taking two injuries there is a serious concern.

As I already said, I’m not entirely as convinced that the offense “gave up on the run” outside of the fourth quarter as some seem to be.

The other things I’m a little worried about are A). The mental state of the team following its first loss, and B). The defense being assignment-sound, as they move from a very base defense to one that has to blitz frequently.


How much of the U$C game came down to being out executed, and how much came down to our guys just getting beat? Their D line had their way with our O line all night, while our D line was ok against the rush but pretty poor getting pressure on Darnold. This doesn't appear to be a problem with a quick fix, but thankfully that's probably the best D line we'll see for the rest of the season.

UWDP: I’d probably call it 50/50. USC played very well, and it was going to be a challenge regardless. I think both units would say that they have the potential and the ability to play better than they did. Neither group had any real success, and couldn’t seize any sort of momentum. If the Huskies were able to match USC score-for-score, I think both groups would’ve been able to show a little bit tougher mentality.

Two hypotheticals:

What if that USC team played Alabama? What if the Colorado QB does get injured against Michigan?

UWDP: I don’t think the USC team that has taken the field the last few weeks has a realistic chance to beat Alabama, but I think they could give the Tide as good a game as anybody has this season.

USC’s improvement isn’t just about the QB position, although Sam Darnold has been an upgrade that’s given the team a lot of confidence. But Max Browne’s presence doesn’t explain the pedestrian performance of a very talented offensive line to begin the season, nor a defense that was good-but-not-great.

Whatever the intangible factor that triggered it, USC has flipped a switch and become a much better team today than they were in September. This Trojan team would smoke Stanford. And I think they’d take down Utah as well.

Colorado got off to a great start against Michigan, but I don’t think they were ready to win that game regardless of who was at quarterback. And really, the wheels were starting to come off before Sefo Liufau was injured. After going up 21-7, Colorado’s offense consisted of two big pass plays (one for a TD) and a whole lot of nothing else. Michigan had the momentum.

Safety counts:

Any update on the new helmets that almost debuted this year?

UWDP: I haven’t heard a peep. I’d be interested in hearing anything anyone else might know, though.

If I was marketing a new helmet, I’d be incredibly leery of attaching any kind of “safer” label to it; that just seems like it’s setting oneself up to get sued.


What was up with all the passes to the middle? Can we prevent this in future games or am I to believe our LBs can't cover?

UWDP: Some of this we looked at in this week’s film study. There were a few coverage breakdowns, and the lack of a pass rush hurt on occasion.

One thing we didn’t touch on in that article though, was this route concept that USC ran successfully several times. You see two receivers cross in front of the linebackers, mostly to occupy the linebackers’ attention. A third receiver runs behind the linebackers, and settles down between them. On this particular play, either the safety (Taylor Rapp) needs to stay with the receiver, or he needs to communicate with the linebackers.


Does Jake Browning have a "weak arm?"

UWDP: No, not really. Arm strength will never be a “plus” for him, but he falls into the category of “average.”

Throwing a football hard and far isn’t really about the strength in one’s arm as much as it is the ability to transfer power from the lower body to the upper body. It’s not a matter of Browning hitting the weight room harder as much as it is being born with a preponderance of fast-twitch muscle fibers. Browning wasn’t. That’s just life. I’m personally very well aware of how disappointing this condition is.

When Browning is able to set his feet and put his entire body into a throw, he’s able to generate enough velocity to complete the really tough throws, like the deep outs that travel from a hash mark to the opposite sideline 15 yards down the field. That’s a much tougher throw, and one that’s more critical than the long lob down the field. Browning is never going to make that throw off his back foot the way a select few can, so he needs to compensate by throwing the ball with tremendous anticipation and timing. He’s done that virtually this entire season.

The issue on Saturday was much less about Jake Browning’s arm than it was his head. His decision-making.


ASU is going to do their best to disrupt the comfort level of Jake Browning to defeat our passing game. Graham will be dialing up the blitzes on every Husky possession. Is this the game where we need to see the TE's get some passes thrown to them over the middle?

Can our O-line alone defeat the blitz strategy, or will they need some increased help from the backfield? If we can't get the running game going (ala against USC) are we (pardon the expression) dead ducks?

UWDP: Throwing to tight ends is certainly one opportunity to defeat the blitz, but my guess is that you’ll see a lot of instances of them staying in the backfield to block.

It’s surprising to me, but the tight ends have combined to average around 2.5 catches per game. I thought that number would be much higher.

I think you’ll see Dante Pettis and Chico McClatcher have big games catching the ball. I think John Ross will have a few passes thrown long in his direction. Arizona State gives up a ton of yardage in the passing game - teams are averaging nearly 400 yards a game against them.

I really don’t think the Huskies are going to have significant problems running the ball on Saturday. Nor throwing. Arizona State will create negative yardage plays, but they are very prone to giving them up as well. And while that defense will present some unique challenges, the fact of the matter is that it just isn’t very good. The Sun Devils are allowing almost 38 points per game, and are tied for last in the conference by allowing an average of 6.8 yards per play.

The Husky offense had a poor game on Saturday, but they didn’t suddenly become bad. The Dawgs will score points. They’ll put up big plays.


Why in the flying frickitey frackity frack is Ty Jones a three star? He is a nominee for the US Army player of the year thing (As are Foster Sarell and Tate Martell, among others)... at what point does he get bumped up?

UWDP: Not really my area of expertise, but it’ll probably take a big showing in the practices leading up to the Army All-American game. He just hasn’t had the chance to show what he can do against good competition.

While I’m sure Jones would rather have four stars next to his name as opposed to three, I wouldn’t get too hung up on it.


How long before the CFP expands to eight teams?

UWDP: There needs to be some real controversy first. Right now, the committee is looking pretty good in their selections; the somewhat controversial decision to include Ohio State in 2015 looks like sheer genius. There isn’t an impetus to change anything.

The other reason, and maybe even a more compelling one to the powers that be, would be money. The current deal runs through the 2024-25 season. I’m sure there will be at least some floating of the idea to expand at that time.

Not My Conference Champ:

*Knocks on wood* On the slight chance that WSU ends up winning the north, and maybe even the Pac12, how poorly does their loss to FCS Eastern Washington reflect on the conference?

UWDP: It’s already a tremendous reflection on WSU (negatively), and hence, the conference.

For example, Colorado has lost to better teams than WSU, but their wins certainly aren’t better. I have a tough time buying the argument that Colorado’s resume is somehow 12 spots better than the Cuogs in the current playoff rankings.

I have no love for anything WSU, but they are currently getting screwed by the playoff rankings. As a Husky fan, we should want them to be higher. Much higher.


I hear a lot of fans saying they'd be happier playing in the Rose Bowl than getting pounded by Alabama in the playoffs. But is there really even a scenario at this point where UW could go to the Rose Bowl?

UWDP: Yes, and it’s not unrealistic by any stretch. The Huskies could win out, win the Pac 12, and get left out of the playoffs. I think the odds of that happening are lower than the Huskies making the playoffs by winning out, but they exist.

If WSU loses to Colorado on Saturday, the Cuogs will drop out of the playoff rankings. A UW win over them won’t help much in the eyes of the committee.

I’d love to be in the playoffs. I’d love to play in the Rose Bowl. But for me, some of the shine has been lost off the granddaddy. It’d likely be even worse this year, because the Huskies would be playing someone other than the B14G champ.


Former Oregon Duck QB Joey Harrington is opening a restaurant. This seems like a bad idea to me. This is not a question.

UWDP: Then I won’t answer.


Two-in-one for you here. First, our two devastating losses on defense. Azeem Victor--from Upland, CA. Joe Mathis--played for Upland high. What do you think? Conspiracy?

Second, the sudden absence of 2 aforementioned studs has me feeling pretty down here. Inestimable loss of value at 2 critical spots. Both those guys were so amazing and clutch. So, whether practical or pipe dreamish, I don't really care--please just give me your best elevator pitch for why I needn't abandon all hope for our beating a real blue blood come bowl season... thank you.

UWDP: Step off the roller coaster.

One bad game against USC doesn’t mean any more than one good game against Stanford, or Oregon, or whomever.

The Huskies are a good team. Good teams have bad games over the course of a season (for example, the 1991 Huskies played pretty poorly against USC and Oregon that year). The good has far outweighed the bad.

Keep perspective, grasshopper.

All for this week. The streak dies in Seattle. Fork ‘em.