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Washington Huskies Football and Basketball Links: Chris Petersen’s Program Denigrated as “A Fraud”

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The USA Today doesn’t hold back in its criticism of the Huskies following Washington’s upset loss to Stanford.

Washington v Stanford Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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Aside from that smashing win last September against Stanford that put them on the map nationally, what have they really done other than beat a bunch of mediocre Pac-12 teams? Washington didn’t come particularly close to beating Southern California or Alabama in the playoff last year (the Huskies were quite fortunate they got Colorado rather than the Trojans in the Pac-12 title game), and this season has been a flat-out disappointment. ... Chris Petersen’s 20-4 record the last two years looks flashy, but it’s just empty calories.

While there are many areas of legitimate criticism to which we can subject this year’s football team, it strikes me as more than a bit salacious to use words like “fraud” to describe a program that went toe-to-toe with Alabama in what amounted to a home game for the Crimson Tide. To be sure, Washington’s offense has taken a step back without speed demon John Ross threatening to take the lid off of opposing defenses, and the passing game in particular has not lived up to expectations.

However, that ignores the very legitimate caveat that Washington has lost more than a handful of players to season-ending injuries who were expected (or already had become) meaningful contributors in 2017. That includes players like Chico McClatcher, Trey Adams, Hunter Bryant (there’s hope he might recover by season’s end), David Ajamu and Quinten Pounds — and that’s just on offense.

No team in America is unscathed by injury at this point in the season, of course, and some undoubtedly have it worse than the Huskies. But acting like this year’s diminished offense retroactively makes last year’s accomplishments amount to “empty calories” doesn’t pass the sniff test.