On either side of the bye week, several UW Dawg Pound authors got together to discuss themes from the first half of the year and look ahead to the remaining games. If you missed the first installment, check it out here.
Andrew Berg - What is the most memorable moment of the season thus far?
Krik DeGrasse - Salvon Ahmed bursting through the USC defense on his way to an 89-yard TD run just two plays after Elijah Molden’s interception near Washington’s goal line to end a USC threat. That sequence turned what could have been a 21-14 nail-biter into a 28-7 lead that put an end to Trojan hopes of a win and secured what has been thus far Washington’s best win.
Gabey Lucas - The thing is, had Oregon been a different outcome I’d probably say Ahmed or Chin’s touchdown. But those are all overshadowed by the outcome. I think, unfortunately, the most “memorable” moments of the season are likely not great ones simply because the nature of how painful those three losses are means those are the “memorable” points. But that Ahmed run against USC is up there if we’re focusing on positives. Also, to be honest, just that first bomb from Eason against Eastern. Just cuz that was the moment of “oh shit he can throw stuff goid.”
Andrew - Not an on the field event, but the thing I will most remember from the early part of this season is the lightning storm during the Cal game. While certain plays stand out over the course of the season, nothing will be as vividly etched in my memory as the experience of standing in the 300-level concourse for two hours with thousands of other confused fans. The Huskies were off to a strong start in that game when the lightning intervened, so most of the displaced Dawgs were in a good mood. We watched the light show in the (fairly proximate) distance without any idea how or when the interruption would cease. Some of my friends braved the entire storm, but I eventually went home. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t stay for the poor performance that the Huskies eventually put forth. I am trying to keep the memories of the weather delay separate from the game itself because that was a strange, unique, and interesting event that probably won’t reoccur anytime soon.
Andrew - Which second-half game are you most excited for and why?
Kirk - Utah. This game is an important one in terms of reassuring the fanbase that this team and this program hasn’t slipped too far this season. Beating Oregon State and Colorado won’t tell us much about these Huskies, and while beating the Cougs is always fun, it’s also assumed at this point. The Utes on the other hand just might be the best team the Huskies play this year, and as such the last, best chance for this group to earn a meaningful win.
Jeff Gorman - Believe it or not as much of a nega-dawg as I’ve been this year I actually think we have a great shot against Utah and I might pick us to win.
Max Vrooman - Most important game? Utah. But I’m infinitely more anxious about the game on Saturday than I am excited. 2 weeks ago against Oregon ended a streak of 24 straight games in which the team had won when I had been in attendance. I did not like losing. I am excited for the feel good of being able to kick a rival’s butt in person. Which means I’m most excited for the Apple Cup against an atrociously bad Washington State defense.
Jeff - But yes agreed it Utah. WSU is always fun but this year we need a “signature win” and Utah is the closest thing to that even if it’s not.
Andrew - Related to Max’s point, I have a couple friends who travel to a game every year. I think they have a streak of either 5 or 6 losses in a row (last year was Cal). They tried to play it safe this year. All I’m saying is beware of Oregon State.
Gabey - Andrew so help me god
Andrew - Final question. What is the final record and how do we get there?
Gabey - Can i answer that after the first three drives against Utah?
In all seriousness though, Washington should demolish whoever they get in a bowl because for the first time since 2015 they won’t be playing a blue blood peaking, so that adds +1 in my prediction to the win total. Andrew and I talked about this on the podcast but I’d give them about a 40% chance of winning against Utah and then probably winning out after. So either way that means either 8 or 9 wins for my prediction for regular season. Then if they win 8, their bowl opponent will be someone they’ll crush like crazy and if it’s 9 it should still be someone they crush, just a bit less. So that means either 9 or 10 after all is said and done by my reckoning.
Max - I’m with Gabey on this one. I see us finishing 9-4 with the loss likely coming this weekend against Utah and then winning out through the bowl game. Although the Friday night road trip to a slightly frisky Oregon State scares me way more than it should. I won’t even entertain the possibility of a loss there because the irony of it would literally (and by literally I mean figuratively) kill me. The flood of #HireSmith jokes would crash the site.
Kirk - Call me an irrepressible optimist but I think the week off will be the tonic the team needs to notch a big win this weekend against Utah. And while they could certainly face some uncomfortable moments against Oregon State, Colorado and WSU I think they win out on their way to a decent 2nd tier bowl. Bowl games can be crapshoots, but as Gabey notes I would expect the Huskies to have a talent edge in any match-up they’re likely to get, so call it 10-3.
Andrew - I’m in a very similar position. I remain torn on the Utah game- their rushing attack could pinpoint our greatest defensive weakness, but the bye week and head-to-head history give me hope. After that, I like our chances in the final three games and I believe this season should allow Petersen to get right in bowl season.