As UCLA Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson took the snap and touched his knee to the turf to solidify their 24-17 win over Washington it became just another lasting image for fans who took to the exits after another witnessing disappointing result on Saturday at Husky Stadium.
In the sport of football, there are many things that just aren’t going to help you get the job done. Having 267 total yards while the opposing offense runs for 237 is one of them and losing two turnovers while having zero takeaways is another - yet this was the case for the Huskies who, again, came up short and dug themselves deeper into a hole that’s gone from Pac-12 title contenders to bowl game hopefuls.
Oh how quickly things can change.
The Huskies needed Saturday night to be a breakthrough and they took the field with everyone in the stadium hoping that it would be until redshirt freshmen quarterback Dylan Morris was intercepted on the seventh play of the evening. The Bruins punted on the following drive so it wasn’t a costly error, instead, it was deflating which has been the theme in Seattle since that horrid loss to Montana back during week one.
On the Huskies' next drive they were able to net a field goal off the leg of Peyton Henry who gave UW a short-lived 3-0 advantage as UCLA scored 6 plays later to take a 7-3 lead.
The Washington offense was unable to get anything going when they trotted back on the field and after sending away a punt, the Bruins came down and nailed a field goal to push their lead out to 10-3 before scoring again to jump out to a commanding 17-3.
With UCLA’s 17-3, it began to felt like Washington was in the danger zone but Morris and Co. put together an 8 play, 69-yard drive, and capped it off with a touchdown that began in the hands of Morris and ended in the palms of wide receiver Rome Odunze. Suddenly, the Huskies were back into things as the first quarter neared its end.
While the opening quarter was jam-packed with points, the following stanzas had its entertainment value stifled by two defenses that didn’t allow an inch which meant that UCLA still held that 17-10 victory as both teams made their way to the locker room.
After the break, the UW defense came out and forced a UCLA punt and the offense showed their appreciation by adding on a touchdown off a sneak from Morris to knot the score up at 17 apiece.
That scoring drive that lasted 9 plays and totaled 75 yards was the final of the night for Washington, their final two drives were a punt which UCLA followed up with a touchdown, and then an interception with 4:50 on the clock.
After running 10 plays, UCLA bled the clock until it hit triple zeros and it became just the latest setback for a Husky team that’s so desperately trying to find a way to move forward.
Now sitting with a 2-4 record, the Dawgs will have to fight their way to a bowl game and it’ll be no easy task. They’ll battle (0-6) Arizona next Friday (which is a must-win game for the sake of the program), then they’ll travel to (3-4) Stanford, host (5-1) Oregon, and (5-1) Arizona State before visiting (2-4) Colorado and hosting (4-3) WSU in the Apple Cup.
There is a ton of weight that’ll sit upon their shoulders but this is an opportunity for the Huskies to show that pressure makes diamonds rather than busts pipes.