After weeks of playing “what if”, the Washington Huskies’ journey towards bowl eligibility went spiraling to an end during their 20-17 loss to the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday afternoon.
Things have been rough in Seattle this year. UW has let go of former head coach Jimmy Lake along with former offensive coordinator Jon Donavan which at the time felt like it was the season’s rock bottom moment. But now that they’ve lost to the ‘Buffs, it not only means that they won’t play in a bowl game but also that the 4-6 Huskies will finish the season with a losing record.
If you were to tell a Washington fan that Morris threw for 387 yards and two touchdowns, they’d probably ask how much did they win by? But instead, the game’s turning moment was not a product of his arm but a mishandling by his hands when he took a snap but never secured it which allowed the Buffaloes to scoop it up and take it 99 yards the other way for a score.
Before that, CU had led 3-0 but that momentum-shifting 14-point swing helped land them a 10-0 lead.
The Huskies were able to match their 10 unanswered points by rattling off 10 of their own with the first coming off a 30-yard field goal by Peyton Henry. Then after the teams exchanged multiple punts, the Husky offense walked down the field and Morris hooked up with Rome Odunze from 8 yards out to tie the game.
Not only did the score read 10-10 at the end of the half, but it read that at the end of the third as well but what’s problematic is that the Huskies were giving the game away. Morris was picked off during the opening drive of the quarter, later Peyton Henry missed a field goal; although it was from 49-yards out, and then later Morris received a bad snap that Colorado recovered at UW’s 7-yard-line.
The Husky defense held strong but the Buffaloes still were able to take a 13-10 lead off a field goal within the opening minute of the quarter. On the following drive, Morris drove the offense downfield but got greedy and was picked off in the endzone; which was followed up by a Buff’ drive that lasted 14 plays, picked up 80 yards, and took 6 minutes off the clock before they finally scrambled past the goal line to push their lead to 20-10.
Things seemed bleak for Washington at this point but it only took 5 plays for them to go 75 yards with Ja’Lynn Polk, who finally returned from injury, picking up most of them as he raced past defenders for a 55-yard score. The defense was able to force a three-and-out on the ensuing possession which gave Morris and Co. the ball with 2:00 left and a chance to either tie the game or take the lead.
Morris was able to find Polk on the drive’s opening play for a five-yard pickup but three straight incompletions after that sealed not only their fate but their newest “low” as they fell 20-17 to Colorado and will now be denied bowl eligibility.
The Huskies outgained the Buffaloes 426-183 in total yards and 388-112 through the air but lost the turnover battle; finishing with 4 while Colorado had 0 which ultimately sealed their fate.
This season has been ugly and all that’s left to fight for at this point is to keep the Apple Cup in Seattle, but considering it’s sat there for the past seven years it’s safe to assume that the Dawgs will come out motivated.
The Washinton Huskies will battle the Washington State Cougars on Friday, Nov. 26 at Husky Stadium.