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Dots: Huskies Strangelove, or - How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 2023 Season

Huskies kick walk-off field goal — win final Apple Cup of the Pac era

NCAA Football: Washington State at Washington
Huskies place kicker Grady Gross (95) celebrates after making the game-winning field goal against WSU
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday Dawg fans, and welcome to today’s Dots.

The UW football Huskies took their 12th win in the last 14 Apple Cup contests on Saturday, with a Grady Gross field goal as time expired etching a 24-21 victory into the books for the very last Apple Cup played as a conference game. The game was closer then many people, including me, expected. And then I understood that it all made sense — that this Husky team only wins games this way.

And maybe in the end it was fitting to have the last “real” Apple Cup come down to a last-second field goal. To honor the fact there was a time when the win/loss records didn’t matter coming into Apple Cup week (it sure felt that way Saturday). And to honor the rivalry itself, that, although lopsided when you zoom out, has meant a helluva lot to the state of Washington for well over a century.

Okay. This team has flaws. This team makes you reach for the blood pressure meds, or nitroglycerin, or (drug of choice goes here). But this team has not lost a single game in 2023. No opponent has been able to hang an L on the Huskies. This 19-game winning streak extends back to week 7 of last year and includes wins over Oregon (twice), WSU (twice), Oregon State (twice), USC on the road, a bowl game vs Texas, and exercising the desert demons the Arizona schools have summoned against the Dawgs for years. This team has done something no other Pac-12 team has done, and now has the chance to do something no other Husky team has done (I don’t think): beat Oregon twice in the same year. A win this Friday wouldn’t just feel fantastic in its own right, it would give the Pac-12 title to UW in the final year of the conference and send an undefeated Husky team to the College Football Playoff.

Perhaps like no other sports season I’ve lived through, this Husky football season is teaching me to stop being such a perfectionist when critiquing the teams that hold sway over my emotions. To stop choosing to obsess over the things we aren’t so good at, at the expense of those things that deserve celebration. To just enjoy the damn good feelings, and the wins, and wins, and wins - because there is a whole lot of good in a 12-0 year. Let the haters and the doubters keep saying “Yeah, BUT... “ To hell with that. 12-0 is special. This team is special. I believe this is a team of destiny.

  • Anyone who’s had the joy of listening to me gripe for years about Husky football knows that two positions matter to me more than anything: 1) the secondary, 2) the kicking game. Yeah that’s supposed to sound a lil’ dorky. But I’m feeling all right these days:
  • Enjoy every emotion this week, for it will never come again quite like this...

Go Dawgs!!