The new era of Husky football that resulted in the University of Washington'ês 15th straight loss Saturday (Sept. 5) unwittingly may have reminded fans of a basketball revival. Nothing is more welcome in basketball than a three-point play, and head football coach Steve Sarkisian'ês team proved itself capable of completing the 'êtrey.'ê
'êWe play the game to win and, unfortunately, we were in the red zone [20 yard line] five times and we settled for four field goals and had a turnover,'ê Sarkisian complained to reporters after the Huskies, despite scoring first and trailing by just four late in the third quarter, lost to a highly rated Louisiana State University team 31-23.
Sarkisian, the young offense specialist captured from the University of Southern California during the off season, has the Herculean task of reviving one of the country'ês most moribund college-football programs. He inherited from discredited coach Tyrone Willingham a team that, while experienced, hasn'êt won since November of 2007. When junior quarterback Jake Locker marched the offense 85 yards for a passing touchdown on the first possession of the Sark Era, fans may have imagined that the turnaround was at hand.
It may be. But the hearty partying will have to wait six more days. Next Saturday the Dawgs welcome a University of Idaho contingent that should amount to easy prey. Then, on Sept. 19, the Huskies complete an odd three-game home start against the University of Southern California, which many believe is even better than the scrum from L.S.U., former employer of UW President Mark Emmert.
Indeed, the Dawgs may actually be better than L.S.U. The UW led the Tigers — by wide margins, in some cases — in virtually every offensive category, including: 478 to 321 in total yards; 25 to 17 in first downs; 37 minutes to 23 in possession time. Locker was 25 for 45 for 321 passing yards and had 62 more running. Clearly L.S.U. was much more efficient. Tiger coach Les Miles, when asked about the Huskies'ê apparent superiority on offense, said to reporters: 'êIt was the dangdest thing. I want to say in the first half we got [only] four possessions and in the second we got not many more.'ê
Maybe the Dawgs ought to spend the week practicing something besides three-pointers. A loss to Idaho would tie a Pac-10 record for losing streak. That would really be the dangdest thing.