Heading into this contest, the Huskies came off a 26-16 home defeat against their rivals, the Oregon Ducks. Washington entered this game as a 1.0- point home underdog, due to the fact that the Huskies lost three straight games and the Cougars were coming off a win. In the end, the Huskies were not able to do anything right on both sides of the ball, which resulted in a 40-13 rout at the hands of Washington State.
On offense, it was a game where the Huskies made a huge position change at quarterback with starting true freshman Sam Huard. It was rumored all week that this would be the case, and the thought was to give the quarterback valuable reps since he will be the guy going forward next year. Huard was immediately thrown into the fire and baptized in the Apple Cup rivalry, which resulted in him throwing four interceptions on the night. In the first half, the Huskies got completely dominated on the stat sheet and at one point, they only had 2 yards of offense total. There were several drops by receivers and the running game was not effective enough to move the chains and secure first downs.
Defensively, the Huskies were abysmal at best! In years past, the coaching staff had the perfect game plan to defeat the Cougars when Mike Leach was their head coach. They would rush three down lineman and drop eight into coverage and muck up the passing lanes and the timing routes. Interim head coach Bob Gregory tried to do the same game plan this year and it wasn’t the right one as this was a different WSU offense, with the ability to run the ball. Why Gregory and staff didn’t make any adjustments and try other avenues to get pressure on Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura is head scratching. He was able to sit back all night and pick the Husky defense apart.
This was a complete domination by the Cougars over the Huskies in every single facet of the game. All the way from the coaching staff on down to the players on the field. Washington State came into this game with everything to play for and they played accordingly. The Huskies on the other hand, played like a team that knew their season was lost and couldn’t wait for it to end! This was one of the most challenging seasons in Husky Football history and it was painful to watch. Former Washington head coach Chris Petersen built a stable and successful program on Montlake and it completely crumbled so fast after his departure. Jimmy Lake used to describe people in his program as “bricklayers” but it was evident that the coaches were the “brick removers” after what Petersen worked hard to build. This defeat tonight and the way it happened at the hands of the Huskies’ rivals, clearly shows that this program is at a crossroads. A 4-8 record is not the standard for Husky Football!
One thing is for certain, everything hinges on the head coaching hire that awaits the Husky Football program. Another bad hire could set this program back for years, while the correct hire could resurrect this program rather quickly, and the Huskies could become dominant again. There is a lot or repairing and healing that needs to happen in that locker room with confidence and image. This will be one of the biggest hires in university history coming up. They have to get this one right. Your move Jen Cohen!
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