Heading into this contest, the Huskies came off a frustrating 35-30 home defeat against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Washington entered this game as a 6.5-point road favorite, due to the fact that the Huskies were playing a 3-7 opponent from the Pac-12 South. In the end, the Huskies were not able to make the crucial plays down the stretch, which resulted in a 20-17 gut wrenching loss down in Boulder against Colorado.
On offense, it was a game where the Huskies started out with a nice drive where they moved the ball all the way down to the Colorado 3-yard line…and then disaster hit. After a timeout, the Huskies tried a trick play and quarterback Dylan Morris mishandled the snap and the Buffaloes ran it back 92-yards for score, putting the Buffaloes up 10-0. Offensively, the Huskies turned to backup quarterback Patrick O’Brien for a couple of drives, but they were unsuccessful. Towards the end of the 2nd quarter, Morris hit wide receiver Rome Odunze for an 8-yard bubble screen touchdown and the Huskies tied the game at 10-10 with 2:11 left on the clock. The Huskies finished the first half with 214 yards total. In the second half, the Huskies had several opportunities to gain separation on the Buffaloes, but they couldn’t capitalize on them. A crucial interception by Morris down the stretch sealed their fate. In the end, the Huskies finished with 426 yards of total offense.
Defensively, the Huskies were able to hold Colorado to an early field goal with a bend but don’t break approach. The Husky defense was able to force the Buffaloes to punt on every possession (4) after the initial FG drive, during the first half, and get the ball back to the offense. By the end of the first half, the Husky defense held Colorado to 87 yards total. The Husky defense overall turned in a dominant performance, worthy of recognition. They held the Buffaloes to a total of 183 yards and repeatedly put the offense in position to win the game. It wasn’t until Colorado marched the ball all the way down the field from it’s own 10-yard line late in the game, that they were able to move the ball on the Huskies. Overall the Huskies held the Colorado running game in check with only 87 yards the entire game .
This was a gut punch defeat for the Huskies and their hopes of earning bowl eligibility this season! If you look at the stats, the Huskies completely dominated Colorado in almost all phases of the game, but still found a way to lose. There is no way the Dawgs should be leaving Boulder with a loss after looking at the stat sheet. With so much on the line to play for, in terms of getting to a bowl game and gaining some respectability on the season, the moment was too much for the Huskies. This defeat was just a small microcosm of how the season has gone, with so much drama and distractions the last couple of weeks, which most certainly have taken a toll on the team. The huge question left is do the Huskies have enough left in the tank to win the Apple Cup. Washington has won 7 straight against their hated rivals from across the mountains, but if there was ever a year for Washington State to end the streak, this looks like their best chance to do it. For years, the big joke has always been the Cougars playing the Apple Cup as their bowl game but this year the Huskies will be the one’s treating the Apple Cup as their bowl game. With bowl eligibility done for the Dawgs, the Apple Cup is still there for them to retain their dominance in the state!
One thing is for certain, in six days, change is coming to the Washington Football Program and for most everyone, that will be a welcomed and much needed pill to swallow after this roller coaster season!
Next up for the Huskies (4-7, 3-5) is the Washington State Cougars in the Apple Cup at Husky Stadium next Friday, November 26th, with a kickoff time of 5:00 pm PT. The game will be televised on FS1.
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