The Washington Huskies Football team is currently enjoying its bye week and rejuvenating themselves for the final stretch of the season.
So far this year, the Huskies are currently the owners of a 5-3 overall record and 2-3 in the Pac-12 Conference after some tough losses.
Most recently, a hard fought game resulted in the Huskies falling to the Oregon Ducks, 35-31, at Husky Stadium – in front of the Husky faithful.
Many will point to various reasons as to why the Huskies have struggled with consistency all season long and winning close games.
With the roster, the Huskies are extremely young this season and had to replace nine starters on the defensive side of the ball.
On offense, the Huskies have some new faces this season and getting it all to “click”has been a weekly grind for the coaching staff.
So here we are…..
It’s time for the Huskies and the fan base to move forward, with the hopes of a strong finish ahead and still a lot to accomplish.
The Huskies can still achieve a 10-win season if they win their four remaining regular season games, and then win their bowl game.
We take a look at what the final stretch of the season looks like for the Huskies…..
NOVEMBER 2ND (SATURDAY)
1:00 P.M. PT KICKOFF
When the Huskies return from their bye week, they will face off against the #12 Utah Utes. This will be another tough opponent after previously facing the #11 Oregon Ducks. Currently, the Utes are 6-1 (3-1) on the season and are atop the Pac-12 South Division standings. You can always expect a physical game with Utah and the Huskies will have to play great football to win this game. The Husky offense will have to penetrate the tough Utah defense and move the ball.
@ OREGON STATE
NOVEMBER 8TH (FRIDAY)
7:30 P.M. PT KICKOFF
At the moment, the Beavers are currently 3-4 (2-2) on the season and actually are one spot higher than the Huskies in the Pac-12 North Division Standings. Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith is in year two of his massive rebuild project down in Corvallis, OR and he is slowly changing the culture and mindset. His team shows some fight and competes much harder than before. The Beavers are coming off an impressive 20-17 victory over the California Bears.
NOVEMBER 15TH (SATURDAY)
The second bye week of the season for the Huskies will come at a great time for them to rest up and scheme for the last two opponents of the season. After coming off a physical game with Utah and another night road game against the Beavers, which have been tricky this season, the Huskies will welcome the time off. It will give them time to get ready for their road matchup at Colorado and also allow them to develop some of the younger players on the roster at practice.
NOVEMBER 23RD (SATURDAY)
TBD KICKOFF TIME
It’s been a tough season for the Colorado Buffaloes as they currently sit in the basement of the Pac-12 South Division Standings at 3-4 (1-3). First year head coach Mel Tucker is still in the infancy stages of trying to implement his system and build a foundation for his program. That first year can be tough for any coach and the Buffaloes are adjusting to a new way of doing things. Playing at Colorado can always be tough for any team so the Huskies need to stay focused.
NOVEMBER 29TH (FRIDAY)
1:00 P.M. PT
This rivalry matchup hasn’t quite lived up to it’s hype lately as the Huskies have owned this series lately. The Cougars are currently 4-3 (1-3) on the season and sitting at the bottom of the Pac-12 North standings. Washington State has had to break in a new quarterback this season and defensively they have had their challenges the entire season. With the game being played at Husky Stadium and the Huskies ability to ground the “Air Raid” each year, the Huskies should win.
TBD KICKOFF TIME
The one thing eluding Washington head coach Chris Petersen‘s resume at Washington is winning a big bowl game. That will have to wait another season, as the Huskies will not be playing in another New Years Six bowl game this season. The hope is they make it into a decent tier bowl game like the Holiday Bowl or the Alamo Bowl, etc. With not playing Alabama, Penn State or Ohio State as in recent years, the Huskies will have a great chance to finally win a bowl game.
When entering the start of the season, the Huskies had some bigger expectations and goals than what they are currently facing. It doesn’t seem that long ago that analysts had them as a Pac-12 Conference contender and some had them even making the College Football Playoff, which seemed liked shooting for the stars. Present day…the reality is the Huskies have no choice but to temper the expectations and go after what they can control. 5-3 (2-3) is their current reality, but there are still things this team can accomplish together, if they remain motivated to get it done.
Coming off the bye week, they can treat everything going forward as a brand new season. More specifically, a five game season. Most teams play their best football of the season after a bye week, as the much needed rest and the thorough inspection from the coaching staff yields improvement. The Huskies also have their second bye week of the season ahead, which makes their chances of winning out, much more realistic.
For the rest of the regular season games, the Huskies will most likely be favored in every single game left on the schedule. If they can find a way to win those games and then pull out a decent win at whatever bowl game they attend, then that marks another 10-win season. To most Husky fans, the season already feels lost. With no viable chance to win another Pac-12 Championship and a tough loss to the rival Ducks, no matter what happens the season is a disappointment. If Petersen finishes 10-3, it will feel to them that Petersen is stuck as a 10-win coach and can’t win the big game.
No matter how you slice it, a 10-3 season is definitely doable for this year’s version of the Huskies, and finishing strong is vastly important for the long term success of the program. It helps on the recruiting trail of not only trying to secure elite talent but more importantly keeping the current commits from looking elsewhere. Petersen and his staff have been able to build off their momentum each season, and this season it’s even more critical to finish strong.
With the bye week almost over for the Huskies, which seemed to be much needed for the fans as well, the “second season” is about to start next week. There are many programs that never even get a “sniff” at a 10-win season. It will take much improved focus and execution, with taking it one week at a time, but it can be done. We should fully expect Petersen to have the team playing at a high level for the rest of the season and pressing for that 10-win season and momentum heading into next season. It’s a young roster for sure but there is enough talent there to get the job done moving forward!
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