Once the dream of the College Football Playoff was off the board, the Huskies set their sights on finishing out the season on a high note.
Recently, the Huskies culminated their season with a Pac-12 Championship and earned a berth into “the granddaddy of them all”, the Rose Bowl.
Many fans throughout the season viewed the year as a disappointment because of all the preseason hype of making the College Football Playoff.
With a realistic look back at the season, if winning a Pac-12 Championship and a chance at winning the Rose Bowl is a disappointment, then most fans will take that kind of disappointing season any day!
The truth about the season so far is the Huskies finished strong and still had an exceptional season that everyone can be proud of.
Along the way, there were some very remarkable and memorable moments that happened, which earned their place in Husky history.
We take a glance back at some of the top moments from this successful season. Keep in mind that the Huskies still have an opportunity to top this list with a win at the Rose Bowl Game against Ohio State.
5. Ben Burr-Kirven Wins Pac-12 Defensive Player Of The Year
In what is regarded as one of the best seasons in Husky history by any defensive player, senior inside linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven stold the show. Just this past week, he won the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Award which marks the second year in a row for the Huskies. Former Husky defensive lineman Vita Vea won the award the previous season. Burr-Kirven is the heart and soul of the Washington Huskies defense and he put up some gaudy numbers this season. He currently has 165 total tackles on the season in 13 games played, which is absolutely remarkable. Burr-Kirven was named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award earlier in the season, given to the best defensive player in the nation.
4. Jake Browning Becomes Huskies All-Time Passing Yards Leader
On September 29th against the #20 BYU Cougars, senior quarterback Jake Browning cemented his place his Husky lore. During the second quarter, Browning connected with senior tight end Drew Sample on a 9-yard completion and the rest was history. Browning became the Huskies all-time passing yards leader and broke a 15-year record that was previously held by former Husky quarterback Cody Pickett. It was a special night for Browning because in the third quarter, he connected with Sample once again to notch another feat. He recorded his 100th TD that he was responsible for in his career, and became just the sixth player in Pac-12 Conference history to accomplish that.
3. Myles Gaskin Surpasses Napoleon Kaufman As Huskies All-Time Rushing Leader
Coming into the season, one of the biggest things left on the board for senior running back Myles Gaskin to accomplish was the Husky rushing yards record. On September 1st in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game against the Auburn Tigers, he furthered his legacy as an all-time Husky great. Gaskin became the all-time rushing yards leader and broke former Husky Legend Napoleon Kaufman‘s record that he held since the early 1990’s. At the start of the game, Gaskin needed only 52 yards to eclipse Kaufman and broke the record in the third quarter. During the Apple Cup, Gaskin became the first player in Pac-12 Conference history to rush for 1,000+ yards four times. Gaskin has played in four consecutive seasons for the Huskies.
2. Huskies Win The Pac-12 Championship Game
This past weekend, the Huskies travelled down to Santa Clara to represent the Pac-12 North Division in the annual Pac-12 Championship Game. The game consisted of a rematch against the Utah Utes who came into the game winning 7 of their last 8 games. While, the Huskies came into the game as -5.5 point favorites, the game was a hard-fought battle the entire night. Both teams boasted the top defenses in the conference, which reflected in how the game actually played out. It was a defensive slugfest the entire game, as the Huskies were able to capitalize on the Utes mistakes down the stretch and win 10-3. With the win, the Huskies earned a berth to the Rose Bowl and ended the 18-year non-appearance drought. It was the second time in three years the Huskies won the Pac-12 Championship under head coach Chris Petersen.
1. Huskies Win The Apple Cup
One of the biggest games in Apple Cup history took place this year, with everything on the line for the Huskies. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Washington State Cougars, they achieved one of their best seasons in school history. For the first time in several years, the Cougars entered the game as -2.5 favorites over the Huskies. The story of the game was the snow blizzard that took place, but in the end the Huskies were able to plow over their arch rivals from the Palouse in a 28-15 victory. The defense dominated the Wazzu “Air Raid” offense once again. What was most impressive about the win was how the Huskies were able to battle the elements, and the fact that the Cougars were riding high with momentum coming into the game. Once again, Petersen owned Mike Leach and the Huskies were able to keep their dreams of a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl berth intact.