The first five games for the UW football team warrant a variety of adjectives. After escaping embarrassment against Eastern the word was “scary”. After Hawaii torched UW’s secondary the word was “vulnerable”. If an FCS team and a WAC team could rip the secondary to shreds like an issue of Skyline High School’s “The Forum”, who knew what kind of damage could be done by some of the offenses lurking on UW’s schedule. No one felt comfortable heading into Lincoln, Nebraska as the Dawgs took on a top ten team in a notoriously raucous environment. Another embarrassing performance by the defense later and the Dawgs lost 51-38 and gave up more than 300 yards on the ground to the Cornhuskers. A report card at that juncture of the season would have been much more bleak than this one will be.
Alas, the Dawgs came home for some home cooking against Cal for their first Pac-12 test. The UW defense performed stunningly in the second half and closed the game by stopping Cal at the goal line to ice the game, winning 31-23 and moving to 3-1 heading into a tough road test against Utah.
Or so we thought.
The Huskies came into Salt Lake City against the Utes (who really don’t deserve to win until I know what the hell a “Ute” is) and took care of business. The pregame chatter heading into the game centered around Utah’s pro style offense led by prolific RB John White IV and dynamic QB Jordan Wynn. Well, White ended up with zero rushing yards in the second half and Wynn was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. The UW defense simply was out to make plays from the very beginning. The first play of the game was a forced fumble on the kickoff picked up by Jamaal Kearse for a touchdown. That set the pace for what would be a long day for Utes’ fans as the team was held to a grand total of 17 rush yards and turned the ball over three times. Keith Price stole the show again with another 3 TD passes, which is Price’s fifth straight game with at least 3 TD’s through the air. Chris Polk absolutely battered Utah’s defense, going off for 189 yards to demoralize them in the second half. The Dawgs came out with a dominating 31-14 victory, only made so close by a Utah touchdown with 0:07 seconds left on the clock. Coach Steve Sarkisian called the game one of the biggest wins in his tenure at UW due to the dominating performance defensively and the commitment to running the ball on offense to finish games.