UW Football Season Recap: Part 1

As I sit here and watch the recording of the UW-Stanford game for quite possibly the 4th time, I think to myself 1) Thank God Josh Nunes was at QB for the Cardinal that game, 2) We probably threw 50% of our passes behind the line of scrimmage this year, and 3) This season may have not been what we really thought it was. What do I mean by that, you might ask? “We beat two top ten teams, one of which won the Rose Bowl!”

This season was a mixed bag, to say the very least. The elation of knocking off top-ten ranked Stanford and Oregon State, to the dejection of getting decimated by Arizona and blowing a 18-point lead in the Apple Cup. This is probably why I have found this article to be such a struggle to write. What route do I take? Was this season a success? Was it a failure? The sour taste that still lingers with the result of the final two games may make me lean towards the latter.

I think we can all agree that the season did not finish the way we had hoped for. What was easily the worst loss for Steve Sarkisian since joining the Huskies in 2009, to a heartbreaking two point thriller down in Vegas, it was a tough pill to swallow at the end. But what went wrong? Why couldn’t the Dawgs reach that benchmark eight win club? Especially against the lowly Cougars!

A lot of the blame can be attributed to the offense. Keith Price of 2011 was nowhere to be found this year. Honestly, I can’t even remember a single half where we saw that form out of #17. He struggled mightily all season, throwing 14 less touchdowns than a year ago and seeing his QB rating plummet from 161.9 to 122.4. He displayed close to zero confidence on the field, and gave the ball up in crucial situations, most of them being plays that left you scratching your head wondering what you had just witnessed. I will concede, the loss of Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar proved to be very significant to the effectiveness of Price this season, but good QBs are able to overcome those obstacles, especially when you have arguably the best tight end in the country and a wide receiver that can play with the best of them in this conference. We expected Keith to be the leader and playmaker that we saw him become a year ago and it never came to fruition. This is unquestionably the most glaring reason as to why they Huskies finished this season with a 7-6 record and recorded some pretty dismal losses on the way.

On a more positive note, surprisingly the running game didn’t really miss a beat. We all assumed it would be near to impossible to fill the hole that Chris Polk left after a magnificent career in the Purple and Gold, but Bishop Sankey filled those shoes quite nicely. Early season-ending injuries to Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper squashed the “running back-by-committee” approach that the Huskies were planning to unveil. But Bish handled the added workload like a seasoned vet. Amassing 1,439 rushing yards (an amazing 5.0 ypc) to go along with 16 touchdowns behind a makeshift line, it was nothing short of incredible. He carried the offense multiple times this season and unquestionably gets my vote for offensive player of the year.

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Pac-12 North Preview: Washington

Let me preface this article by saying that those of you that know me may question my objectivity in this preview. I am a diehard Husky fan and no doubt will present a biased view of how they will perform this year. I’m sure many of you have heard my tried and true tagline about me and Husky Football: I haven’t missed a home game since I was two years old. 16 years of Saturdays in the fall dedicated to Husky Football. As much as that might be an indictment on my ability to objectively look at this UW team, I think it helps. I have seen UW play absolutely horrendous football over the last few years, but I can tell you all that those days are done. Without further ado.

Steve Sarkisian leads the dawgs out of the tunnel for his third year as Head Coach at UW

Washington Huskies
2010 Record 7-6, (5-4), Beat Nebraska 19-7 in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Offense

Jake Locker is gone. I have three UW Jake Locker jerseys that are now in retirement. What could possibly be worse than the hit my gameday wardrobe collection took? UW has to break in a new quarterback for the first time in four seasons. Looking to fill the enormous void left by the #8 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft is redshirt sophomore QB, Keith Price. Price beat out the starchild Nick Montana in Spring Practice and held the job all the way through Fall Camp. Price is a very athletic quarterback but his throwing ability is nothing to laugh at. At St. John Bosco High School in Compton, California, Price threw for more yards than fellow Trinity League QB Matt Barkley.

UW

Barkley was a Five-Star recruit coming out of high school and currently stars at USC. Price received limited game action last season in mop up duty against Syracuse, Stanford, and Arizona. But Price memorably came in to throw a key touchdown in a road win at USC. Price’s key performance came against Oregon where he started in place of Jake Locker. Price performed well against the eventual National Champion Runners-up, going 14-28 with 127 yards and a TD in hostile Autzen Stadium. I would expect better than those type of numbers in Price’s full games this year. He has an accurate arm, a multitude of weapons to throw to this season, and a potent running game to go with it.

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