Here are five events, players, or trends that I found disappointing compared to preseason expectations. I roughly ordered them based on how much the disappointment hurt the overall success of the team, or, in the case of number one, just how much it stung and how embarrassing it was. I’m sure I’m forgetting some big things, so feel free to comment with anything you think should be here as well. I’ll have a list of the biggest pleasant surprises later today.
1.) Apple Cup Loss
People always ask the question: would you rather be 1-11 with an Apple Cup win, or 11-1 with a loss to WSU. Because I am not insane, I would say that it’s preferable to be 11-1 with what I have to assume would be a BCS bowl berth than to have a complete and utter failure of a season with one bright spot. That being said, being 7-5 with one of those losses being a 31-28 bed-wetting in Pullman is infinitely worse than the alternative, 8-4 with five straight wins to finish the regular season. Not only was this loss terrible from the rivalry point of view, it also killed all of the positive momentum that this team was experiencing. To get this one back would be to get back the idea of progress.
2.) Keith Price
This one is obvious, but it would be outrageous not to include. In the 2011 regular season, Price passed for 2625 yards on 66% passing with 29 touchdowns and 11 picks. In 2012, those numbers fell to 2486 yards on 61% passing for 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. I’m getting tired about trying to speculate exactly why, but it’s clearly an issue, and after a full season of struggles, I’m don’t have much confidence in the idea of a 2013 bounceback.
106 penalties for 959 yards. That’s a ton of penalties. But you might be asking yourself whether or not it’s really that bad compared to the national average. Everyone has penalties. Well, it turns out that it’s absolutely atrocious. In terms of penalty yards per game, the Huskies rank 122 out of 124 teams with 79.9. Only Cal and UCLA are worse. Have to imagine that in a few specific games, including the Apple Cup, fewer penalties could have made the difference.
4.) Every Wide Receiver But Kasen Williams
Not counting ASJ of course, because he is a tight end. No one stepped up as a second wideout, or even a productive slot receiver. DiAndre Campbell? 16 catches for 167 yards all year. Cody Bruns? Showed up a bit in the last few weeks, but still only 13 catches for 103 yards. Jaydon Mickens had 18 for 178, but I can’t really say he was a disappointment because the fact that he produced at all as a true freshman is encouraging. Still, next year it is going to need to be more than Kasen Williams and ASJ catching passes out there, especially because neither of them is likely to stay for 2014.
5.) Hau’oli Jamora
I don’t mean to say that Jamora himself somehow failed the team, he was simply hurt, and it is that injury that is disappointing, rather than Jamora himself. He missed all but the first three games last year, and the entire season this year, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a potential gamechanger on the defensive line when healthy. If he is able to recover fully, expect the 6’3″ 260 pound defensive end to wreak some havoc, and the Washington pass rush could definitely use that.