Sept. 24, 1994. If you’re really a Husky Football fan, you know what happened on that date. “The Whammy in Miami,” they called it. Washington went in to play Miami in the Orange Bowl, a stadium that hadn’t seen a visiting team walk out with a victory since 1985 – 58 straight games. The Huskies were two touchdown underdogs against a team that featured Warren Sapp and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The Huskies went into the game with no shot to win. They weren’t big enough or fast enough or strong enough to compete with the Hurricanes. After trailing 14-3 at halftime, they outscored Miami 35-6 in the rest of the way to complete one of the most unexpected and thorough beat downs in UW history.
That was 19 years ago – and since that day, I cannot remember the Huskies going on the road against a highly ranked opponent and getting such a convincing win. It just hasn’t happened. There have been close road games that they’ve eked out (USC in 2010) and close road games they’ve pissed away (Michigan in 2002), but for the majority of the last two decades we have gotten our asses squarely beaten on the road against good teams.
Why does this matter? On Saturday, UW goes to Stanford to play one of the hottest and most physically impressive teams in the country, let alone the Pac-12. Stanford is big. Stanford is fast. Stanford is well coached. Now, Stanford doesn’t just run the ball down your throat; Kevin Hogan can air it out. Traditionally, this type of game would send chills down the spine of UW fans and players alike. Teams over the past decade walked into these games knowing they would lose, or at best hoping they would compete. By the second quarter, the game was over and fans were left to wonder what the Dawgs have to do to compete with good teams on the road.
This is different – this team has already proven they have a different mentality. They have expected to win every game they’ve played. They’ve won on the road even when they haven’t played well. They didn’t have a letdown against an FCS team. They physically manhandled a conference opponent that throttled them a year ago. Most important, they are hungry and focused.
I’m done “hoping” we win games. I expect this team to win tough games. This group is experienced, talented and tough and there is no excuse now for going on the road and getting the doors blown off by a good team. It’s not acceptable.
So, I’m saying it. UW is due for a win of “Whammy in Miami” proportions. Last year the Huskies punched Stanford in the mouth in Seattle. UW is far more physical than they get credit for on both sides of the ball, and far more athletic as well. The Dawgs are playing a confident brand of football, one not seen around here since the Rose Bowl team in 2000. They are due for a win like this.
I’m not guaranteeing a win. I’m not even predicting a win. Stanford is probably better than their No. 5 ranking – it’s that good. What I am saying is that nobody should be shocked if the Huskies go down to The Farm and hit Stanford right square in the mouth again and walk out with a win.
Of course – UW could do everything that they’ve done in these types of games for the past 19 years and get outclassed in every facet. Nobody would be shocked. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think we’re about to see something special. Is this a “homer pick”? Probably, but I don’t care. When was the last time it was even remotely acceptable to talk like this? Look, if the Dawgs go in there and make me look like a moron, I’ll be the first one to admit I was wrong. Until then, bow down and go Dawgs.