Don’t Blame the Defense


The Huskies fell to the Ducks 34-17 in their final game at “old” Husky Stadium. They were within reach of Oregon the entire game but mistakes killed them and the Husky offense sputtered out.

However, the normal theme after a Husky loss is to blame the defense because they rank amongst the lowest in the Pac-12 and in the country. But this game is different as the Husky defense was able to hold the high-powered Oregon offense to only 34 points. The Ducks haven’t scored that few of points the entire season. The “lowly” Husky defense kept the game close.

It was the offense that had trouble in the game.

  • The offense only had 82 rushing yards.
  • Keith Price was sacked 6 times.
  • Price also threw 2 interceptions.
  • Michael Hartvigson was stripped of the ball after catching a pass.
  • The offense only found themselves in the red-zone 3 times.

This was an uncharacteristic day for the offense, as Keith Price and Chris Polk were putting up Heisman numbers. Polk alone had 5 touchdowns last week at Arizona. However, he was unable to find any sort of running lane in this game. Price was completely thrown off rhythm as he was constantly eating dirt as the Ducks swarmed past the Husky offensive line.

It was also a uncharacteristic day for the play-calling. It seems the Huskies wanted to eat as much clock as possible and thus were stalled on a few drives. There wasn’t much of the typical, no-holds-bar, Coach Steve Sarkisian play-calling that Husky fans are used to seeing. It was a methodical, chip away at the Oregon defense type game.

Jermaine Kearse had a huge drop towards the end of the game that would have helped put the Huskies back within striking distance. AND THEN the play immediately following that drop, Kevin Smith dropped a pass in the end-zone. Both of those would have helped the Huskies have a fighting chance in the final minutes.

Whether you want to blame the loss on the lack of effectiveness of the “methodical drives” or the turnovers or the dropped balls by Kearse and Smith, or whatever. You can’t find much fault in the way this battered and beaten defense played. They played with a short field on 3 or 4 different occasions and yet somehow found a way to keep the Huskies in the game.