Washington vs. California: Huskies Dispatch Bears, 41-17


Oct 26, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies defensive end Evan Hudson (80) attempts to tackle California Golden Bears running back Darren Ervin (34) during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

A week after an embarassing, season-altering loss at Arizona State last Saturday and the death of legendary coach Don James on Sunday, a loss was not to be tolerated. To that end, this game was a success. Does Sark regain the momentum lost in his team’s three-game slide? No. Does the win relieve the pressure put on the Husky head coach as a result of those losses? Not at all. But by delivering a decisive, well-rounded win over one-win Cal, Sark at least avoids further damage. The win stabilizes a reeling team and suggests that at the very least, the Huskies are still capable of dominating at home. It’s understandable that that is not enough for most Husky fans. For this week, it will have to do.

Keith Price, banged up and ineffective last week, completed 20 of 32 passes for 376 yards and two passing touchdowns to go along with a rushing score. He overcame a fairly weak first-half completion percentage with a sharp second half, connecting most often with redshirt freshman Jaydon Mickens, who had himself a career game with six receptions for 180 yards and both of Price’s passing TDs. Meanwhile, Sankey bounced back from his season-worst 22-yard performance at ASU with 241 yards and two scores on 27 carries. All of those stats have to be taken with a grain of salt given Cal’s ineptitude on defense, but the sheer volume of offense, 642 yards in total, was undeniably impressive.

True freshman QB Jared Goff was fighting for his starting spot in practice this week, and despite the loss, his play was very solid. Behind an offensive line that struggled to control Husky pass rushers like Haoli Kikaha, who sacked Goff twice, the freshman still managed to avoid committing a single turnover. He even amassed 336 yards and a touchdown, though it took him 52 passing attempts. His team was simply outclassed on both sides of the ball.

It will be at least another year or two before the Golden Bears are ready to beat the Huskies in Seattle no matter how badly Sark’s Dawgs are playing on the road. The team has a bye up next before another ultra-winnable home game against Colorado. Until then, the Huskies can’t go back and reverse earlier losses, they just have to keep taking care of business until they have a chance to show improvement on the road at UCLA.