The Washington Football team, as feared, fell to the Stanford Cardinals on a late Friday night game on the road. Afterwards, the Huskies fell to 16 in the national rankings
The “what-ifs” are hard to resist at this point in time. I mean, after the team lost two up-and-coming tight ends, two wide receivers, a star left tackle, and two starting cornerbacks. the team is beginning to show the wear and tear on the roster. That fraying was quite visible as the Washington football team fought hard in a loss on the road to Stanford.
After a season of defensive dominance, the lauded Washington Huskies defense appeared to run out of gas. And injured, but incredibly talented Bryce Love shredded the defense for 166 yards and 3 touchdowns on 30 carries. Stanford sophomore quarterback K.J. Costello tossed a season-high 211 yards to outduel Washington quarterback Jake Browning.
Same ole story, same ole outcome
And it was the usual and customary suspects which dealt the Washington Football team another loss. Time of possession, red zone defense, penalties, third down and fourth down conversions, and turnovers. It was a series of domino-like errors which cascaded into causing errors elsewhere.
The time of possession stands out once more. Stanford owned a 12 minute advantage over Washington. That means the Washington defense worked 12 minutes longer than Stanford’s. Does it fall to wonder that the Cardinals scored two-thirds of their points in the second half, while Washington managed a mere eight? Despite the fact that Myles Gaskin averaged 6.7 yards per carry on the day, he touched the ball just 18 times. His counterpart, Bryce Love, averaged 5.5 yards per carry but handled the ball 30 times.
Offense and defense seem disconnected
Washington fans witnessed this “abandon the run” against Arizona State University. In that one, Myles Gaskin carried the ball a mere 14 times. Browning passed the ball 30 times, but also pulled the ball down for another 10 rushes/sacks. 40 of the total 61 plays depended upon Jake Browning. While the difference was not nearly as pronounced against Stanford, 27 of 56 plays depended on Browning.
But that meant three and out. The Huskies only converted 25 percent of their third downs. And that placed the already gassed Washington defense back onto the field. And that opened up the Stanford Cardinals to drive the ball and eat up more of the clock.
Fallen to 16th, but still two home games to play
At 8-2, the Washington Huskies have fallen to 16 and are now out of the NCAA playoff discussion. But that does not eliminate the Washington Huskies from bowl game discussions. Right now, the only obstacle to Stanford entering the Pac-12 championship game is California. But for now, the Washington State Cougars, having defeated Stanford, controls their own destiny. So the Cougars must win out against Washington in the Apple Cup Classic on November 25, after their bye.
Washington must win two games, and hope beyond hope that California catches Stanford napping in order for Washington to compete for the Pac-12 championship. Don’t count on that coming to pass. But with or without NCAA playoffs, or Pac-12 championships, the Huskies need to win out to gain positive momentum for a bowl bid. Right now, one likely bowl game appears to be the Alamo Bowl. That is not a January 1st bowl game, but having lost two heart-breakers, appears to be the game these Huskies are hurling towards.
No excuses. No what-ifs. The only option for the Washington Huskies is to move ahead, play tough, and compete to the best of the team’s ability. The Huskies must find the strength to rise up once more. In the end, the measure of a man is not how often he falls, but how often he gets back up.