Washington football is back in the Pac-12 Championship for the second time in three years, can they clinch a Rose Bowl berth?
Washington football has had a very long and interesting season, but a Pac-12 Championship victory would be a great start as a send-off for this incredible senior class. Jake Browning, Myles Gaskin, Kaleb McGary, and Ben Burr-Kirven, among others, have worked so hard under Chris Petersen to get Husky football back into the national spotlight. They’ve earned the right to be in this game, and hopefully, they can get out of Santa Clara with their second title in three years.
Do it for the Seniors
They really do deserve it. Browning and Gaskin are the best players in school history at their positions, as is McGary. Burr-Kirven is having one of the best seasons in school history. These seniors clearly want it, and that attitude has rubbed off on the underclassmen. After that strong showing in the snowy Apple Cup, and the convincing offensive performance against Oregon State, this team is clearly clicking at the right time. A big part of that probably has to do with health and not being bitten by the injury bug like last season.
The Boys Are Back
Hunter Bryant, Trey Adams, Byron Murphy, Jordan Miller. All of these guys missed significant time last season, and for the first two, they missed a lot of time this season too. It’s no surprise that having all of these guys back has helped the Huskies look like a much different team than last season. After Jared Hilbers‘ unfortunate injury last week, Adams was able to step in at left tackle and not miss a beat. Hilbers has done a great job filling in for Adams and should start next season at right tackle if Adams can stay healthy. Kind of nice to have an All-American as a backup right now though.
Rose Bowl Dreams
The Huskies haven’t been to the Rose Bowl since 2001, when they beat the Drew Brees led Purdue Boilermakers. For a team that was ranked in the top 10 in the preseason, fell all the way out of the rankings after a loss at Cal, and now to climb back up to number 11, this would be a huge accomplishment. The Huskies have an advantage on both sides of the ball, and have already beaten Utah once this season, in their house. Utah will be without star running back Zack Moss, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice a few weeks ago.
Don’t overlook this Utah team though, they have an excellent defensive line and they always play the Huskies well.