If i may toot my own horn a moment - toot, toot - I nearly called the score (I predicted 34-17) of this ultimately lopsided contest.
Frankly, things were a little dicey until about midway through the 3rd quarter. Washington managed a 19-16 lead with 8:53 to play, but after that our boys were able to take over.
Shaky special teams play, as usual, nearly cost us the win. Weber is not a college punter. Sorry, kid. You lucked into a Groza by hitting a bunch of easy field goals last year, and now your cracks are starting to show. The blocked punt was terrible.
Defense stepped up like they should against this crummy offense. 3 turnovers were forced, two picks by the linebackers, and a fumble return for a TD by Nolan. Got a safety. Held them to 52 yards rushing and a 1.9 yard per carry average. Sacked Fouch again and again. Forced Fouch into a 32.5% comp and made the huskies throw the ball 40 times. Goodwin broke out for 5 for 99, but other than him Washington's playmakers were held in check.
On offense we finally came alive in the second half. Rudy looked steady, but it is hard not to look good against Washington. Really, all the plusses are tempered by the fact that we were facing the Huskies (no offense, but you guys are just a horrible, horrible team. All the gimmicky plays really say, "hey..we know we can't win legitimately...so...")
But. Rudy still completed 71% of his passes, Mike Jones finally had another big game (11 rec, 146 yds, 2 tds) and actually used his size against smaller DBs. Keegan Herring FINALLY carried the ball more than 15 times and had a huge game (22 car, 144 yards, 1 td) and looked quick out of his cuts, explosive through the hole, and healthy.
A couple things though - why can't McGaha get open? Where is the blocking on kick returns? (15 average is awful) And will this victory lead to anything? I really don't know what to take away from this other than we beat the only winless team in D1 football. And really, I expect a big win next week against WASU too, because they have been crushed at every turn. We manhandled Stanford, and Stanford beat them 58-0. So this team's next real test will be against UCLA.
At least we broke that losing streak.
**EDIT** - I would be remiss if I did not mention the PENALTIES. 12 for 92 yards is absolutely unacceptable. The way the coaching has gone on this team is extremely distressing. And 7-14 on 3rd down against Washington...hmmm..