Before passing along a few links, a few thoughts on what is one of the many sources of consternation out there among fans (at least, from the e-mail and other comments I’m getting) about last night’s game — the fact that the Huskies threw the ball so much.
If it seemed like you hadn’t seen anything like that in a while, well, you hadn’t.
UW’s 52 attempts were the most for the Huskies since they threw 54 in the 2002 Sun Bowl loss to Purdue. Back then, that was part of the deal, with the offense of then head coach Rick Neuheisel and QB Cody Pickett and WR Reggie Williams — UW threw 50 or more passes five times that season.
They threw 51 in a loss at Arizona (that place again) in 2003 in the final season for Pickett and Williams. But since then, they had never thrown more than 47 (that coming in 2004). The previous high during the Steve Sarkisian era was 45 against LSU and Oregon in 2009 (Keith Price’s previous career high was 38 last year at Stanford — he needed only 37 pass attempts to throw for 438 yards against Baylor in the Alamo Bowl).
And it wasn’t just a matter that UW got behind early that led the Huskies to throw. As a few of you noted, Price threw 10 passes on the first drive of the game and UW had 17 passes out of 25 plays in the first quarter and 27 passes out of 46 plays at halftime.
Arizona came into the game ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in total defense and was pretty much equal bad against the run and the pass — 12th against the run and 11th against the pass.
Sarkisian said after the game the plan was to try to get the ball as much as possible to Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who combined for 16 catches for 190 yards.
“I thought we had a great game plan throwing the ball for (Seferian-Jenkins) and for Kasen,” Sarkisian said. “From the first play of the game Kasen’s open by about 20 yards. We had some stuff that we really believed in; just didn’t hit it as often as I thought we would.”
And therein, obviously, was the problem, as little that the Huskies tried Saturday night worked.
That has UW at 3-4 entering this week’s game with Oregon State, and suddenly looking at getting out of a little hole to get bowl eligible, let alone anything else.
Here’s my story for the Monday paper looking back at the lost weekend in Tucson and what the Huskies do now.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— As always on Monday mornings, I will be on the Husky Roundtable on KJR-AM with Mitch Levy, Chuck Nelson and Hugh Millen.
— The CoachSark has his weekly Sunday Conversation.
— The ESPN Pac-12 blog sees the Huskies headed to the New Mexico Bowl.
— Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star says Rich Rodriguez’s staff outcoached the Huskies.
— Jim Moore says he didn’t see the blowout loss coming.
— SBNation has some thoughts on the game.
— Jon Wilner calls the Huskies the “been-through-the-ringer team of the week.”
— USA Today examines Oregon State’s comeback season.
— Oregon State news and notes from The Oregonian, including that it looks like Sean Mannion may start at QB after missing the last two weeks with a knee injury — a final decision could come Monday.
— Cal, where UW goes next week, is also having a tough season, but Jeff Tedford says the Bears will persevere.
— Robb Akey of Idaho on Sunday became the first head coach this season to be fired, and was replaced for the rest of the season by former WSU quarterback Jason Gesser.
— I always enjoy Stewart Mandel’s wrapup of the college football weekend, and this week he refers to “the mysterious struggles” of Keith Price.