Well, that game obviously went EXACTLY as I expected.
Yes indeed, for what I think is the first time since I’ve been doing the blog, I got a direct hit on my pick of the UW game, predicting a 21-13 Washington win. And despite all the bizarre twists and turns en route, 21-13 UW it was. Your congratulations are heartily accepted (and yes, I’d like to thank the little people who made it all possible and all that).
The Huskies will also gladly take your applause, as well.
Undoubtedly, that was the type of game for which the phrase “ugly win” was invented. But as long as it has the word “win” attached was enough for the Huskies on this night, giving UW its first road victory in 13 months.
There remains a lot of stuff to clean up, notably the turnovers (four) and penalties (12). Hard to do that often and win anywhere, let alone on the road.
And Cal coach Jeff Tedford, whose is undoubtedly on the line, will look at the film and wonder how his team lost. Cal had 450 yards and 249 rushing, and converted 10-18 third downs, totals often good enough to win a game handily, let alone score just 13 points.
But the Huskies proved opportunistic overall, and were stout in the red zone — Cal got just one touchdown on four drives inside the 20 and on three inside the 10 — which proved the difference.
These night games are killers in terms of our deadlines, and I frankly had little choice but to have my head down writing for much of the second half, so trying to do much of a real detailed analysis isn’t really possible.
But undoubtedly UW doesn’t win the game without the contributions of Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (pictured in an AP photo), who despite their fumbles are the two main stars of the game for the Huskies.
Defensively, Shaq Thompson had a big homecoming with the critical interception that led to the clinching touchdown and two tackles-for-a-loss. Andrew Hudson also had a good game with 1.5 sacks and it seemed like John Timu played pretty well as did Marcus Peters and Sean Parker.
And the key part of the game was undoubtedly the drive by UW after Cal made it 13-7 and the Huskies went right down and scored, thanks almost solely to the two passes by Keith Price to Seferian-Jenkins. That was the one time it felt like UW was sort of on the ropes, and the Huskies immediately responded (two Cal penalties helped, but UW made the plays it had to make).
So UW is now 5-4 and has the road monkey off its back. And the road to an 8-4 season is still there, though you’d think the Huskies would be playing with fire a little bit to keep being that sloppy.
And with that, a few links.
— Here’s my game story.
— Jerry Brewer says UW only proved it’s not as good at losing as the Bears.
— Percy Allen wrote about ASJ’s big night.
— And here’s the notebook, leading off with Bishop Sankey’s big game.
— And concluding our coverage is the 2-minute drill.
— ESPN.com echoes the chorus that it was an ugly game.
— CBSSports.com calls it a “turnover fest.”
— The San Jose Mercury News says the Bears continue to free fall.
— Here’s the report from the San Francisco Chronicle which also details some of Cal’s many injuries.
— And finally, here’s a preview of the big game of the day in the conference, Oregon at USC.