Huskies at a crossroads (updated after ASU loss)

UPDATED SUNDAY MORNING

Well, I guess we have the answer to the question I posed at the end of this blog on Saturday.

Relevent or irrelevant?

The Washington Huskies found out, once again, that they’re irrelevant when it comes to the big picture of college football. Coach Steve Sarkisian called the 54-23 road loss to Arizona State “embarrassing,” and it was. Washington, coming off losses to Stanford and Oregon, still had a chance to have a special season. Now, they appear headed for mediocrity once again. It was a must-win game for both teams, and Arizona State rose to the occasion. The Sun Devils were very impressive as they took it the Huskies. The Huskies only brought back memories of the mediocrity that’s plagued this program in recent years.

Sarkisian said the Huskies were ready for the second-half of the season, but they were not. He didn’t offer any excuses.

“We appeared a little tired tonight, in my opinion,” he told reporters. “We didn’t appear as fast. We didn’t appear as physical. We appeared (to be) a team that was a little bit lethargic, and maybe we were a little emotionally drained. I don’t know. But that’s an excuse, and there are none. We don’t have time for excuses. We’ve got to fix it.”

Here’s some morning links.

Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer puts the blame on Sarkisian.

Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com wonders why Sarkisian couldn’t see that quarterback Keith Price couldn’t get the job done with his injured thumb.

Desert Downer. That was the headline on the Huskies’ own web site. The story points out that the game turned in the second quarter when Washington generated 14 yards in 16 plays and had three straight three and outs.

As expected, Washington’s no longer a top-25 team. The polls.

HERE’S THE ORIGINAL POST

In about 30 minutes, the Washington Huskies will play their biggest  football game of the season, and not just because it’s the next game. I feel strongly that the outcome will determine what direction this team is going to go.

The Huskies found out they could play with then-No. 5 Stanford on the road, but they did enough things (bad specials teams, penalties etc.) to mess that one up.

The Huskies found out they could hang with No. 2 Oregon or a while, but by the end of the 45-24 loss it was obvious that they’ve still got a ways to go to get to where they want their program to be.

That brings us to today’s game against Arizona State, the third game in a tough three-game stretch. A third-straight loss could be disastrous for Steve Sarkisian’s program, which is coming off three straight 7-6 seasons.

Washington’s failed to avoid a three-game losing streak in the last four seasons, and another streak like that won’t bode well for this team.

Washington’s a three-to-four point underdog in a game that looks pretty even on paper. And don’t forget that ASU (4-2) needs this victory just as much as the Huskies. The Sun Devils, averaging 44.2 points per game, are in pretty much the same position as the Huskies. Like Washington, ASU thinks it has enough talent to make a run at a 9-win, or even a 10-win season, and a decent bowl game.

It’s not possible to state how important this game is for the Huskies. This is Washington’s best team since, well, probably 2001, but it won’t seem like it if they lose today. The boosters will be barking and the national pundits will stop signing their praises if they’re 4-3 heading into the final five games of the season.

Relevent or irrelevent? That is the question that will be answered today.

 

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