Friday, November 15, 2013

Define Important...

A million apologies to the Husky Loyal Army for my absence over the last few weeks. The Husky Loyalist has some other things going on in his life, and sometimes the most important thing in life (this blog) needs to be put on the back burner. Alas, here I am, a month later and our Huskies are in a very interesting situation. 6-3 (3-3) with the chance to upset a very good UCLA team on the road. UCLA has been so good, in fact, that despite their back-to-back losses to Stanford and Oregon (remind you of a team we know), they are sitting at #13 in the nation according to the BCS standings. This is a very solid team.

The Bruin defense is led by an outstanding foursome of linebackers which include Anthony Barr, possible All-American, and Bellevue’s own Myles Jack. Jack was a prime target of the Huskies this time last year, and while many thought he would choose the school closest to his home and a program which is on the rebound and ready for big things, instead he chose UCLA. It’s not my place to bring up any kind of Judas comparisons, because that just wouldn’t be fair to the young kid (I guess that technically counts as bringing up a Judas comparison, oops, ah well). Jack has been a great player for the Bruins all season as a Freshman linebacker. So impressive on defense, in fact, that  when UCLA was banged up at the running back position this last weekend they decided to use Jack as a running back for six plays. What did he do? Not much. Oh wait, that’s right, he went off for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns on SIX carries, one of which was on a 66-yarder for a TD.

 Look, I am very happy with the personnel at the University of Washington, we have a solid team with a bright future, but if we are going to start winning Pac-12 North division titles anytime soon we have got to lock down local talent like this guy. Having said all that, I don’t think Jack will be a factor on offense today. Yes, he was effective last week, but it was a gimmick, and we will be ready for it. Plus, even 18-year-old kids slow down after that much playing time on both sides of the ball. I don’t see UCLA pushing Jack into a situation where he ends up not being effective on either side of the ball. That just leaves star QB Brett Hundley. This guy is pretty dangerous as well. He doesn’t line up on the other side of the ball as well like Jack, but he is enough to handle on offense. He has the size and speed of a Marcus Mariotta, but without the weapons around him. I feel like he can either put up monstrous numbers against us, or do nothing at all. Nothing in between that, trust me.

Our defense has really come together this season despite a couple of blips (see fourth quarter against Oregon and not showing up against ASU) and can shut down a good QB like Hundley. Our offense really does seem to be clicking, don’t you think? You know the kind of clicking when you are playing beer pong and the cups look bigger and bigger while the ball gets smaller and smaller, and the girl watching is getting more and more impressed with your ability to not only drain shots but also come up with witty comments like “it’s not how you make the shot, it’s what you do with it when you put it in”. I really like this offensive system the Huskies are playing in and it makes the team as a whole better. It will be tough to get behind those linebackers, but Sark will have something ready for them.

I have mentioned in the past how it appears the Huskies have way too many “direction of the program” games, I am sorry, that’s just where we are at. Sitting at 6-3 when we could or should be 7-2 stings and it has come down to a game like today that tells us whether or not we are close to beating good teams on the road and finishing in the upper echelon of the Pac-12. Lose, and all of a sudden we are looking at a very strong possibility of ANOTHER 7 win regular season, that just can’t happen with this team at this point. Win, and in my eyes it makes up for either the Stanford or Arizona State loss and it gives you the confidence to go into Corvallis next week and finish this season on a 5 game win streak and 9 wins (assuming we beat WSU, I mean, come on). It’s possible. It has to be possible, because that is what Sark and his team have told us.

Expectation and reality have often been adversaries when referring to the Huskies, why can’t we have a season where the expectation of a 8/9 win season plays out? It’s what the players deserve, it’s what the coaches deserve and Dawgfather dammit it is what the fans, the Husky Loyal Army, deserve. Come home in three weeks against Wazzu with something to play for. Show us and the nation we haven’t wasted nights crying with 14 beers around us and cheese dip clinging to the end of our socks while your wife debates whether or not to sleep at her sister’s place. Let us know that all this passion, all of this love for the Huskies, means something. 

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