Sunday, October 10, 2010

Arizona State stuns the Huskies 24-14

By Kshell

The Arizona State Sun Devils(3-3,1-2) shocked the Washington Huskies(2-3,1-1)24-14 at home in rainy Husky Stadium. The Huskies like last year coming off a big win over USC came out flat and fell behind early and the Sun Devils defense held the mighty Husky offense to just 14 points.

The Sun Devils snapped a nine game road losing streak led by quarterback Steven Threet who threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a touchdown. The Sun Devils raced out to a quick 21-7 lead and this time held on for the win led by their defense making some big stops.

The Sun Devils were on the board first driving 90 yards for a touchdown which was capped by a Threet four yard touchdown pass to Gerell Robinson. The Huskies answered on the next drive tied the score up at 7-7 on a Jake Locker QB keeper from two yards out. The Sun Devils would score another touchdown to make it 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Arizona State right before the half would score another touchdown when Threet would hit Mike Willie for 20 yards and a touchdown to give Arizona State a commanding 21-7 lead at halftime. At halftime Threet would have thrown for 220 yards with two touchdowns.

The Huskies offense despite nice statistics couldn't get in the end zone enough as they would often stall. Folk would miss a field goal, UW was two of five of fourth down conversations, UW failed a fake field goal attempt and would also turn the ball over in the red zone.

The Huskies facing a critical fourth and two from the 15 yard line trailing 21-7 in the 4th quarter finally converted. Jake Locker could have ran for the first down but elected to throw and hit D'Andre Goodwin for a 15 yard touchdown pass to pull within 21-14. Despite the defense getting some stops that was the closest the Huskies would get as Arizona State would tack on a field goal to make the game 24-14. Jake Locker would throw an interception in the end zone with two minutes left to seal the deal.

The Huskies now fall to 2-3 and now face their toughest four game stretch of the season with Oregon State at home, at Arizona, Stanford at home then at Oregon. The Huskies must be 6-6 to qualify for a bowl game it doesn't appear very likely after this loss.

- I don't know why Steve Sarkisian doesn't feature Chris Polk more. I would like to see a game where Polk carries the ball 30 times. Polk had just 18 carries but ran for 110 yards which is a 6.1 YPC average. Jesse Callier his backup running back had just three carries for 20 yards(6.7 YPC). Chris Polk other than the Nebraska game has averaged over five yards a carry every game he needs to be getting 25 carries a game with Callier getting 5-10.

- Jake Locker running was nowhere to be seen. Even on his touchdown pass to Goodwin he could have ran and probably should have ran. Locker had a pathetic 11 carries for six yards which is about half a yard a carry. When Locker isn't a running threat he or the Huskies offense isn't dangerous at all.

- The Huskies averaged over six yards a carry and Locker completed over 60% of his throws and before Washington started to air it out like crazy towards the end he was at 70% with no interceptions. I'm still surprised with those numbers the Huskies scored just 14 points which is the lowest point total at home vs a Pac-10 opponent in the Jake Locker era.

- The defense again struggled in the first half. Allowing 21 points to a bad offense wasn't good at all. The defense in the second half had a bend but don't break and allowed just three points and kept the team in the game. This is twice now this year where the defense allows 23 and 24 points and the Huskies lose. That's not acceptable for a supposedly explosive offense.

- The Huskies had some notable injuries missing were wide receiver Devin Aguilar and offensive lineman Erik Kohler. Jake Locker was sucking oxygen after every run as well.

- The Huskies have not beaten the Arizona State Sun Devils since 2001 and have not beaten them in Husky Stadium since 1997. In fact this game reminded me of the 1999 game where UW coming off of two huge wins got blown out at home. This loss was exactly like the BYU loss. Where the defense didn't play well but kept the team in it. Ultimately this loss is on Jake Locker and the offense. Scoring 14 points in this conference won't get you any wins especially at home.

- I'm willing to give Sarkisian some time but this loss and the BYU loss reflects on his coaching. The Huskies didn't lose those games because of lack of talent. The Nebraska loss was fine they were flat out better than the Huskies. BYU and ASU might be a bit more talented still but its not enough to make a difference. This was without a doubt the worst loss of the Steve Sarkisian era.

Well guys that was my game recap and observations. I hope you enjoyed them. This loss was a tough one to swallow as I thought the Huskies would use that win over USC to start a run instead they went backwards. I want to see progress week to week but so far this offense and Locker in particular look worse than they were last year. I'm still waiting for that team who finished the year winning 72-10 in the final two games to show up.

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