Thursday, December 29, 2011

Huskies take on Heisman Trophy winner

By Kshell

For this bowl game Washington Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian will be under the spotlight of the nation. The nation won't be watching the Alamo Bowl tonight to watch the Huskies though as they'll be watching Robert Griffin III who is the heisman trophy winning quarterback from Baylor. This will be the first time since Tim Tebow won the heisman in 2007 that a heisman trophy winner isn't playing in a BCS game. RGIII which is what most call him led the Baylor Bears to a 9-3 record as he completed 72.4% of his passes for 3,998 yards(10.8 YPA). He threw for 36 touchdowns to only six interceptions during the season. His passing stats alone are terrific then you factor in his 644 yards rushing(4.0 YPC) with nine touchdowns and you can see why he won the heisman trophy. This won't be the first time the Huskies have faced a heisman trophy winner in fact the Huskies have only beaten the Heisman twice in their history. They have lost five games in a row to the Heisman trophy winner which had three of them being coached by Sarkisian at the time.

The Huskies recently haven't played well against Heisman trophy winners as they've been blown out as well. The last time the Huskies played an eventual Heisman winner was in the trainwreck season of 2008 when Sam Bradford  came to town. Oklahoma destroyed the Huskies 55-14 as Bradford was 18-21 passing for 304 with five passing touchdowns and also rushed for a touchdown. In 2005 the mighty USC trojans came to town featuring eventual heisman winner Reggie Bush. The Trojans won 51-24 as Bush ran for 51 yards on just eight carries with a touchdown, also caught two passes for 18 yards. He also electrified college football with a spectactular 84 yard punt return for a touchdown. The year prior the Huskies faced the Trojans again losing 38-0 in 2004 as Matt Leinart who won the Heisman that year was 24-43 passing for 217 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. In 2002 the Huskies faced the Trojans losing 41-21 as Carson Palmer was 21-34 passing for 348 yards with four touchdowns three of which were to Mike Williams. The Huskies faced a Heisman winner seven years prior in Eddie George as the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Huskies in 1995 over in Columbus 30-20. George ran for 212 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 149 with a touchdown at halftime as the Buckeyes led 23-7 over the Huskies. The two previous times the Huskies faced a heisman winner though they actually won those games.

Heading into the 1992 Rose Bowl the undefeated Washington Huskies led by Don James were hoping to win back to back Rose Bowls and win a National championship. Standing in their way was Heisman Trophy and future Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard of the Michigan Wolverines. The Huskies won that game 34-14 as Howard was held to just one catch which was late in the game too. Mario Bailey of the Huskies scored a touchdown and he possed for the Heisman. Despite having 18 receiving touchdowns Bailey was snubbed from being invited to New York that year. Howard was the first heisman player the Huskies had faced in a decade as in 1981 Marcus Allen and the USC Trojans came to town again with the Rose Bowl on the line. The Huskies won 13-3 in a rain storm as Allen had 155 rushing but would lose to the Huskies for the second straight year after scoring the winning touchdown in 1979. That year the Huskies lost to the Trojans and eventual heisman trophy winner Charles White. The Trojans won 24-17 at Husky stadium as White ran for 243 yards on the day but was held out of the endzone. Don James actually went 2-1 against Heisman trophy winners while no other Huskies coach has defeated a heisman trophy winner.

In conclusion, every heisman winner with the exception of Howard had a good game against the Huskies. Look for Griffin III to have a good game as well. Sarkisian is hoping Griffin III has a good game instead of a great game as the Huskies pull off the upset. Defeating a heisman trophy winner is difficult but that is mainly because they are also on the national championship team. That isn't the case this game as the Baylor Bears already have three losses. The Huskies are going up against College Football's best and were already routed by the runner up Andrew Luck 65-21. The Huskies defense has been scary bad this year which will be quite the test given this is best player they have faced all year which is saying something considering they already played Luck, Matt Barkley and LaMichael James. Hopefully the Heisman jinx starts a little bit early at 6 p.m. PT tonight in the Alamo Bowl and Sarkisian can join James as the only Huskies coach to defeat a Heisman trophy winner.

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