The Washington Huskies opened up their 2012 season with a 21-12 win over the San Diego State Aztezs at home. However, things weren’t as positive as the final score may have indicated. The defense looked much better than last season and the offense looked good for stretches. The Huskies need to make major strides before they head to LSU in Week 2 if they hope to have any chance at pulling the upset.
The big question coming into the season was if new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox could turn around one of the worst defensive units of 2011. The answer: sort of. The defense was solid for long stretches of the game, forcing three turnovers, including a fumble returned for a touchdown in the third quarter by safety Will Shamburger, and stopping the Aztecs on a fourth-down late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
However, they also had stretches of being the same team they were last year. The Huskies surrendered 327 total yards, including almost 200 yards rushing, to the Aztecs. They suffered a mental lapse in the second quarter, leaving wide receiver Tim Vizzi uncovered for a 47-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Katz. They also had an issue containing Aztec running back Walter Kazee, who rushed nine times for 86 yards, averaging more than nine yards per carry (9.6 to be exact).
More pressing would be the disappearing act of the Huskies defense. After jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Dawgs failed to find the end zone again. They punted five times, turned the ball over via fumble and missed a field goal. Without the defensive score in the third quarter, this game would have been a much tighter affair.
So while the Huskies came away with a win, they can’t be feeling great about their chances next week. If they struggled to contain the playmakers of San Diego State, how will they fare against the elite playmakers of LSU? If Washington struggled to find the end zone for three quarters against the Aztecs defense, will they be able to move the ball against the vaunted Tiger defense?
Enjoy the week one win, Washington, but come to practice ready to answer some tough questions before leaving for Baton Rouge.
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