All season long, Steve Sarkisian has been praising his 2013 team as the most talented one that he has had since becoming the head coach of the Washington Huskies. Through the early going, the team’s play seemed to back up that sentiment. But after their third straight loss on Saturday, this time a blowout at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils, have the Huskies run out of gas?
There aren’t many teams in the country who have faced the kind of schedule that UW has had in the last three weeks. It started with a trip to Palo Alto to take on the Stanford Cardinal as the Huskies got up for an opportunity to crash the party at the top of the Pac 12. They came up just short, however, in a gut-wrenching finish that many felt was aided by a controversial call from the replay officials adding insult to injury.
They didn’t get a chance to lick their wounds for long, though, as they welcomed the Oregon Ducks the very next week in one of the more heated rivalries in the conference. UW looked good for about three quarters of the game, staying within striking distance of the high-powered Ducks’ offense until they seemingly ran out of gas and let the game get out of hand towards the end. It was their second straight game where they had taken their best shot and come up short and you had to wonder about the mental ramifications from that.
Arizona State posed a good challenge for the Huskies, not only on the field but also as a litmus test for just how mature and mentally tough this Washington roster was. It quickly became apparent that the Huskies did not come prepared to play. ASU scored 29-unanswered points to close out the first half to open up a huge halftime lead that they never even came close to giving back. Every UW score in the second half was answered by ASU with a score of their own and the Huskies finished the day with negative-five yards rushing.
It was the poorest showing by far for this Washington team all season long. They were out-classed at just about every level and blown off the field in Tempe. There’s still plenty of games left to play in 2013 but after watching this team fall flat in the desert, does UW have anything left to finish the season strong?