EWU: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good was the Huskies won the game and are now 1-0 for the first time since Steve Sarkisian started coaching at Washington. The good was also the weather and a decent crowd of over 58,000 fans, a great day for college football.

The Good was obviously the play of running back Chris Polk who just two weeks prior had a knee operation, yet somehow responded with 23 carries for 125 yards. He was that good without the benefit of much practice. He will probably take this opening game and go from good to great before this season is over. Considering he missed two weeks of conditioning and contact, he was unbelievably good.

The Good was the Huskies run defense that held Eastern Washington to 31 yards on 17 carries for a 1.8 yard average. Alright, so they didn't have to run.

The Good was kicker Erik Folk, who was a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals - including one from 53 yards out.

The Good was the overall play of the special teams, who were opportunistic and represented the one phase of the game that the Huskies clearly won. The good was Kyle Rasp's punting on five attempts for a 46.8 average, including two punts downed inside the 20, with another near miss inside the 5.

The Good was the return of James Johnson as a quality receiver, leading his team with four catches and one touchdown.

The Good was the play of Keith Price, completing 17 of 25 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Good was the ball security of the Huskies, losing no fumbles and throwing no interceptions.

The Really Good was the Huskies getting four turnovers (two fumble recoveries and two interceptions). They capitalized on two for scores, and the fourth won the game.

The Good was the play of corner Desmond Trufant, who after he settled down had a solid game leading his team in tackles with 11. And when the game was on the line he came up with the play to win it for the Huskies.

The Good was the play of Hauoli Jamora, who had the Huskies' only sack, but also had seven tackles including 2.5 for losses.

The Good was Everrette Thompson using his 6-foot-6 height to bat down two passes.

The Good was the play of Eastern Washington's quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell, who completed 39 of 69 for three touchdowns. He was very accurate, and it was obvious now why his team won the national championship last year. Mitchell completed seven passes over 20 yards and got solid protection from his offensive line. He had plenty of time to pass.

The Good were his two receivers, Brandon Kaufman and Nick Edwards, who combined for 22 catches and 248 yards.

The Good was that the game was definitely a wake-up call for the Huskies, and their coaches will easily get their attention this coming week of practice.

The Good was they won it in spite of having flaws on both sides of the ball.

The Good was there is plenty of room for improvement. This team will only get better.

The Bad was getting out-gained 504-250 and out first-downed 30-14.

The Bad was dropping four passes, including one for a touchdown.

The Bad was missing tackles after the catch.

The Bad was giving up three sacks.

The Bad was the coverage on the back-end of the defense.

The Bad was the defense's inability to get off the field on third down and allowing Eastern's offense to go 10 of 16 on third down.

The Bad was six penalties for 60 yards, the worst being a couple of drive-stoppers (including the first series of the game).

The Bad was one kickoff by Folk that only went to the 17 yard line and was returned out to the 42.

The Bad was only forcing Eastern to punt one time.

The Bad was fair catching that one punt with nobody within 15 yards of you.

The Bad was the overall play of Washington's freshmen, who quite frankly played like they were freshmen: Dropping passes, missing blocks, missing tackles and coming out of coverage thereby allowing for Eastern's first touchdown pass. The freshmen who played will definitely get better, and need to quickly.

The Bad was the overall coverage by the Husky secondary, who were overly cautious and soft for much of the game.

The Bad was the defensive front's inability to rush the passer.

The Ugly was the injury bug jumping up and biting the Huskies again. Already missing cornerback Quinton Richardson, the Husky defense took further hits when Garrett Gilliland got dinged shortly after intercepting his first pass, and later Greg Ducre had to go out of the game with cramps.

The Ugly was defensive end Josh Shirley getting knocked stiff on a kickoff and never really getting into his game, and safety Justin Glenn cramping up right as he appeared to be one of the answers for the Husky defense after he entered the game as a nickel back.

The Ugly was losing their best receiver, Jermaine Kearse, right after he made his first catch of the game. The ugly was quarterback Keith Price twisting his knee and losing his mobility as a result.

The Ugly was never really getting any rhythm on either side of the ball.

The Ugly was also the negative reaction of many Husky fans to this hard-fought win. Many just chose to forget that there are no "style points" in football. You either win the game or you don't. That is the objective. It doesn't make any difference who gains the most yards or who plays the best. It's who wins the game that counts. The Huskies won the game, and in doing so beat a really good football team in Eastern Washington. There were lots of reasons on display in this game that explain why the Eagles won the national title at their level.

Eastern Washington was a worthy opponent and played their hearts out, but simply lost to a team that made them pay for their mistakes when it counted most. They were good at times, but they bad at times too and guilty of some obvious mental errors. They were well-coached, prepared to handle the atmosphere and showed an unbelievable passing game. They are to be commended for their play.

For me, it was simply another ugly win. I'd rather win playing ugly than lose playing good. You learn from it, make corrections, and move on to the next weekend. It's a long process building a college team, and there lots of games left to play, so the answer is to just keep on working hard, keep on getting better, and keep on winning.

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