Last week can be erased on Saturday

Last Saturday night was not a nightmare. It really happened. Stanford actually ran for over 400 yards and barely needed Andrew Luck to absolutely boat-race the Huskies out of Palo Alto with a 65-21 drubbing. But with a win on Saturday night against Arizona, the Huskies can turn last weekend's farce into just a loss.

What do I mean by that? Simple. Most expected the Huskies to lose, albeit keep it somewhat competitive. The fact the Huskies lost isn't what got fans in arms about last weekend.

It was the way it happened. It was the way the defense barely made the Stanford punter even pay attention to the game. In fact, I swear I saw him up in the press box grabbing hot dogs and coffee DURING the game. He certainly wasn't needed on the field, so I think he was running errands for David Shaw.

Anyhow, if Washington can rebound and defeat a suddenly loosey-goosey Arizona team that just finished bashing the UCLA Bruins, the Huskies will be sitting at 6-2 and very much in the post-season conversation.

This week will be spent getting things corrected on defense, making sure the defensive line can get off blocks, making sure the linebackers are fitting the gaps correctly, and making sure those seven players are all on the same page.

The Arizona offensive line will not resemble the Stanford version, but they have certainly renewed their interest in establishing a rushing attack as evidenced by the way they smashed UCLA at the line of scrimmage. The Wildcats will continue their running emphasis, and that might play into Washington's hands.

After the Stanford game, you have to be sure that the Huskies have worked on how to stop the two, three, and four gaps. The Wildcats cannot put the high level of tight end talent out on the field that the Cardinal did, so the Husky defensive ends should have more of an opportunity to make tackles before they get trapped and rolled.

If the Huskies can shut down the suddenly dangerous rushing attack, they will then be able to mount a pass rush on a not-very-mobile Nick Foles. He has been sacked fourteen times this season, and is not a threat to move the chains with his legs. That means the linebackers can be a bit more aggressive in their angles at the quarterback. When Sean Parker comes on a blitz from the outside, there isn't a lot of danger of Foles escaping and making the Huskies pay.

Receiver Juron Criner looks like he's back to form, torching the Bruins for three touchdowns and 10 receptions. Desmond Trufant is going to face yet another test. Safety Will Shamburger is going to get more playing time and it will be interesting to see him in coverage helping out with Criner and Gino Crump, another Wildcat threat.

If the Huskies can keep Arizona from finding the Husky end zone with great frequency (See Stanford), and go back to tightening up in the red zone and hold the ‘Cats to field goals, the Washington offense should pick up the slack more than enough to win on Saturday.

I don't think Keith Price will be under the type of pressure he faced from the Cardinal. Arizona has but five quarterback sacks this year and they rank 12th in the conference against the pass. If ever there was a game where the Husky passing attack could have their way, this Saturday is it.

Similarly, the Wildcats are 10th against the run, giving up an average of 173 yards per contest on the ground. That has to excite Chris Polk, don't you think?

Facing a team that has given up 464 yards per game and a very bloated 6.7 yards per play to their opponents, the Husky offense must be salivating.

If the Husky defense can hold the Wildcats to 28 points or less, this should be a cake walk. Washington takes good care of the ball, moves the ball efficiently both on the ground and through the air. And they will hold an edge in special teams as well.

The defense doesn't have to be fantastic. The Husky offense already is. But the defense has to show improvement and make some plays in order to give the ball to their offense more often and in good position.

6-2 is staring them in the face with a win on Saturday night. Steve Sarkisian is a good coach. I think he will show everyone just how good on Saturday by getting his kids to rebound. I think he will have sat in on just about every defensive meeting possible this week to make sure the problems are getting fixed, or at least addressed to the point of where they are mitigated.

After taking a 44-point loss despite being ranked in the top-25, it would be easy to see Washington backslide and begin to doubt themselves.

Sarkisian won't allow it. He expects to win. He expects his team to follow his lead.

Washington wins on Saturday and the memories of last weekend will slowly fade. With a win over Arizona this weekend, last weekend's aberration becomes just another loss. A loss that showed just how far the Huskies still have yet to climb up the mountain, but at 6-2, it's a much less painful lesson to learn.

Odds and ends…. Having made the trip to Palo Alto on Saturday, can I just say, WTF was that parking situation? Sheesh. It took nearly an hour to find our car in the dark. Every parking lot looks the same, none of them paved and it is very easy to get turned around amongst all of the trees and meandering ditches. Next time I'm leaving a trail of popcorn…..Met Husky RS-freshman OT Ben Riva's mom at the airport on the way home. She had an interesting story regarding Ben's recruitment. Said Stanford came at him hard, but when he came home he told his mom, "I'm not going there, Mom. Those guys aren't here for the long haul. They're out of here in the next year or two. Washington, those guys are committed to the school, and to their players."….Most gorgeous beaches I've been to in California were in Santa Cruz and Capitola. Natural Bridges was amazing at sunset and Manresa was gorgeous. Very worth the hike….Pizza My Heart in Capitola is the best pizza I've had on the west coast, and comes in second only to John's Pizza on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. Outstanding pizza on the beach, Capitola has some incredible fun in the sun in store for those that venture there….Watching Steve Sarkisian bolt from the field at light speed after the game Saturday was a scary thing. He very briskly shook David Shaw's hand, and then sprinted away. Later he crossed paths with former Husky coach Randy Hart and it wasn't a pleasant exchange, unfortunately. I'm leaving it at that….The PA system at the new Stanford Stadium was very hokey. As a musician, maybe I'm too stuck up about that sort of thing but the voices were so muffled, it sounded like Johnny Rotten singing through a 60-amp speaker. Very distorted, overdriven, and not very intelligible….AANDY was there and it was great to chat, learn, trade stories, and just spend time with him. Thanks AANDY!!! It was a fun pre-game with you and Coachnews…… Top Stories