Coach's Corner

It wasn't the way it was done, it wasn't the amount of points, and it wasn't as convincing as the stats would indicate, but it was oh so sweet. The Huskies finally broke into the conference win column with a sound beating of a team that frankly, they should've beaten.

The Stanford team was game, but out played and out coached by a Washington team determined to finally get a win after six frustrating weeks of losing. Critics gave no lip service to the fact that Washington had played some of the best teams in the country and had played them dead even for big stretches of those games.

They were simply losing and it had become unbearable.

Then when they let the game the previous week against Arizona, another team they were probably better than, get away from them, many of their own fans and followers began to turn on them. They held their resolve, they stuck together, they went back to work and they proved to themselves they could win.

And they did win.

USC lost to Stanford earlier in the season, and I'm sure Stanford felt they would take it to the Huskies in their new stadium just as they did last year in Seattle. However Washington beat them up. They played smash-mouth football and ran it right down the Cardinals throats.

The much maligned Husky defense held the Stanford offense to 253 yards and only one touchdown and the offense ran the ball 63 times for 388 yards. Running back Louis Rankin, also shut up his critics by out gaining the whole Stanford offense all by himself rushing 36 times for 255 yards. For an old school guy, like me, it was a thing of beauty.

It had been a long time since they had last tasted victory against Boise State, the only loss the Broncos have been dealt this season.

They had played two number one ranked teams in the country, when they met Ohio State and USC, they had lost a pair of games to Arizona State and Oregon on back to back weekends and those two teams just played the featured game in the country last weekend ranked at numbers 4 and 5 in the nation. What an unbelievable stretch of games. All of them resulted in losses but in every game the Huskies proved that they could compete.

Still, the team came under heavy criticism with calls for firing of the head coach and the defensive coordinator. Kids began to quit the team, the alumni became unsettled. Losing was taking its toll. Despite a schedule that shows seven of the Husky opponents ranked in the top 25, playing teams tough isn't enough when you lose six in a row. As losses mount, so does the criticism.

Saturday they finally had won a game and to see them singing, "Bow Down to Washington" with their loyal following at the end of the game made me proud of this group of players and coaches. They had done it the old fashion way by simply beating up your opponent until they finally caved in.

I don't care who the opponent is, a win is a win and this team really needed a win. They now have to go out on the road again and see if they can recapture that same feeling one more time.

The game against Oregon State is going to be a battle. This game will be a slam bang affair with the toughest team left standing. I have watched the Beavers on tape and I can tell you they are a tough and hard nosed team. Last year they took it to the Huskies in the trenches and got physical with the Dawgs. This year it appears that they are the same kind of team. This is going to be a game of running the football and the team that does it the best will probably win it.

The Huskies could really catch a break if the Beavers' starting tailback and quarterback miss the game. It really doesn't make any difference though because this is a game that will be won up front. Blocking and tackling will decide the outcome of this battle.

The Huskies have rediscovered winning and they are going to want to put back to back wins together for the first time since the start of the season. They get to try and do it in yet another remodeled stadium against a northwest rival they used to dominate for decades. They get to once again attempt to shut up their detractors and answer another challenge against another conference team.

I like their chances if they continue to run the ball like they did last weekend. Run the football, protect it, be solid in the kicking game and play good defense. It's a good formula for winning.

The kicking game still leaves a lot of room for improvement but the rushing game is well on its way. Top Stories