What Time Is The Husky Football Game On Today College Football – A Season of 2 Games, One Becomes Abject Heartache, the Other Extreme Joy

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College Football – A Season of 2 Games, One Becomes Abject Heartache, the Other Extreme Joy

This is the story of the life of a college football team’s season in just two games – one of great heartache and the other of great joy. The team this season was the University of Washington.

Charles Dickens wrote this famous line in his novel “A Tale of Two Cities” – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” and Huskies football players experienced these two events in reverse order.

The Huskies finished their 2008 season 0-12 without a win. They opened the 2009 season at home against the then 11th ranked Louisiana State University Tigers. Having lost 14 straight games over two seasons, the Huskies faithful could be forgiven for expecting the worst.

Washington surprised everyone, especially LSU, by taking the kickoff and marching down the field for a touchdown. The Huskies were fired up under new head coach Steve Sarkisian, who would quickly become known as “Sark” and achieve celebrity status in the Western Washington sports community.

At the end of LSU’s opening drive, the Huskies won the ball movement statistical battle, but lost the war 31-23.

In their next game at home against the Idaho Vandals, the Washington Huskies essentially scored on their first 5 possessions to win on the road, 42-23, and snap a 15-game losing streak.

In their third game of the season, again at home, something short of a miracle happened – Washington upset then third-ranked Southern California 16-13 on Eric Faulk’s 22-yard field goal with just 3 seconds left. a game.

The 2-1 start made the Huskies the story of Seattle and even the nation due to Southern Cal’s overwhelming success (at least 11 wins and a BCS bowl appearance in 7 consecutive years) and high ranking in the polls.

The Huskies then hit the road for their first road game and ran into a rejuvenated Stanford Cardinal team and its 6-foot, 237-pound senior running back Toby Gerhart, who rushed for 200 yards and exposed the Huskies’ inept tackling skills.

Washington’s young, talented but inexperienced players could not stop Gerhart, a battering ram who simply ran through and over the Huskies.

Stanford was a big disappointment for the Huskies after their upset win over Southern Cal, and we had another trip to South Bend, Indiana to face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. This is where our story of a two-game season really begins.

There is no college football program with more storied history than Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have won 11 national championships, have 12 undefeated seasons and 10 other seasons with at least one loss or a tie, have produced more All-Americans than any other school, produced 7 Heisman Trophy winners and have the best coaching record in history – Knut Rockn had 105 wins, 12 losses and 5 ties in 13 years while leading the Fighting Irish to 6 national championships.

Washington players who Googled “Notre Dame” might quickly become intimidated by its legends, lore and traditions. When he lines up at middle linebacker on game day, it’s easy to imagine seeing ghosts coming out of the backfield in search of another conquest.

But this year’s version of the Washington Huskies remained grounded in reality. As bad as Washington’s offense was defensively, Notre Dame didn’t look much better, and a battle of wills ensued.

With less than a minute left in the 3rd quarter, Notre Dame invoked its storied tradition to prevent Jake Locker from scoring on two running back attempts from the 1-yard line; The Huskies had to hand the ball over with Washington 24 and Notre Dame 19. Had the Huskies scored, they would have gone up 31-19 and possibly broken Notre Dame’s back.

It was a bitter pill for the most talented and versatile player Jake Locker-Washington (Husky coaches said Locker can play 7 different positions on the field) to swallow. For two years, he carried a bad Washington team practically on his back, and now his offensive line couldn’t move the Irish back six inches.

Then surprise redshirt freshman Chris Polk appeared to make it 30-22 with a 6-yard TD run with 7:07 left, but was ruled down at the half-yard line after a review. This was a travesty because Polk scored, but someone forgot to take a closer look at the replay official; maybe he was a Notre Dame fan.

On 1st down from the Notre Dame 1-yard line, Polk lost a yard as the Fighting Irish line held. On 2nd down, Locker passed incomplete. 3rd down and 2, Locker rushed and the Irish line held again. On 4th down, Notre Dame held again, but was penalized 1 yard and Washington had another set of downs.

On first down, Polk again chased, and the Irish again held. 2nd down, Washington is penalized 5 yards. On the repeated 2nd down, Locker passed for 5 yards to running back Paul Homer and the Huskies were again within 1 yard of scoring. On 3rd down, Locker rushed again and again the Irish line held. On 4th down, Washington was penalized 5 yards, and on a repeat 4th down, Washington would settle for a field goal, making it 27-22 Huskies.

Incredibly, the Huskies had 6 scoring chances on the Irish of 2 yards or less, and the Irish defense, which hadn’t played well all day, held the line. Polk, who was stopped on two attempts, would finish the day with 136 yards rushing, a career best for the redshirt freshman.

Notre Dame immediately responded with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to go up 30-27.

With 1:20 left in the game, Locker — the greatest quarterback to wear a University of Washington jersey since Marques Tuiazosopo in 2000 — calmly walked his Huskies down the field and Eric Faulk made a 37-yard field goal to tie the game at 30 and send is in overtime.

Tuiasosopo is the son of former NFL defensive lineman Manu Tuiasosopo and the older brother of NFL linebacker Zak Tuiasosopo and Seattle Mariners third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo. Jake Locker is in good company.

Notre Dame quickly scored first in overtime to go up 37-30, then Washington’s offensive line, which was 6 plays late, allowed Locker to be sacked 10 yards and Locker threw three incomplete passes. His final pass, 33 yards to the 1-yard line, was hauled in by D’Andre Goodwin, who suffered a concussion after taking two hard hits from Notre Dame defenders at the goal line.

The inglorious finish left Locker, Goodwin, the entire team and coaching staff with one big case of excruciating pain. After fighting calmly like the warrior that he is, Locker was so devastated and emotional that he couldn’t make it to the postgame press conference.

(Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a 2-part series.)

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

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