UW Huskies won’t pursue a bowl game, end 2020 season at 3-1
That’s all she wrote for a shortened 2020 season for the UW Huskies.
After a 3-1 start and four game cancelations, including annual rivalry games with the WSU Cougars and Oregon Ducks as well as a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game against the USC Trojans, the Huskies announced Friday afternoon that the team will be ending its season and will not pursue a bowl game. It will be the first time since 2009 that Washington will not appear in a bowl game.
“We have made a medical decision to not pursue a bowl bid this year,” UW Huskies athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement. “I’m truly disappointed for our players, coaches and staff who dedicated themselves to this very challenging season and were looking forward to representing the University of Washington, all of Husky Nation and the Pac-12 Conference in a bowl game.”
The Huskies’ first game of 2020 against Cal was canceled as the Golden Bears had COVID-19 infections that caused the team to be unable to play that matchup. Later, that same issue came up with WSU, and then the Huskies had enough positive tests in the program that caused them to cancel their game with Oregon as well as pull out of the Pac-12 Championship. The biggest issue was at the offensive line.
“he last 10 days we have made every effort, including pausing all football-related activities and continued aggressive testing protocols, to be able to have our team ready to return to the field. However, with the number of positive cases, specifically at the offensive line position, we will not have a team ready for competition due to our comprehensive return to play medical protocols,” Cohen said.
This marks the end of Jimmy Lake’s first season running the UW Huskies program as head coach. The Huskies opened with wins over Oregon State, Arizona and Utah and a loss to Stanford.
“Our goal every season is to win the Pac-12 Championship and win the bowl game,” Lake said in a statement. “I’m so proud of our guys for how hard they have worked to put us in a position to achieve those goals. Unfortunately, due to the positive cases we have seen, specifically on our offensive line, we would have not been able to have a team ready to compete at a high level in a bowl game due to our return to play protocols.”
Lake said the news is disappointing for the program as well as fans of the team, but “this is the right decision to make to protect the health and safety of our players, which is always our greatest priority.”
“Our guys have given up so much this season, and I would like to thank them for how they have handled everything,” Lake added. “I would also like to give special recognition to our seniors who poured so much into this program, we are so proud of them for everything they have accomplished on and off the field.”
You can read the full statement from Cohen, Lake as well as team physician Dr. Kim Harmon here.