UW

UW Huskies look to regroup at Colorado, eye bowl eligibility

Nov 19, 2021, 12:13 PM
UW Huskies Cade Otton Dylan Morris...
UW Huskies tight end Cade Otton, right, celebrates his touchdown pass reception with quarterback Dylan Morris in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The UW Huskies have a chance to salvage what’s been a turbulent season.

Salk: There’s one thing the next UW Huskies football coach has to have

Two wins could be an elixir. Two wins would make them bowl eligible — a mark they’ve reached each season since 2010 — in a year that started on the wrong foot with a loss to an FCS school and now includes the firing of their head coach.

Step one comes Saturday in Boulder, when the UW Huskies (4-6, 3-4 Pac-12) face Colorado (3-7, 2-5). This will be the second straight contest without coach Jimmy Lake, who served a one-game suspension for a sideline incident and then was let go Sunday.

“It’s our job to help these kids navigate through a tough time,” interim coach Bob Gregory said. “It’s not easy for these guys. Their world has changed a little bit.”

The prospect of a bowl remains a motivator. The Huskies need to beat the Buffaloes and then rival Washington State in the Apple Cup.

“You’ve got to finish what you started. There’s no quit,” Gregory said. “We’ve just got to keep those guys focused that way. … We still have a lot of really cool stuff to play for.”

Pride is all the Buffaloes have to play for at this point. After making it to a bowl in Karl Dorrell’s first season, the Buffaloes went through a four-game skid that pretty much derailed their postseason chances.

“They’re disappointed about that,” Dorrell said. “But we still are a team that wants to compete, wants to have a better feeling and better taste in their mouth, or a better feeling going into the offseason. … So the attitude is still pretty good, still pretty strong.”

This will be Gregory’s second game in charge at Washington. He stepped in last weekend in a 35-30 loss to Arizona State as Lake served his suspension for swatting at and then shoving one of his players during a loss to Oregon. The incident only added to the heat on Lake during a swift fall for a team that began the season ranked in the AP Top 25 before losing to Montana of the FCS ranks. Lake went 7-6 in the 13 games he coached.

“I’m sure their players are still fighting, and want to finish the season the right way,” Dorrell said. “So it’s going to be a great game.”

The last time Washington failed to qualify for a bowl game was 2009. The Huskies opted not to play in a bowl game last year due to COVID-19 issues.

“We can have a winning season. Apple Cup. Bowl game. All that kind of stuff,” Gregory said. “That’s what we’ve got to do.”

QB QUESTION

Starting QB Dylan Morris received the majority of the playing time last week against Arizona State, but highly touted freshman Sam Huard saw some action as well. Huard was 3 of 5 passing for 20 yards.

“I think we had to do that, give ourselves a little bit of a spark and give Sam a chance to play,” Gregory said. “I think it helps him. It helps Dylan to have a little competition.”

Gregory was noncommittal about how the playing time at QB will be split against Colorado. He even suggested there is a chance Colorado State transfer Patrick O’Brien might see the field this week as well.

LANDMAN’S RETURN

There’s a possibility All-Pac-12 linebacker Nate Landman (shoulder) could be back in the Buffaloes’ lineup. He leads the team in tackles with 71. He’s trying to become the first Colorado player to lead the team in that category for four seasons.

“He’s chomping to play,” Dorrell said. “I’m sure he’s going to try to get himself on the field.”

DEFENSIVELY STOUT

The UW Huskies have gone 85 games without allowing a team to score more than 35 points. The last team to reach that mark on them was UCLA during a 44-30 win in 2014.

What’s more, Washington has surrendered just three plays longer than 40 yards. There are three FBS teams that have allowed less — Arizona (one), along with Georgia and Colorado (two).

RED-ZONE EFFICIENCY

Washington is 31 for 31 in its trips inside the red zone. The UW Huskies have 21 touchdowns and 10 field goals.

UW

Pac-12...
The Associated Press

Pac-12 Commissioner Kliavkoff jabs Big 12, touts future after USC, UCLA

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said his conference is far from finished, despite the defections of Southern California and UCLA.
4 months ago
UW Huskies...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard breaks down what he was told was ‘worst day’ in Pac-12 history

Former UW QB and current college football analyst Brock Huard shared his thoughts on the departure of USC and UCLA from the Pac-12.
5 months ago
WSU Jahad Woods...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: WSU, other small schools ‘going to suffer’ after Pac-12 shakeup

In his latest video for Seattle Sports 710 AM, Michael Bumpus discusses the fallout of USC and UCLA leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.
5 months ago
Pac-12...
Brandon Gustafson

What report of USC and UCLA leaving Pac-12 means for UW and WSU

With reports of shakeup to the Pac-12 conference, Michael Bumpus explains what that means for UW and WSU going forward.
5 months ago
Hugh McElhenny...
The Associated Press

Hall of Fame NFL RB, UW standout Hugh McElhenny dies at 93

NFL Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenny, an elusive running back from the 1950s who starred for the Washington Huskies, has died. He was 93.
6 months ago
UW Huskies Lindsay Meggs...
The Associated Press

UW Huskies baseball coach Lindsay Meggs retires after 13 seasons

UW Huskies baseball coach Lindsay Meggs announced his retirement Monday after 317 wins and three NCAA Tournament appearances in 13 seasons.
6 months ago
UW Huskies look to regroup at Colorado, eye bowl eligibility