Listen to Seattle Sports: Mariners continue series with Rays


UW Huskies hope to remember history and avoid letdown vs ASU

Oct 20, 2023, 10:39 AM

UW Huskies...

Ja'Lynn Polk of the Washington Huskies catches a touchdown against Oregon on Oct. 14, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — The thought of having a letdown after the hype and emotions of last week would seem a very real possibility for the No. 5-ranked UW Huskies.

UW Huskies Midseason Report: Good, bad, and what lies ahead

Except there is built-in motivation for Saturday’s matchup against Arizona State that should help dampen the chance of a disappointing effort from the Huskies.

It’s been more than a year since Washington last lost a game and its 13-game win streak is the second-longest active streak in the country. The Huskies’ last setback came at the hand of these same Sun Devils in a 45-38 loss at Arizona State last October.

While both teams are significantly changed from a year ago, the memory of that loss should make it easier for the Huskies (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) to refocus after last week’s thrilling victory over No. 9 Oregon.

“If it was just a coaching staff that was trying to bring it together, it would be hard. But we have enough guys that are just completely invested and have had a voice and want it extremely bad,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said. “They are holding each other accountable.”

UW Huskies’ DeBoer: How much Penix has improved since 2019

Washington captured the attention of the country last week with its 36-33 win over Oregon that came down to the final play. Given a prime stage, the Huskies laid claim to being the top program in the Pac-12 and watched quarterback Michael Penix Jr. jump clearly into the lead in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

Arizona State (1-5, 0-3) was watching, too, thanks to having the weekend off.

“I would say this is one of the rare teams that has a difficult scheme with good players and a great quarterback, and not often do you have to play all three,” Arizona State coach Kenny Dillingham said.

It’s been a rough first season with the Sun Devils for Dillingham, punctuated by a pair of three-point losses in conference play right before the off week. Arizona State lost by three at California before returning home and nearly spoiling things for Colorado before falling 27-24 to the Buffaloes.

The Sun Devils are heavy underdogs again this week, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and will need some breaks like they got last year when Penix had a pass deflect off the helmet of one of his linemen and it was taken back for a pick-six by ASU.

“I challenged our guys that we have to have explosive plays, not just on offense but we have to have those explosive plays on defense and on special teams to put us in position to win the football game,” Dillingham said.


Washington is blessed with one of the deepest groups of wide receivers in the country and that was on display again last week. Jalen McMillan aggravated a leg injury in the first quarter against Oregon, which moved Giles Jackson into a bigger role in his first game of the season. Jackson responded with six catches for 58 yards. He made a 26-yard touchdown catch for his first reception of the year.

McMillan, Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk grab the headlines among Washington’s pass catchers but there is far more depth to the position group.


Arizona State has lost five straight after opening the season with a win over FCS program Southern Utah and has not beaten an FBS opponent since a win over Colorado on Oct. 29, 2022. A loss to Washington would match the longest losing streak in Arizona State’s history — the Sun Devils have never lost more than six straight. The last time that happened was the final six games of the 2009 season.


The last time Washington reached No. 5 in the rankings was in 2017. The Huskies were there for all of one week before losing 13-7 at Arizona State. The Sun Devils have been a thorn in the Huskies’ side for the better part of the past 20 years. Since 2002, the Huskies are just 2-13 against Arizona State. Both of those wins have come in Seattle, in 2016 and 2018. The Sun Devils got the better of the Huskies in their last visit to Husky Stadium, coming away with a 35-30 win in 2021.

Huard: Built for this – Penix could reach heights no UW QB has

UW Huskies

UW Huskies linebacker Carson Bruener tackles Oregon running back Bucky Irvingin 2023. (Steph Chambe...

Cameron Van Til

What can be expected from new-look UW Huskies this fall?

PFF college football analyst Max Chadwick shares his expectations for the UW Huskies, who will have a drastically different team this fall.

8 hours ago

NBA Draft Isaac Jones WSU Cougars...

Zac Hereth

NBA Draft Primer: WSU, UW and Gonzaga prospects in the mix

A glance at the four players with Washington ties who are prospects for the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft, which takes place June 26-27.

21 hours ago

UW Huskies Levi Jordan Cincinnati Reds MLB call-up...

Brent Stecker

Former UW Huskies standout gets long-awaited MLB call-up

Levi Jordan, a Puyallup native who starred for the UW Huskies, has arrived in the big leagues after getting the call Monday following six years in the minors.

1 day ago


Christian Caple

Caple: Pac-12 Preseason Power Rankings — with a twist

On Montlake's Christian Caple ranks Pac-12 football teams based on how they'll finish in their new conferences.

6 days ago

UW Huskies Husky Stadium...

Christian Caple

Caple: 23 thoughts on UW Huskies football’s 23 June enrollees

The UW Huskies 23 portal additions and remaining 2024 signees are now on campus. On Montlake's Christian Caple breaks it down.

7 days ago

UW Huskies...

Christian Caple

Caple: Thoughts on Ana Mari Cauce, Big Ten and UW’s athletic budget

On Montlake's Christian Caple delves into three interesting topics surrounding the UW Huskies as they near their Big Ten debut.

10 days ago

UW Huskies hope to remember history and avoid letdown vs ASU