Sick of cliche game recaps that rely on buzzwords like “poise,” “missed opportunities,” “punched in the mouth,” “set the tone,” “momentum,” “Willie Taggart’s jock strap,” etc? Of course you are; everybody is! Post-game recaps are the cottonmouth hangovers of college football: they’re an inevitable happening the morning after and you feel like rotting trash while experiencing one.
Well lucky for you, we’re here to fix this evil via a healthy dose of tom-foolery, Washington football, and… uh… that’s it, really. Enjoy.
An Abridged (and Completely Unbiased) Version of What Went Down
Washington started with the ball. Rain was falling from the sky like the ground was Black Friday and the droplets were ravenous deal-finders.
The Huskies ran it. Then they ran it again. Then they ran it gain. Then they threw it. Then they ran it. Aaaand ran it once more. Once more for good measure… You get the picture. And then there was a touchdown.
“Don’t worry,” garbled a Husky fan while chugging Mac and Jack’s through a swirly straw. “I learned my lesson last week — Just because the beginning of the game looks easy doesn’t mean I should be overly confident lest we tempt a terrifying let-down.”
So Wazzu got the ball back and promptly did exactly nothing with it. Well, technically they did something with it. And that “something” was get sacked by Ryan Bowman.
“Oh, this hasn’t got me fooled,” winked our swirly straw beer-chugging Husky fan. “I know the Cougs are just trying to get me complacent, just like Utah and Stanford did.”
So WSU punted to the Dawgs. Then Dante Pettis tweaked his ankle returning it. Everyone watching shouted curse words in a desperate attempt to heal his ankle, quickly backtracked on said curse words after realizing there were children within earshot, and then the Huskies went three-and-out in a selfless attempt to validate our Mac and Jack’s gargler.
Then there was some more punting, blah blah blah, culminating in a b-e-a-u-tiful pooch kick to the one yardline by Jake Browning. WSU followed the trend set for most of the first half by having, like, three downs of nothing, before Luke Falk got stripped by Keishawn Bierria. Austin Joyner scooped the ball up like a seagull stealing your last french fry while a contingent of Cougar fans shook their fist in the field’s general direction.
The Huskies scored two plays later, because why not?
“Still not fooled, Football Gods,” said our beer-chugger, who at this point had run out of Mac and Jack’s and was prying open a crate of Rainier in a momentary lapse of judgement. “I know you’re just trying to make us cocky so the letdown is bigger. You tricky fiends, you!”
Then Wazzu got it back, then they punted again, and then Washington went 93 yards on the next drive for a touchdown.
Then Wazzu got it back, then they punted again again, and then Washington recreated the famous artwork from Picasso’s Blue Period: Tristan “T-Vizzy” Vizcaino Hits a 44-yard Field Goal, oil on canvas.
There was an inconsequential drive or two following that, and before we knew it it was halftime. Oh, and somewhere along the way, JoJo McIntosh and Zeke Turner got fat interceptions.
It was at this point that our Rainier-chugging, swirly straw-appreciating protagonist finally realized, “Huh. Maybe this is gonna be as stress-free as possible. Football Gods, is this truly happening?”
The second half started exactly as the first half finished: with Vita Vea bull-rushing five large men directly into Luke Falk.
Washington’s defense continued to be as merciless as a Russian winter in Stalingrad; eight players got an invite to The Fifth Annual Tackles For Loss Party. Ben Burr-Kirven ruled the secondary’s monopoly on interceptions violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and got one himself just to even things out a bit. The front three routinely overpowered WSU’s offensive line with the ease of… uh… a different Russian winter overpowering different foreign invaders.
Eventually — with, at this point, the 17th string defense in — UW gave up a pair of touchdowns. But by then those were as inconsequential as the Pythagorean Theorem post-high school.
The Huskies, it turns out, had been on a mission to prove our Mac and Jack’s-guzzling, swirly straw-having Husky fan wrong: they could have a non-stressful victory this November.
Actual Non-Malarkey Takeaways
- Goodness that ground game was gorgeous. Even with Gaskin’s slipperiness and the Huskies’ success with power running, it was still somewhat surprising the sheer extent of UW’s rushing dominance against a WSU defense that’s one of the better ones in the conference. (For reference, the “worst” yards per carry of any rushers on Saturday was 7.7 YPC.) Furthermore, I wasn’t expecting that kind of dominance from the offensive line against WSU’s defensive line — even before Hercules Mata’afa’s ejection for targeting midway through the third quarter, this unit held everybody in check for the most part. That was the part of the Cougars’ team I was most worried about and it was thoroughly satisfying seeing them relatively neutralized.
- On the Dawgs’ defensive side, it’s fantastic seeing the secondary get back to their normal, butt-kicking selves. Granted, WSU’s air raid plays directly into the strengths and scheme of UW’s defense, but that doesn’t explain the magnitude of how much the secondary — and pass coverage in general — bullied the Cougar passing game: there were the two interceptions by safeties, one by Ben Burr-Kirven dropping into the middle, Joyner’s fumble recovery, their discipline to prevent big plays and tackle well, not to mention how their tight coverage forced Falk to hold onto the ball and get sacked five times. This was the defense that had been somewhat off from their normal standard the last couple weeks, and it’s fantastic seeing them return to what is practically perfect form.
- Speaking of defense, this pass rush is frikkin’ beautiful. No doubt Vita Vea is off for the NFL after this season, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Gaines leaves too. Out of pure selfishness I want to see them in purple and gold for one more year, but Jaylen Johnson and Levi Onwuzurike will be exciting to keep an eye on.
- Lastly, Tristan Vizcaino is the man. I don’t care about the roller coaster he’s put us on this year, him hitting his career long in this game was my favorite part of the season.
That’s it for this week. Next up: Well… We’ll find out in a bit.
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