The Huskies have put together their share of stinkers this season. And while it’s not the worst loss of the year, their 20-17 loss at Folsom Field very well may be the most frustrating of a season that has epitomized the very word.
From the Huskies’ fumbled snap at the goal line on their opening drive, it was clear this would be one of those games that leaves Husky fans with ground down molars and chewed fingernails.
Here are three impressions from yet another tough game for the Huskies.
No killer instinct
On paper, UW dominated this game. The Huskies outgained the Buffs 426-183 as Morris racked up a career-best 387 passing yards and two TD passes. They controlled the ball and set their tempo, leading time of possession 36:07 to 23:53. And they converted 14 of 21 third-down attempts, while Colorado moved the chains on just two of their 14 third-down tries.
It shouldn’t have been close. The Huskies didn’t have the killer instinct they needed, and instead repeatedly shot themselves in the foot. They let the Buffs hang around … and eventually deal UW a kill shot of their own.
Yes, the Huskies dominated in most statistical categories, but they also lost the most important one by a landslide. They couldn’t get out of their own way, losing the turnover battle 4-0. UW, which entered the game a perfect 31 for 31 on red-zone trips, gave Colorado the ball three times near the end zone — twice in the red zone. On a day Colorado couldn’t move the ball at all, the Buffs’ best offense came as a result of UW’s own mistakes.
It started on UW’s first drive of the game, which saw a 12-play, 63-yard drive end with a botched snap and a Morris fumble scooped up by Colorado’s Jack Lamb and run back 88 yards for a touchdown. UW coughed up the ball again at its own 12-yard line on another muffed snap, which turned into three more points for the Buffs. The dagger came on an end zone shot from Morris to Jalen McMillan, which was intercepted by Colorado’s Nikko Reed. The Buffs responded with a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to go ahead 20-10, which ended up being enough for the win.
No salvaging this season
We don’t need to rehash how frustrating of a season it’s been for these Huskies, but even after all the struggles, all the missed chances and of course the firings of offensive coordinator John Donovan and head coach Jimmy Lake, Washington still had a chance to reach the postseason. That all went out the window with Saturday’s loss to Colorado. For the first time since 2009, the Huskies are not going to finish the season bowl eligible. While a win next week over the Cougars would ease some of the angst, even an Apple Cup win can’t salvage this season.