There is no possible way that Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen could have predicted that her football team would have lost on October 14, to the below-average Arizona State team she had scheduled that night. But if there is a silver lining of the Sun Devils’ stunning upset of the then-undefeated Huskies, it is this: Washington wouldn’t have to play another game for two weeks.
And the silver lining on top of the silver lining? Few programs in college football are as good off of a bye week as the Washington Huskies.
Washington has not lost after a bye week since 2009, Steve Sarkisian’s first year at the helm after taking over for Tyrone Willingham, whose 11-37 record in four years as coach turned the Huskies into the conference doormat. Since that loss, a 24-23 loss at UCLA, when Jake Locker was under center and Chris Polk was taking handoffs? The Huskies are 7-0.
Twice Washington has beaten USC off of bye weeks, in 2010 (32-31) and 2015 (17-12). Colorado, too, has fallen on a pair of occasions, in 2011 (52-24) and 2013 (59-7). Stanford and Cal have also fallen victim, and most recently, during a 2016 College Football Playoff run, Oregon State was taken down, 41-17.
Bye weeks are mid-season blessings for most programs. It could be argued that no team in the country needed it more than Washington.
The 13-7 loss at Arizona State was, as coach Chris Petersen put it afterwards, “a tough day at the office. We could not get any rhythm going whatsoever and when we did we get a penalty and couldn’t capitalize in the red zone. One of the more frustrating nights we have had in a long time on offense.”
Particularly troubling was the offense, which managed just a lone touchdown against one of the worst defenses in the country, one that had allowed at least 30 points in every game. Quarterback Jake Browning threw for a mere 139 yards on 30 attempts, while the ground game managed just 91 yards on 31 carries. Adjustments will be needed. Now Washington has an extra week to make them, as well as an extra week to prepare for a UCLA team boasting one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Even better news? The game time was announced for 12:30 p.m., a welcome reprieve from the night slate that sparked a feud between Petersen and ESPN.
“I was really kind of happy for our fans,” Petersen said of the kick time.
He could have just as well been speaking of the bye week.
The post Washington becoming known for taking advantage of bye weeks appeared first on Diehards.
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