Thursday, October 28, 2010

Washington Pulls Off Third, Huge Last-Second Upset of a Top-Ranked Team in Double Overtime

There is nothing, repeat nothing, that succeeds like
success.

For the Washington Huskies, their last victory was their
third trip to the top of the mountain in the past two
years, and the view was indeed sweet.

Last season, it their third game under new coach Steve
Sarkisian and his coaching staff of hard-working, excited
motivators, the Huskies upset then 3rd-ranked Southern
California 16-13 at home on a 22-yard field goal by Erik
Folk with 3 seconds remaining.

That incredible finish from a team that had gone winless
(0-12) the prior year, really set the tone for what is
happening this season.

After being slammed 56-21 at home this year by the
6th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Huskies packed their
bags and headed to LA to confront the 18th-ranked SouthernCal Trojans.

Once again, Washington pulled off a 32-31 upset with
another 32-yard field goal by Erik Folk as time expired,
proving that there is a world of difference between wanting
to win, preparing to win, and having a NEED to win.

Arizona State rolled into Husky Stadium the following week,
and once again the youth, inexperience and lack of focus by
the players caught up to them as the Sun Devils won, 24-14.

But Washington refused to buckle twice in a row. A really
physical, nasty Oregon State Beaver team hit Husky Stadium
and was greeted with a firestorm as the Huskies jumped out
to a 21-zip lead. The Beavers refused to blink, and the
game ended at 21-up after a scoreless 4th quarter.

Both teams scored a touchdown in the 1st overtime, and the
Huskies scored first again in the 2nd overtime on a 21-yard
pass from Jake Locker to Jermaine Kearse. Jacquizz Rodgers
then scored on a 2-yard run and Oregon coach Mike Riley
decided to go for a 2-point conversion and the victory
rather than deal with a 3rd overtime period.

Not to be outdone, the Huskies needed a play and got one
from linebacker Cort Dennison, who disrupted the conversion
pass to Joe Halahuni as the ball went through his hands and
fell to the ground, signaling another impressive,
last-second, 35-34 victory.

It is important to note that Dennison did not try to do too
much defensively. He did exactly what he was supposed to
do, pick up the receiver in that formation as the play
developed, and he was successful in disrupting the
potential winning touchdown catch.

There were enough heroes to fill a playbook, but two really
stood out - Senior quarterback Jake Locker threw a
career-high 5 touchdown passes, and junior wide receiver
Jermaine Kearse caught a career-high 4 touchdown passes.

These three stunning victories have given the Huskies a
trifecta or "hat trick" of upsets worth remembering, and
have brought the Washington Huskies back into the game on a
national level - it is hard to ignore teams that
consistently play better than their experience and mistakes
might justify.

Sark, as Steve Sarkisian has become known around the
Montlake Campus, said it best: "Winning is hard . . .
preparing to win is hard . . . you earn victory . . . it
doesn't come easy." In the Husky locker room, a sign on the
wall boils it down - Expect to Win.

The University of Washington football program under head
coach Steve Sarkisian, defensive coordinator Nick Holt,
offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and the rest of the
Husky coaching staff is just getting started.

One can only guess where the Huskies will be two years from
now. Wherever the Huskies are, it is almost a given that it
will not be dull for long.


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