What Is The Score Of The Washington Football Team College Football – A Season of 2 Games, One Becomes Abject Heartache, the Other Extreme Joy

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College Football – A Season of 2 Games, One Becomes Abject Heartache, the Other Extreme Joy

This is the story of the life of a college football team in just two games – one of heartache and the other of extreme joy. This season’s team was the University of Washington.

Charles Dickens wrote this famous line in his novel “A Tale of Two Cities” – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” and the Huskies football players experienced those two events in reverse order.

The Huskies finished their 2008 season with a winless record of 0-12. They opened their 2009 season at home against the 11th ranked Louisiana State University Tigers. Having lost 14 straight games over two seasons, the Huskies faithful could be forgiven for expecting the worst.

Washington surprised everyone, and especially LSU, who would take the opening kickoff and drive down the field to get a touchdown. The Huskies were fired up under new head coach Steve Sarkisian, who would soon become known as “Sark” and gain status in the Western Washington sports community.

In LSU’s opener, the Huskies won the ball movement statistical battle, but lost the battle, 31-23.

In their next home game against the Idaho Vandals, the Washington Huskies actually scored on their first 5 possessions to win 42-23 on the road and snap their 15-game losing streak.

In their third game of the season, again at home, something miraculous happened – Washington then trailed Southern California 16-13 on a 22-yard field goal by Eric Faulk with just 3 seconds left. the game

A 2-1 start combined with Southern Cal’s tremendous success (at least 11 wins and a BCS bowl appearance in 7 straight years) and a high ranking in the polls made the Huskies the talk of Seattle and even the nation.

The Huskies then went on the road for their first game of the year and ran into a rejuvenated Stanford Cardinal team and its bruised 6-foot-1, 237-pound senior Toby Gerhart, who rushed for 200 yards and exposed the Huskies. ‘ poor coping skills.

Washington’s young, talented but inexperienced players couldn’t stop Gerhart, the battering ram who just ran over the Huskies.

Stanford was a big blowout for the Huskies after an upset win over Southern Cal, with another road trip to South Bend, Indiana to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This is where our story of a two-game season really begins.

In football, no college program is more successful than Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have won 11 national championships, have 12 undefeated seasons and 10 more seasons with at least one loss or a tie, have produced more All-Americans than any other school, produced 7 Heisman Trophy winners and have the best coach. record in history-Knute Rockne achieved 105 wins, 12 losses and 5 draws over 13 years while guiding Fighting Ireland to 6 national championships.

Washington players who Google “Notre Dame” can quickly become intimidated by its myth, legend and tradition. When lining up at center back on game day, it’s easy to imagine the Ghosts coming off the field in search of another victory.

But this year’s version of the Washington Huskies remained grounded in reality. As much as Washington struggled on defense, Notre Dame didn’t look much better, and a battle of wills ensued.

With less than a minute left in the 3rd quarter, Notre Dame invoked its legendary tradition of stopping Jake Locker from scoring on two sneak attempts from the 1-yard line; The Huskies were forced to hand the ball over with Washington 24 and Notre Dame 19. Had the Huskies scored, they would have gone up 31-19 and might have broken Notre Dame’s back.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Jake Locker-Washington’s most talented and versatile player (the Huskies coach said Locker can play 7 different positions on the field). He had practically carried a hapless Washington team on his back for two years, and now his offensive line couldn’t even push the Irish back six inches.

Then Chris Polk, a surprise redshirt freshman Huskies running back, appeared to give the Huskies a 30-22 lead with a 6-yard TD run with 7:07 left, but was ruled down at the half-yard line . It was a tragedy because Polk had scored, but someone forgot to give the replay official a better look; maybe he was a Notre Dame fan.

On 1st down from Notre Dame’s 1-yard line, Polk lost a yard as the Fighting Irish line held. On 2nd down, Locker passed incomplete. On 3rd down and 2, Locker rushed and the Irish line held again. On 4th down, Notre Dame held again, but was penalized 1 yard and Washington had a new set of downs.

On 1st down, Polk rushed again and the Irish held again. On 2nd down, Washington was penalized 5 yards. On 2nd play, Locker passed 5 yards to quarterback Paul Homer and the Huskies were 1 yard short of scoring. On 3rd down Locker rushed again and again held the Irish line. On 4th down Washington was penalized 5 yards and on 4th down, Washington matched a field goal to make it 27-22 Huskies.

Amazingly, the Huskies had 6 chances to score on the Irish from 2 yards or less, and the Irish defense, which hadn’t played well all day, held the line. Polk, who was intercepted on two short attempts, finished the day with 136 yards rushing, a career best for a redshirt freshman.

Notre Dame immediately answered with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to go up 30-27.

With 1:20 left in the game, Locker — the greatest quarterback to wear a University of Washington jersey since Marquez Tuiasosopo in 2000 — calmly drove his Huskies down the field and Eric Faulk booted a 37-yard field goal. field brought the game at 30 and send it to overtime.

Tuiasosopo is the son of former NFL defensive lineman Manu Tuiasosopo and the older brother of NFL outfielder Zach Tuiasosopo and Seattle Mariners third baseman Matt Tuiasosopo. Jake Locker is in good company.

Notre Dame quickly scored first in overtime to go up 37-30, then Washington’s offensive line, running six plays late, allowed Locker to be sacked for 10 yards and Locker threw three incomplete passes. His final pass, 33 yards to the 1-yard line, was intercepted by D’Andre Goodwin, who was rocked at the goal line while taking two brutal hits from Notre Dame defenders.

Locker’s ambitious ending left Goodwin, the entire team and coaching staff with a major case of heartache. After fighting back like his warrior self, Locker was so down and emotional that he couldn’t make it to the post-match press conference.

(Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a 2-part series.)

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

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