Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
You could argue that the UCLA Bruins beat the Washington Huskies, particularly since the final score was 41-31 in favor of the Bruins. And, you would be right. However, anyone who watched the game might have a slightly different perspective on which team actually caused the outcome. More accurately, the Dawgs beat themselves.
It is frustrating to lose any game but it is arguably more frustrating when you watch a great opportunity slip away due to mistakes. Washington lost a very winnable game.
No matter how complex the football schemes get, there is one fundamental truth that continues to be the gold standard of obvious statements in football. Don’t turn the ball over.
Oh, and really don’t turn the ball over four times.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what Washington did on Friday night, including two early turnovers that led to 14 quick points for the Bruins. Credit the Huskies for battling back and making the game interesting, but those early mistakes were very costly.
That game was in some ways a representation of how this season has gone. In other words, missed opportunities. Earlier in the year, the Huskies had a chance to beat the Stanford Cardinal, but lost a shot at an upset due to a bad call late in the game. The game against the Oregon Ducks was another situation where turnovers and key momentum shifts spoiled a chance at pulling off an unlikely win.
Against the Bruins, the Huskies just couldn’t maintain momentum throughout the entire game. Keith Price did his best to rally the Dawgs before exiting with a shoulder injury. Even Cyler Miles looked good at times, and the Huskies may have a bright future with the freshman quarterback.
Unfortunately, the Huskies could not overcome the four touchdowns from Bellevue native Myles Jack, who was already being awarded the 2014 Heisman Trophy by the announcing booth. Easy, fellas. Let’s try to keep the reckless hyperbole to a minimum, shall we?
On a minor side note, could the NCAA please ban coaches from wearing eye-black all over their faces on the sideline? Sorry, UCLA coaching staff, you looked ridiculous.
Back to the game. The Huskies needed this win as Steve Sarkisian attempts to move Washington back into the national spotlight. Sadly, it was not to be. Washington can still finish with a solid record and they will be in second- or third-tier bowl. However, that outcome will not be seen as definitive success for this squad.
This game, as well as this season, could have been just a little bit better.