The Washington Huskies missed a huge opportunity on Saturday to climb into College Football Playoff contention. Instead, they lost on the road to Pac-12 rival Arizona State 13-7.
By the time the Washington Huskies took the field late on Saturday night, Clemson had already lost to Syracuse on Friday, dropping the Tigers from its no. 2 ranking behind nearly-unbeatable Alabama.
Washington State even did its part for the Washington Huskies, helping them in the Pac-12 North division by inexplicably getting crushed by Cal 37-3.
The Arizona State Sun Devils stood in Huskies way to a surge in the national rankings and a firm entrenchment in the top-four. ASU came into the game against previously undefeated Washington 2-3.
The Sun Devils have had the Washington Huskies’ number for several seasons, sure, but the Huskies have the sheer talent to knock off their fierce Pac-12 rivals, right?
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It was a game that was hard to watch. Quarterback Jake Browning showed why the haters have been down on him despite his illustrious UW career. The offense missed huge opportunities in general. Their kicking problems remain. Fill-in Van Soderberg missed two short field goals. A game-saving touchdown run by Salvon Ahmed was called back due to a holding penalty.
While the defense did a good job on paper, holding the Sun Devils to only 40 yards rushing on the day, it too had opportunities to win and keep the Huskies’ CFP hopes alive. With 1:56 remaining, the Sun Devils went for it on fourth down. ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins completed a 30-yard pass to Ceejhay French-Love, using a carom off defender JoJo MacIntosh’s helmet. Had MacIntosh managed not to head the ball to the opposing receiver, we might be celebrating the Washington Huskies coming-out party into the national discussion.
ASU has now won a shocking 11 of their past 12 games against the Washington Huskies. Their latest upset sends UW into the morass of one-loss teams decidedly well behind the likes of Penn State, Georgia, TCU, and Wisconsin, who all remain unbeaten behind the behemoth that is Alabama. It will now take something truly shocking to test Bama in a playoff game yet again this season.