Huskies can’t figure out Golden Bears defense, lose 20-19 in final minutes

Photo credit: dailyuw.com

The University of Washington Huskies lost for the second year in a row to a defense that they can not figure out. The California-Berkley Golden Bears head coach Justin Wilcox took on his former mentor in Chris Petersen and got the best of him for second year in a row. Wilcox served as Petersen’s defensive coordinator for years at Boise State and UW and has now (temporarily) become the master.

A weird lightning storm delayed the game for almost 3 hours before starting up again at 10:30–because the Pac-12 insists on playing late night games that serves poorly written television contracts. The “Pac-12 After Dark” came as an inconvenience to most as the game did not finish until around 1:30 am Sunday morning. Last year, Cal upset then-No. 15 Washington 12-10 in Berkeley late in the season to effectively knock the Huskies out of the College Football Playoff hunt and they would do it yet again in the waning moments.

In those closing moments in the middle of the night, Cal’s kicker Greg Thomas hit a 17 yard chip shot to seal the win for the Golden Bears. The win snaps a 15 game Husky home winning streak and puts them in a precarious position that leaves them behind in the Pac-12 North race for a championship.

While 2,200 lighting strikes struck the Puget Sound there were no such sparks in the Husky offense.  Star QB Jacob Eason looked a bit lost in the Wilcox onslaught as he could only manage 18-34 passing for 162 yards. The wide receivers for the Dawgs would do him no favors dropping about a half dozen of those attempts.

There appeared to be a moment of clarity when Eason and the offense managed to drive with 2 minutes left to score their 4th field goal of the game off of a Peyton Henry 49 FG. Unfortunately, this time the defense would fail and succumb to the Cal rushing game. The Huskies need to find a solution to their run defense as they were lit up by the ground and pound game of Cal. The 192 yards rushing by California was the most allowed by Washington since the Fiesta Bowl two years ago, when Penn State, led by Saquon Barkley, rushed for 203.

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Abraham DeWeese is an avid local sports fan and a “Man-About-Town” in the Seattle sports scene. He's a lifelong resident of the Seattle area, living in the beautiful Greenlake neighborhood.