By: Bill Swartz, KOMO NewsRadio
SEATTLE -- Talk about a major punch to the gut! In one long, disappointing weekend, the Washington Huskies went from the possibility of returning to the College Football Playoff to probably not winning the Pac-12 North. The damage is done, time to hit the reset button says UW outside linebacker Tevis Bartlett.
“I know for me it was tough on Saturday watching everybody out there playing college football. Things were happening that really would have benefited us if we had taken care of business on Friday,” said Bartlett after Washington’s Tuesday morning practice. “After that you’ve just got to hit the reset button.”
How do you keep the energy level up in Husky practice knowing some major goals are out of reach? Washington co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake says it’s all about getting back to work.
“It’s like a medicine to fix your ailment after losing that tough, hard fought game on the road. You want to get back out there, practice, fly around and start preparation for Utah. We had a great practice. I’m feeling better, get that taste out of your mouth, ” said coach Lake.
Losing has become rare for the Washington program the past two seasons, which makes a defeat of this nature even more painful to players like defensive back Austin Joyner.
“The thing I notice is how much we all hate to lose,” said Joyner. “Some teams I feel like losing sort of becomes a habit, because they fall into a trap of like, that’s how it is. We have a lot of guys on our team who say, this isn’t tolerated.”
With two regular season games to play Washington State controls its own destiny. The Cougs have a bye this weekend knowing a victory over rival Washington in the Nov. 25 Apple Cup game in Seattle would give them the Pac-12 North title.
Washington needs to beat Wazzu and get help to earn a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game Dec. 1 against USC. UW fans will become California fans Saturday, hoping the Golden Bears can upset Stanford in “The Big Game.” If that happens it opens the door for a winner-take-all UW vs WSU game.
“That’s not in our control. If that stuff works out, great, but my main focus is on taking care of business this weekend against Utah,” shared Bartlett.
The Utes come to Seattle still smarting from a mistake-filled home field loss to Washington State. Utah turned the football over seven times and fell to 5-5 on the season. Their motivation is to win one more game and become bowl eligible. The Huskies are fueled with the opportunity of another 10-win season and a chance to play in a major bowl game.
Dawgs 17 point favorites
Washington has been a dominant team at home which is why oddsmakers favor them by 17 points at Husky Stadium against the Utes Saturday night. It’s a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The KOMO Kickoff show hosted by Gaard Swanson launches a full afternoon of radio pre-game coverage on am 1000/ fm 97.7.