Washington Huskies Football 2018: The Season That Wasn't

Washington Huskies Football 2018: The Season That Wasn't

UW had extremely high expectations for 2018, but questions of 'what went wrong' loom over their heads

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Ugh!

I've been a Seattle sports fan from the minute I was born, so I know what disappointment feels like. The Seattle Mariners haven't been to the playoffs since 2001, I was probably still eating boogers at the time. Before the Pete Carroll era, the Seahawks were a team that other teams would scoff at. The Sonics left in 2008. Finally, although they've been dominant over the last many years, the Huskies finished 0-12 in 2008, something Wazzu (surprisingly) has yet to do.

As for those UW Huskies, simply put: They blew it! Before the season started, talking heads ranging from Fox Sports to the mothership at ESPN predicted the Huskies to be one of the top four teams at the end of the season to reach the College Football Playoff. If you also recall, a certain Odyssey content creator picked the Huskies to not only lose one game, but he too predicted the Dawgs to return to the CFP. Yep...I was wrong.

The Huskies had all the potential in the world to be one of the absolute best teams this season. Seniors like QB Jake Browning, RB Myles Gaskin, DT Greg Gaines, LB Ben Burr-Kirven, CB Jordan Miller and DB JoJo McIntosh all returned for their final year of eligibility to prove why they're the (no pun intended) top dogs of the Pac-12, but they swallowed the olive. Everybody knew that even if UW lost to Auburn at the start of the year they would still be contenders for the CFP. When they did in fact lose that game, disappointment set in my heart, but hope wasn't lost. Hope was officially lost after the Oregon loss, and the cherry on top of the recent loss to the CAL Golden Bears. Last year, UW lost to ASU which officially killed their season, and this loss felt exactly like that one.

I'm not a beat writer for UW, nor do I have any close connection to the football team itself. I'm just a former UW student who got to sit in the Dawg Pack for a couple of years and am now a UW alumnus with season tickets to boot. This situation is worsened because I don't get paid to follow the team, my girlfriend bought me season tickets to support my Dawgs and I was hoping to see a dream season like I got to witness in 2016. When you love your team as much as I do, broken dreams and faulted expectations keep me up at night, and if you're a reader of my articles then you know I am not going to accept any, "It's just a game" comments.

So what exactly went wrong this season? I love Jake Browning, but we haven't seen the same production from him since he lost John Ross to the NFL after the 2016 season. Coach Petersen was so fed up with Browning that he benched him and put in backup QB Jake Haener later in the second half, only to have Haener throw a crucial pick-six that gave CAL all the momentum. Injuries could play a part in this for sure as star LT Trey Adams was lost for the season, as was stud TE Hunter Bryant, and Myles Gaskin missed the last two games with an apparent shoulder injury. Chico McClatcher recently left the team for "personal reasons" and he never got a chance to flash his talents this season, which is really frustrating because McClatcher is a fast stud who is a massive weapon when used right. Did the Huskies come into the season fat and sassy? We've seen it from teams before, they think they're bigger than their britches and talk a lot of smack, and teams like the 2018 Washington Huskies get slapped in the face by teams like Oregon and CAL, which result in a letdown of a season.

So what next?

The CFP conversation is done and over with, especially now that UW find themselves out of the top 25, but all is not completely lost. It sounds crazy but the Huskies can still win the Pac-12 Championship, but they must win their remaining three games. Oregon got destroyed against Arizona, Stanford lost to Wazzu, which puts UW in a good position if they can take care of business. If UW beats both Stanford and WSU, they'll own the tiebreakers against them and they'll surprisingly be in the Pac-12 Championship game. Take care of business the rest of the way UW! Although the national media will downplay your year, winning the Pac-12 will be a huge victory for a year that was lost after the Oregon disaster.


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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Dear Oklahoma, Please Take Care Of Jalen Hurts

He's one of the good ones, we promise.

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Dear Oklahoma fans, coaches, and players, please take care of Jalen Hurts.

When Hurts graduated in December of 2018, everyone in the Alabama fanbase knew that a transfer was coming soon. After showing his distinct character and loyalty to the Alabama Crimson Tide by choosing to play the 2018 season, even though he would be second in line to Tua Tagavailoa, Hurts deserves this chance to make the best decision for himself. The selection process regarding where Hurts would end up this upcoming season was kept relatively private, which of course open the doors to countless predictions from fans and analysts.

However, I can confidently say that I was not the only one shocked at his choice, but I whole-heartedly support it.

Home to two Heisman-winning quarterbacks, Oklahoma is a more than a smart choice on Hurts' behalf. Within that program, he will be given ample opportunity to improve his craft in order to put himself in the best position for a successful career post-college. The Sooners obviously have an incredible program that leads players down the best paths to be as successful as possible, and that is all Alabama fans want for our beloved quarterback.

With all this being said, I, as an Alabama fan, just ask the Oklahoma Sooners to take care of Jalen and realize how special of a player he is.

With Hurts at quarterback, you will never have to question his effort or loyalty to his teammates. He will always carry himself with grace, no matter the situation. If you give him an opportunity to succeed, he will put forth all of his effort in order to take advantage of it.

Jalen Hurts is one of the most special players, and young men, to ever wear an Alabama Crimson Tide uniform. All that we ask is that you support him as we have these past three years.

Roll Tide.

Sincerely,

Every Alabama Fan

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