UW Worrisome In Win, Seahawks Optimistic In Loss

UW Worrisome In Win, Seahawks Optimistic In Loss

A blowout win for UW and a close loss for Seattle doesn't tell the full story

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)One would think that the Huskies 45-3 blowout win against lowly, FCS opponent North Dakota would be enough to say, "Yeah, they took care of business". You could also say that the Seahawks 27-24 loss against the Denver Broncos was another typical competitive, heart-stopping and disappointing close game in which the Seahawks just missed out on more opportunity. Although both statements are accurate, the Huskies and Seahawks played to the opposite of what the scoreboard showed. The Huskies are poised to return to the CFP and represent the lowly Pac-12 in it, while the Seahawks are filled with new, fresh young faces that are going to take their lumps all season long.

Let's start with the Huskies...

I was live and in-person for my first game sitting in the Young Alumni section at Husky Stadium where I was expecting the Dawgs to blow this one out byBut halftime. They were only up 17-0 by halftime. Jake Browning didn't play like a fourth year starter as he threw two Interceptions (he could've easily thrown three or four) and finished 23/37 for 313 yards with two TDs too. The other fourth year starter, Myles Gaskin-who has had a history of starting off slow-ran for one TD, with only 53 yards on 15 carries.

I'll give a little more leniency towards Gaskin as the biggest issue with me from this game was the Offensive Line. The O-Line didn't give Gaskin many holes to run through and struggled with North Dakota's D-Line. However, even when the O-Line held up and gave Browning time to throw, some of his decisions were atrocious. Browning continued to make head-scratching plays and has not shown much through two games. Even the rest of the Dawgs have not fully played up to the standards that Chris Petersen demands. The fact that the Huskies had five penalties resulting in 45 yards and North Dakota didn't commit a single penalty throughout the whole game shows a lot.

You must respect every opponent that you play, whether they're top-tier teams like Auburn or Alabama, or FCS teams like North Dakota or Portland State. North Dakota came into Husky Stadium thinking they would upset the Dawgs. Although the scoreboard read 45-3, the Fighting Hawks gave everything they could and lost to the Huskies who were clearly not on their A-game. Either UW was still feeling the hangover of last week against Auburn, or played down to their opponent (which is something you should never do). When the starters came out, young guys like backup QB Jake Haener and RB Kamari Pleasant really showed their talents. We'll probably see more of Pleasant this year than Haener, but the "bench Jake Browning" crowd got more fuel added to their fire as they watched him go 7/7 on 110 yards with a TD. Browning is not getting benched at all...no matter how mediocre he plays this year, he's going to get better as it's only been two games.

As for those Seahawks...

As long as Pete Carroll is coaching, the Seahawks are going to play every game to the very last second and will always win by less than a TD or lose by less than a TD. It was another Seahawks-like performance, but Russell Wilson couldn't get into clutch mode at the end as they fell 27-24. Sure, there were many flaws: Sebastian Janikowski missed a FG early that would've had the game tied at the end, the pass rush was horrendous as they only sacked Keenum once and the O-Line (and Germain Ifedi especially) was awful as Russell was sacked six times.

The reason why I came away from this game optimistic is because of this 2018 Rookie class. TE Will Dissly (Go Dawgs) who looked like a man possessed on three catches, one of which looked a little Beast Mode-esqe. LB Shaquem Griffin had some ups and downs this game, but he looked really comfortable in place of injured LB K.J. Wright. CB Tre Flowers gave up quite a few yards, but his length and agility really gave him an edge in this game and he can only get better from here, watch out for this kid over the years. Most importantly...Michael f**king Dickson! This might sound horrible, but I'm quite excited to see the Hawks punt the ball a lot as this kid can pin opponents deep, and he didn't waste any time in his first official game. Dickson punted six times with an average of 59 net yards and had the ball inside the 20 four times. Considering how average this defense should be this year, Dickson's ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory is a weapon that only the Seahawks are lucky to have.

The rest of the starters gave me a reason to smile after the game (ask my girlfriend, it took me a while to get over this loss as I hate starting the year off with an L). Earl Thomas decided to show up and caught an Interception real early, Chris Carson is only in his second year, but hurdled a Broncos defender and looked outstanding, despite only getting 7 carries (no bueno), and even though Baldwin went down with a sprained MCL, Lockett and Brandon Marshall looked like they can handle the load if Baldwin has to miss a week or two. My prediction was 10-6 for these guys, and I still feel okay about that considering they'll be in every game they play this year. These young studs might have struggled in their first official game, but they can only get better from here on out.

Predictions for next week!

If the Huskies show up to Utah playing the way they did against North Dakota, we'd already have to be talking about one of the most disappointing Husky teams in recent memory just three games in. My hope is that the Dawgs were looking past North Dakota and were already ready for their first conference game against Utah. As for the Hawks, they play on Monday Night in Chicago and while I don't see the Bears as being too much of a threat, the boys better study and look over that week 1 film. There's a lot to learn from in that Denver game, but I know Pete is going to get these guys fired up for MNF in hopes that they cleaned up mistakes and learn from what went wrong in Denver.

Picks: UW 27 Utah 24 & Seattle 23 Chicago 20

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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Love, A True Fan

Yes I love this team, yes they are good, no I do not love them because they are good.

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I love my hometown. It is cute, we have good schools, and the people are generally nice.

What I do not love about my hometown is how close it is to Cleveland.

Don't get me wrong, I love the CLE, I just don't love the Browns.

I can remember being a passionate Steelers fan as far back as the third grade, which means I can also remember people arguing with me about football as far back as the third grade. Growing up being rivals with the home team, especially as a girl, was never easy because everyone just assumed I liked Pittsburgh because they were a good team. They quickly learned that I knew exactly what I was talking about and would quickly put anyone who questioned my knowledge on the sport or the team in their place.

All things considered, I've had a good sports fan life.

Just in my lifetime, I've seen my Steelers play in three Super Bowls, and win two. I've seen the Pittsburgh Penguins play in four Stanley Cup Finals, and win three, and I was at the 2017 Victory Parade. I shared in the happy shock when the Cavaliers came back from being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals and beat the Warriors for the first championship in Cleveland in over 50 years. I watched the Cleveland Indians play in the World Series, and last year I watched one of my favorite college football teams win the SEC, the Rose Bowl, and play in the National Championship.

So yeah, I can see how you'd accuse me of being a bandwagon fan, and why when the Steelers and Penguins both won championships in 2009 the other fifth graders in my class thought I just picked two teams who were good, but that does not mean it is true.

I know my teams, and my sports, well, and honestly, I've grown to love people challenging me on sports. No one expected an elementary school girl to be able to back herself up so well with football knowledge that the boys who actually played football knew they could not win that argument.

Yes, my teams have done well, but I have some connection to all of my teams, whether it be family or where I grew up, and I don't only care that they've won big games (although I'm not complaining).

Everyone tells me that I haven't really experienced what it is like to watch one of my teams struggle, but I have every intention on being just as devoted to my teams through those times as I was when they were winning. I was devoted to the Penguins in December of 2015 when they were thought to not be capable of making the playoffs that year so they fired their coach. I'll still wear my Cavaliers gear, despite the fact that they are struggling without LeBron. I'll be there when the Ben Roethlisberger retires and the Steelers' offense stinks because we never drafted a good back-up quarterback. And I'm already mentally preparing myself for the disaster that could come during this year's SEC Championship between Georgia and Alabama.

So don't take it out on me that your team is having a losing season, because I would love to have an in depth conversation with you about how the Cleveland Browns will never truly be good until they restructure their entire management and stop firing coaches every two years, despite how many Heisman winners they draft. And I'd love to tell you all about how the Penguins will never truly be down and out because Sidney Crosby really is the best player in the world, and I'll tell you why it's not Connor McDavid or Alex Ovechkin.

Here's to Super Bowls, Stanley Cups, and championships of all kinds. Everyone should experience what it's like to see your team win one, but be ready when they do because suddenly everyone wants to question how deep your loyalty runs when they do. But don't worry, I can back up why I love my teams, can you?

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