The Steve Sarkisian era got off to a quick start last night, as the Washington Huskies played four strong quarters of football. Given, the LSU Tigers were in town and are ranked 11th in the country and walked away with a 31-23 victory.
The game started off with an 85-yard Husky drive, capped off with a James Johnson touchdown.
I'm sure a lot of people thought that Washington had just caught LSU off guard, but by the end of the game the Dawgs had compiled nearly 500 yards and looked great on offense.
Freshman running back Chris Polk had his coming out party after redshirting in 2008. Polk ran for the majority of his 90 yards in the first half before LSU's defense picked up on the fact that Polk could run.
Quarterback Jake Locker had his fair share of big plays too, making four or five yard runs here and there to pick up first downs. However at times, Locker seemed to have trouble communicating with his receivers.
In the end, it was Locker's tip-ball pick six and Polk's fumble on first and goal that cost the Huskies this game.
The defense also had some trouble containing Jefferson as well as running backs Keiland Williams and Charles Scott. Wide receiver Terrance Toliver proved to be Jefferson's favorite target, and went for two touchdowns on 117 yards.
Even in the fourth quarter when the score was 24-16 and Washington still had a lot of hope left, the Tigers' offense was too much for UW.
On that last LSU drive, they started at their own 33. After the dominant running of Williams and a 25-yard Toliver reception, the Tigers quickly found themselves in the red-zone, where they put up seven and virtually ended the game.
While the score was 31-16 and there was only 1:54 remaining in Coach Sark's debut, the Huskies didn't quit and neither did us fans in the student section.
Washington's final try for a score was led by Locker, who helped lead the Huskies from their own 19 to a Kavario Middleton touchdown reception as time expired.
That last drive summed up what's to come in the future of Husky football- a competitive spirit accompanied by a coach who believes in his team.
The first game of the 2009 season resulted in a loss for the Huskies, and while there's no such thing as moral victories (so they say), this was about as close as it gets to one.
The Husky offense looks revamped with a healthy Locker, and it appears there's a new tailback in this system in Chris Polk. I'm a little concerned about the defense, but let's not forget they were facing a team that's only one year removed from a national championship.
Next up for Locker and the Huskies is Idaho. If they play anything like they did against LSU on Saturday, I imagine this losing streak might be over.