Sarkisian Impressive In Husky Debut: Miscues Lead to Loss to Tigers

Colin GriffithsContributor ISeptember 6, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 05:  Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies calls a play against the LSU Tigers on September 5, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Tigers defeated the Huskies 31-23. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

With expectations running high, Steve Sarkisian lead the Huskies onto the field at Husky Stadium against the 11th ranked LSU Tigers.  In what many considered a lopsided matchup, the Huskies fell just short of the Tigers and two costly turnovers proved to be the difference in the game.

The Huskies marched down the field effectively on their first position to score a touchdown and take an early lead on the impressive running of starting tailback Chris Polk and a long pass and run down the sideline by Johri Fogerson. 

Equally impressive was the Huskies' ability to keep the high octane Tiger offense out of the endzone on their first possession by stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback as they entered the red zone. 

Unfortunately, what happened on the next two Husky possessions would prove too much to overcome.  Jake Locker's throw into traffic resulting in a pick-six to Jacob Cutrera on the first play from scrimmage on the Huskies second possession was a mistake he won't soon forget.

Locker's throw showed he occassionally loses awareness and vision to identify the defense he is up against.  Locker's numbers, as were the Huskies' total offensive numbers, were very impressive with No. 10 passing for 321 yards and two touchdowns, but that one interception is the number that stands out the most in his stats.

On their next possession, the Huskies drove all the way to the Tiger four-yard line, only to see Chris Polk fumble to the swarming Tiger defense.  Another costly error that kept points off the board and would mean the difference in the game.

Polk finished the night with 90 yards on the ground, and part of the teams 157 total rush yards, but again, the one fumble is the stat that matters the most.  If Polk can gain better ball security, he could be a 1,000-yard rusher this season.

Aside from the errors, the team looked good and exuded a confidence that hasn't been seen on the Washington sideline in years.

Sarkisian's offense is fast, methodical, and efficient.  His pro-style is a marked departure from the mundane and conservative Tyrone Willingham years.  The speed of gameplay had the Tigers off guard and opened options for Jake Locker across the field.  Expect great things in the games to come as Locker's mastery of Sarkisian's offense improves.

The Huskies still have two more home games before ever venturing away from Husky Stadium.  They face off with Idaho before taking on another top ranked team in the No. 4 USC Trojans, Sarkisian's former team on Sept. 26th.