Washington Huskies Need To Play Mistake Free Football

Ian PetersonCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 19:  Wide receiver Devin Aguilar #9 of the Washington Huskies just misses this catch at the goal line against Josh Pinkard #36 of the USC Trojans on September 19, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies defeated the Trojans 16-13. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Washington's win over Arizona last weekend highlighted a potential problem with the Huskies going forward. The team has taken a big step forward in all areas, but more needs to happen if the Huskies want to go to a bowl.

In short, the Huskies need to learn how to play mistake free football. Nothing proved this more than the abysmal third quarter performance against Arizona.

But for the touchdown towards the end of the quarter, the Huskies only mustered -26 yards of offense in two drives.

The opening kick return was fumbled but recovered, and one of the snaps on a punt was fumbled. The punter, Will Mahan, tried a rugby style kick but was tackled where he was and called for an illegal kick which downed the ball 12 yards back.

Coach Steve Sarkisian and company have stressed starting games fast, but have put a new emphasis on starting the second half fast after this last game.

Without that saving touchdown drive at the end of the quarter, that would have signaled the end of the game for the Huskies. The Huskies can be competitive as long as they don't beat themselves.

The same is true of penalties, which the Huskies are averaging almost 60 yards of penalties a game this year.

The staff has the team playing with an intensity and enthusiasm unseen in the last four years, but it is also creating sloppy play. Linemen have been jumping for false starts, lining up off-sides, making silly personal fouls, etc.

The Huskies are in line for their first bowl in a long time, and the future is in their hands. Hard work, discipline, and focus are needed to overcome what are sometimes silly mistakes. 

Still, credit Sarkisian for finding ways to win in spite of these things.