Following a late field goal in the first half of the Oregon game, the Huskies' bowl hopes were still alive and well. By the end of the game, the hopes are now becoming more distant, attainable, but difficult.
A third-quarter collapse allowed Jeremiah Masoli and the Oregon offense to get rolling again. The Huskies ended up losing to their arch-rivals 43 to 19.
That begs the question, with the bowl hopes still alive mathematically, can the Huskies pull together and get there?
The rest of the games look winnable, with the exception of Cal on Dec. 6. Here's how the Huskies matchup in their remaining games.
At UCLA: Winnable
The Bruins are struggling mightily, and provide one of the most salivating matchups for the Huskies. UCLA has a great defense, but can't get anything going on offense. This is the sort of game that the Huskies really can win.
If the Huskies can play a little tighter and avoid turnovers, they can move the ball as well as anyone.
They have a star quarterback in Jake Locker, who can distribute the ball to solid receivers and a really great tight end. Chris Polk has proven to be a great running back to complement Locker, but has some injury problems at the moment.
The offensive struggles of the Bruins could be a great tonic for the Huskies defense. The defense has played better, but still shows a frustrating penchant for breaking at key moments in the game.
The one problem with the UCLA game is that it is on the road, and the Huskies have struggled so far in road tests.
At Oregon State: Push
This game really could go either way, and it will really depend on who get's the breaks, turnovers, stays healthy, etc.
The way Jacquizz Rodgers and Sean Canfield are playing for the Beavers, it looks like they can move the ball extremely well against the Husky defense. Remember that Oregon State has beaten Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt several times over the last couple years.
This game will be a shootout, and thus it is a push. The Huskies will move the ball well as well. Same as UCLA, this game is on the road, and the Huskies will struggle in the games most likely.
Washington State: Winnable
Let's face it, the Cougars are better, like the Huskies, but are not quite on the same level as the Huskies. Talent-wise the Huskies just are better than the Cougars.
Plus, this is a revenge game for the Huskies, and could be a game the Huskies need to win if they win the two before to get to a bowl. Regardless, the Huskies have only won one of the last four games against the Cougars.
Plus, this game is at home, so it may be a welcome homecoming after two road losses.
This game might be one that the Huskies matchup really well against in the future, but the weight of talent is in Cal's favor.
While Kevin Riley has played hot and cold, Jahvid Best is still one of the best backs in the country, and will gash the Huskies. It will be up to Locker and Co. to put up points to keep up with them.
Another home game and the last game of the season could become an advantage for the Huskies. Again, if the Huskies only need one win it will be interesting to see how far Sarkisian can push them.
At this point, after consecutive losses many Husky fans and others are probably writing off the bowl hopes for the team. It still is completely up in the air, and probably will hinge on the Oregon State game.
Regardless, this season is always going to be a success, even without a bowl. For as bad as they looked last year, to talk of not going to a bowl as failure completely validates the first year of Sarkisian.
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