Upset of USC Begins Restoration of Tradition For Washington

Pete TreperinasCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies watches the action during the game against 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)

The Washington Huskies' 16-13 win over USC on Saturday will likely turn out to be the most important sporting event I ever attend. 

After two era's of Husky football that produced zero winning seasons, head coach Steve Sarkisian is doing more than just shocking the world and winning games- he's bringing the spirit back to Montlake.

The Huskies last bowl game was the 2002 Holiday Bowl, and six seasons seems about the amount of time it takes to lose some fans. The amount of people leaving games at halftime last year made it seem like everyone had forgot about the glory days of Husky football. 

Last Saturday, when the USC Trojans came in after a huge road victory over Ohio State, there wasn't a whole lot of optimism in the student section. Regardless, the entire stadium rallied around the idea of being the underdog.

A Washington defense that didn't seem to have much intensity in both the Idaho and LSU games came out and shut down one of the best offenses in the country. Mason Foster and Quentin Richardson made play after play throughout the game. 

In college football, it's the defense that gets stadiums pumped up. In 2008, Washington was really only competing for a win in one home game last year (BYU), so these Husky fans finally had their hunger fulfilled against USC.

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The place was going absolutely crazy for the whole game, minus USC's quick 10-0 start in the first quarter. 

A seemingly mediocre Washington defense made all the right plays at all the right time. 

USC had several drives where it appeared they would undoubtedly take control of the game, but three turnovers and a lack of converting on third downs was one of the biggest reasons the Huskies came out on top.

Jake Locker and his receivers were in sync all day, especially in the fourth quarter. One of the plays of the game was a third and 15 where Locker found receiver Jermaine Kearse for 21 yards, keeping the final scoring drive alive. 

Running back Chris Polk looked solid in both the Idaho and LSU games, and continued his success against the Trojans. While his 71 yards may not seem as big of a contribution as Locker's, Polk's running helped set up the winning field goal, and he was a handful all day. 

The most puzzling part of this Washington team is that it's virtually the exact same team that Tyrone Willingham struggled with last year. To me, this proves how valuable Sarkisian's presence has been after just a few months. 

As we stormed the field after Erik Folk's game-winning field goal, it felt like something out of a movie. There were so many faces on that field that had been waiting for something this big for the last six years.

Well that something big is here.

The Steve Sarkisian era is well underway, and just three games into his tenure, he's bringing back what it means to be a Husky.


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