Washington will play Arizona next Saturday on a two-game losing streak, including Saturday’s thrilling-to-watch overtime loss at Notre Dame.
Now, do those two losses make Washington angry and hungry? Or it has it deflated the Huskies’ confidence after they beat USC?
Washington junior quarterback Jake Locker was so upset after the loss that he asked to not speak to media for the first time ever.
Last week, Scott Terrell of our partner UAsports.net figured it was best to root for Notre Dame because “I’m playing the ‘I hope the Huskies face the Cats riding a two-game losing streak with their confidence in the toilet’ card,” he wrote.
Doesn’t matter to me. It’s hard enough to predict games without trying to predict a team’s emotional mindset. Let’s just call next week’s game in Seattle another major tussle … and go from there.
That’s the way the Pac-10 is. With the exception of its game against Washington State, Arizona can expect to play seven more games like the one against Oregon State — hard-fought, physical, down to the wire.
You either make a handful of plays and win.
Or you don’t and lose.
The Huskies could have/should have beaten Notre Dame — how in the world did the officials take a late TD away from Washington on a replay ruling? — and will be kicking themselves for getting stuffed repeatedly at the goal line.
I wouldn’t expect any hangover. A night game Saturday at Husky Stadium will be the cure.
“If you take anything for granted, you’re going to get slapped around,” UA coach Mike Stoops said during the bye week. “We understand. We’re not good enough to beat anybody unless we’re at our absolute best.”
I’m writing this as the USC-Cal game is beginning, and one of those teams — who were Nos. 1-2 in the league in my mind before the season began — will have two league losses later tonight. That is the brink of elimination in the Pac-10 race. (No three-loss team has ever won the conference.)
But look who’s on top: Stanford. The Cardinal is 3-0 after Saturday’s 24-16 win over UCLA. As UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said last week about Stanford’s physical play: “You better put on your big-boy pads.”
Former UA coach Dick Tomey, whose San Jose State team has lost to USC and Stanford this season, was asked about the Trojans last week on a podcast at the Tucson-based radioexiles.com. Tomey instead talked about the Cardinal.
“We played Stanford, and I think Stanford may well be a better team,” Tomey said. “Stanford is a very good team.”
Stanford has its toughest challenges ahead, but will be a tough out. Same thing about the Huskies next week. Same thing for most teams every week. I hope Arizona got a good rest during its off week.
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Next Saturday’s game at Washington is set for 7:15 p.m. and will be shown locally on Fox Sports Net Arizona, although the announcers will be from Fox’s Northwest crew. UA’s home game against Stanford will either start at 12:30 p.m. (on ABC) or at 4:30 p.m. (on Versus).
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Washington lost starting free safety Justin Glenn, a redshirt freshman, to a broken fibula against Notre Dame. The Huskies might also be without their starting strong safety against Arizona. Nate Williams suffered a concussion against the Irish. Big-play receiver D’Andre Goodwin also suffered a concussion.
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I was surprised at this stat, given how mediocre Notre Dame has been recently: Including the overtime victory against Washington, the Irish have won nine consecutive games against Pac-10 teams not named USC.
Anyway, Notre Dame’s streak against the Pac-10 dates to an Oregon State victory over the Irish in the 2004 Insight Bowl. For what it’s worth, the Irish have won 14 consecutive regular-season games against non-USC competition from the Pac-10.
Granted, most of the opponents haven’t been the best Notre Dame has to offer, but this is a team that has lost to Syracuse, Air Force and Navy in recent seasons. Here is the list of Notre Dame’s Pac-10 conquests in its nine-game streak:
|2009||vs. Washington||37-30 (OT)|