Washington Huskies

Thursday was a rough day for Northwest teams in Pac-12 Basketball

USA Today

Thursday was a rough day for Northwest teams in Pac-12 Basketball

By Sebastian Pycior

The Washington Huskies season continues its nosedive following last night’s loss against the Utah Utes. In fact, maybe this loss should have been predicted, as the results nearly matched the outcome of the last meeting between the two teams. The Utes beat the Huskies 70 – 58 last night on Montlake.

Noah Dickerson was completely shut down by the Utes’ defense, and the Huskies struggled to find any offense during this game. Besides David Crisp’s 18 points, no other Husky finished with more than 9 points.

Barring a PAC-12 tournament win from the Huskies, it doesn’t look like the Huskies will be attending March Madness this season, most likely finding themselves in the National Invitation Tournament instead. However, this has still been a successful season for this Husky team, especially under the guidance under new coach Mike Hopkins. The Huskies take on Colorado on Saturday evening.

Down in Southern California, the Oregon Ducks tragically fell short of upending the USC Trojans. Tied 70 – 70 in the final seconds, the Ducks trap defense was exposed as USC guard Jordan McLaughlin lobbed the ball to Chimezie Metu, who was waiting in the short corner behind Oregon’s MiKyle McIntosh.

McIntosh came up big for the Ducks, piling up 23 points. Sure the Ducks could’ve played better defense so as to not allow 70 points, but they also were well rounded on the offensive side of the ball. Pritchard contributed 17 points in the effort.

The Ducks have another tough matchup against UCLA this Saturday. If the Ducks can bounce back and regain momentum heading into next week, they have a decent chance at beating both Arizona teams.

As of now, the Ducks might have a better path to March Madness than the Huskies. This team only suffered one bad loss against the Stanford Cardinal a couple of weeks ago, but have largely stayed competitive in most of their games. The Huskies on the other hand, were easily handled by the Ducks, Gonzaga, Virginia Tech, twice to Utah, and to UCLA. For Washington, wins against Kansas and Arizona won’t be enough to overcome a bunch of blowouts.

Moving forward, both coaches need to find a way to motivate their players after tough losses. For the Huskies, they need Matisse Thybulle and Jaylen Nowell to start hitting shots from three point range again. They combined to make just 3 shots from downtown against the Utes, which didn’t help opening up the paint.

The Ducks suffered another loss at the buzzer, so they need to take this game against USC as another learning opportunity on how to finish games. Hindsight is forever 20/20, but coach Dana Altman should have had his team in a man-to-man defense through the end of regulation instead of disguising his trap defense. Altman had the Ducks start the final play in man defense, until McLaughlin broke away. It seemed as Altman knew exactly what the play was going to be, since the Ducks reacted to the breakaway on point. The Ducks sent both guards to chase the ball, while having their other three players sit in a zone defense.

Zone defenses puts too much trust on each player’s peripheral abilities instead of just having each one of your own defenders matchup individually. It’s important to make sure each offensive player gets knocked out of their desired path, and USC’s Metu got to the basket untouched after Oregon’s attempt at trapping McLaughlin.

It was a tough lesson today for Pacific Northwest basketball, and maybe there’s a miracle in the works for both of these teams. Both Hopkins and Altman will need to quickly reset before the weekend in order to keep any hope at March Madness alive.

Where does OSU go from here?

Where does OSU go from here?

It’s a simple question, with a not so simple answer; where does Oregon State go from here?

Prior to the season many people thought the Beavers would be a bowl team. Year three of Gary Andersen would see the big jump in the win-loss column.  The fan base was full of optimism, and justifiably so.

However, instead of a return to respectability we have seen this team take a giant step backwards. Following a 42-7 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Huskies on Saturday the Beavers fell to just 1-4 on the season. That one victory took last second heroics from the offense to steal, yes steal, a win from FCS Portland State.

Against the Huskies the Beavers struggled to do anything on offense. At the end of the third quarter they had a total of just 104 yards of offense and zero scores. To put that in perspective the Huskies had 98 yards and a touchdown on their first drive of the game. Not the best of comparisons.

But we have to be fair on this night. The defense played lights out in the first half. They gave up that big drive to start the game, then hunkered down and held the Huskies scoreless the rest of the half. It was the best defensive half we have seen from OSU all season. But then the OSU we have some to remember showed up in the third quarter, allowing the Huskies to score 21-points.

Failing to score while failing to keep the opposition from scoring… well, you’re not going to win any games with that formula.

The frustration from coach Andersen could be heard in his voice postgame. The coach seems to be just as bewildered as we are. And that should be most troubling of all. When the captain of the ship doesn’t know why it turns left when he turns the wheel right, you have a serious problem.

There is something off with this Beavers team; I just can’t quite put a finger on it. At this point, it may be time to start looking to 2018.

The Beavers still have USC, Colorado, Stanford, a much improved Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon remaining on the schedule.

Will it be possible to pick up a win in that stretch? Of course it will be. Anything is possible, but that doesn't mean it's plausible. Win one game - Sure. Win enough games in that stretch to become bowl eligible – don’t hold your breath.

The Beavers we saw on Saturday will be lucky to win a quarter, let alone a game the rest of the way. And that is a sad state of affairs for a team that we all thought, myself included, was ready to turn the corner.




Washington Huskies softball team closes home stand with win

Washington Huskies

Washington Huskies softball team closes home stand with win


The sun was out and so were the fans as the University of Washington Huskies softball team defeated the Stanford Cardinals 10-2 in their final Pac-12 regular season home game last Sunday at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

The atmosphere was full of excitement as everyone seemed to enjoy the annual Fan Fest and emotion as they prepared to say good-bye to seniors Ali Aguilar and Casey Stangel on Senior Day.

Trying to keep emotions in check during Senior Day is always tough but Huskies head coach Heather Tarr kept the focus on what it’s all about.

“I think that it’s a challenge but I think it being Senior Day before our seniors are truly done…makes it a little bit easier,” said Tarr. “But it’s just more of trying to think of it as a celebration and you’re celebrating them before their gone…We never want them to leave but that’s the whole of college athletics is that you graduate.”

It was a rocky start for Washington pitcher sophomore Taran Alvelo (25-6) who gave up a home run to the Cardinal’s lead-off hitter senior Kylie Sorenson.

Alvelo got out of the inning and her teammates quickly brought the game back to their side.

After senior Ali Aguilar and freshman Sis Bates hit back-to-back singles senior Casey Stangel worked out a walk to load the bases. Sophomore Morganne Flores doubled to left field scoring Aguilar and Bates.

This brought up junior Taylor Van Zee who deposited the ball over the left field fence to bring the remaining Huskies home and extend to a 5-1 lead.

Seventh ranked Washington (40-11) never looked back as they continued to pound Stanford pitchers. The second inning saw Bates triple and come in on a sacrifice fly by Flores.-

The third saw junior Kirstyn Thomas lead-off with a double then stole third. She come in on a single by Bates and the Huskies had pushed their lead to 7-1.

The Cardinals (19-29) produced another lead-off home run in the top of the fourth by senior Lauren Bertoy but Alvelo once again stayed steady and kept Stanford hitless the rest of the inning.

Washington head coach Heather Tarr liked what she saw in Alvelo’s ability to keep the home runs from rocking her game.

“I thought she did a good job. She could have easily given herself a hard time after that leadoff home run (in the first),” said Tarr. But I think she knew that she made a mistake and it was a good hitter and she got through the next pitch and she worked it and found a way to win the game for us.”

The Huskies closed out the weekend series when junior Kelly Burdick took first base by a Stanford error, stole second and watched as both Aguilar and Stangel walked to load the bases.

This brought up Flores who collected her third hit of the game with a single that brought in two runs and gave Washington a 10-2 walk-off win.

The runs gave Flores five RBIs as she joined junior Julia Deponte and Bates with three hits apiece of the team’s 13 total hits. Alvelo pitched a complete game with three strikeouts and four hits allowed.

Washington completes the Pac-12 regular season this weekend with a three-game series against the Utah Utes in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kelsey Plum shows off rocket arm at Spurs game


Kelsey Plum shows off rocket arm at Spurs game

Kelsey Plum, the former Washington Huskies star guard and the number one overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft has quite the future… in the NFL(maybe).

Plum, who recently joined the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA, showed support for her new home when she showed up to a San Antonio Spurs playoff game. Now only did was she in attendance, but she help with the NBA arena ritual of throwing free t-shirts into the stands.

Anyone who has been to an NBA game knows two things: 1) Everyone wants one of those shirts. 2) Unless they are using the slingshot or a t-shirt cannon, the shirts probably aren’t getting past the first 10 rows.

Enter QB, we mean PG Plum. Plum did her best Uncle Rico impersonation and dang near threw the t-shirt over the mountains.

That is the definition of a rocket arm, a cannon, a bazooka, a rifle, or whatever other analogy you want to use to describe something that shoots a projectile really far, really fast.

Plum will most certainly set the WNBA on fire this season, she was the top pick for a reason, but if this basketball thing doesn’t work out there may be some other sports calling for her services.

Former Oregon OC Matt Lubick joins Petersen’s staff at UW

Former Oregon OC Matt Lubick joins Petersen’s staff at UW

Former Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick has accepted a job as the Washington Huskies co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, the school announced Wednesday.

Lubick, who coached at Oregon for the past four seasons, is joining his third new team since the end of the college football season. Lubick was not retained by new Oregon head coach Willie Taggart, and in late December was hired as the wide receivers coach at Ole Miss’.  However, his return to the school he coached at from 2005 to 2006 did not last long. In early January he jumped ship to take the co-offensive coordinator job at Baylor.

Just over a month later, he is on the move again and making is return to the Pac-12.

“I am excited to add Matt to our coaching staff,” Petersen said in a prepared statement. “He has earned a national reputation as an innovative coaching mind and a successful recruiter. Equally as important, we believe he will be a terrific fit with our staff, players and the University of Washington.”

Lubick will coordinate the offense with Jonathan Smith, who has coached the Huskies offense since 2013. It is a reunion of sorts for the two. Lubick was the defensive backs coach at Oregon State at the same time Smith was a record setting quarterback for the Beavers.

The Huskies open the season on September 1, at Rutgers, and play host to Lubick’s former team (and UW rival), the Oregon Ducks, on November 4.

It turns out that College Football Playoff just as messed up as BCS or polls

It turns out that College Football Playoff just as messed up as BCS or polls

It's fixed. It's all a setup.

College football set up a playoff system, ostensibly to fairly determine a national championship on the field, rather than by simply holding a beauty contest masking as a poll. But what we ended up with this weekend is another example of the sport being more concerned with TV ratings and ultimately cranking the money machine up even higher.

Ohio State meets Clemson in the first round. Alabama plays Washington. It's really all about trying to set up an Urban Meyer-Nick Saban matchup for the championship -- two superpowers and two supercoaches meeting in a ratings bonanza.

In a four-team playoff, Ohio State shouldn't even be in the mix. At least by the listed criteria of the College Football Playoff on its website. That website says:

The selection committee ranks the teams based on conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and other factors.

Conference championships won? What conference did the Buckeyes win? Penn State won the Big 10 in the conference's title game while Ohio State sat home watching. I'm actually shocked Washington got in because you know the committee was dying to put Michigan in, for the TV ratings a rematch with Ohio State would draw. But apparently winning the Pac-12 matters more than winning the Big 10, even though most people believed the latter was a more powerful conference this season.

Of course, the playoff should include at least eight teams with automatic berths for the Big Five conference title winners and then three wild-card teams. That would cover all the teams that belong in the playoff -- including, this season, the Buckeyes and red-hot USC. And not Michigan, which lost two of its last three games.

And it's silly when people make the argument that the controversy of having just four teams and the fuss over who gets chosen is good for the sport. No it isn't. It never has been. A whole lot of people complaining about what you're doing is never a good way to market your product. We heard the same excuse for the BCS system for years and that whole thing stunk.

For me, it's just one more example of why I've lost a degree of interest in college sports over the years. It's a bunch of kids working hard at their sport to enable a bunch of wealthy athletic departments and their administrators to generate as much money as possible off the sweat of those kids. Exploitation rules. This isn't about finding the best team, it's about making the most money.

That's fine if this is strictly business, but it isn't. This is supposed to be "student-athletes" competing on a level playing field. You know, the purity of sport. I can't even write that without smirking.

It's a mess.


Beavers learn the hard way why Washington is class of the Pac-12

Beavers learn the hard way why Washington is class of the Pac-12

SEATTLE - The Beavers came to Seattle as huge underdogs against No.5 Washington and after a beat down at the hands of the Huskies, learned the hard way why UW is not only the best team in the Pacific Northwest, but the class of the Pac-12.

The Huskies, led by sophomore quarterback Jake Browning, tore through the Oregon State defense with ease. To Oregon State’s credit, they did have plenty of good plays, and good defensive drives in fact, but it was the mistakes that hurt them.

As Bright Ugwoegbu said post game, "When facing a team like this you have to be more diciplined. We can't makes any mistakes." Good teams like Washington will take advantage when their opponents trip up, and that's just what the Huskies did.

Of Browning’s three touchdown passes on the night, two of them came on busted coverage. Browning once finding Aaron Fuller wide open in the corner of the end zone, and once finding Dante Pettis free up the middle for a long touchdown pass. The busted plays resulted in both receivers catching the ball with no defenders within 10-yards of them. 

When OSU made a mistake, Washington would land a haymaker. However, on the plays they didn’t have a mental lapse, OSU showed they have the talent to stand strong.

This is the same Washington team that just hung 70 on the Oregon Ducks, mind you, but managed to score jsut 10 second half points. Sure, the backups played a most of the fourth quarter, but still OSU showed they have fight.

They may have fought hard, but in the end the talent gap was just too much for the Beavers to overcome. The fact that a large chunk of their depth, including star running back Ryan Nall, missed the game with injuries didn’t help the matter. Despite the loss, there is plenty the Beavers can take away from this game. The defense showed at times that it can stop a talented offense, while the offense, especially in the second half, showed it can put a drive together and score points.

But at the end of the day, it was just another classic Beavers performance. I feel like a broken record, because I have written this before, but the Beavers team we saw in the second half would have blown out the Beavers team we saw in the first. Win of lose, the only thing Oregon State needs to focus on these final five games is how to play a football game for a full 60 minutes. They did once this season, and looked what happened. They beat Cal in overtime.

Let’s hope they can find whatever worked that weekend and apply it the rest of the way. Otherwise, these results will continue to feel like Déjà vu all over again.

Final score: Oregon State 17 – Washington 41

Next Up: The Beavers return home next weekend for a matchup with the Washington State Cougars. Kickoff is set for 7:45 PM on Saturday, October 29.




Marcus McMaryion – 12 for 26, 148 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. 


Tim Cook: 18 attempts, 108 yards and a touchdown

Victor Bolden: two attempts, 75 yards and a touchdown


Victor Bolden: five catches, 58 yards

Timmy Hernandez: two catches, 33 yards

Jordan Villamin: two catches, 41 yards



Jake Browning – 14 for 28, 219 yards and three touchdowns


Myles Gaskin - 18 carries, 128 yards and a touchdown

Jake Browning – five carries, 22 yards and a touchdown


John Ross – four catches, 115 yards

Dante Pettis – four catches, 112 yards and two touchdowns


Beavers fail to put points on scoreboard in first half against UW

USA Today

Beavers fail to put points on scoreboard in first half against UW

 The Beavers came into Seattle as huge underdogs against No.5 Washington. They may need a miracle in the second half if they have any hope of pulling an upset.

The Huskies, led by Jake Browning, have torn through the OSU defense.

The UW offense failed to score on just one of its first five possessions, finding the end zone four times; twice through the air and twice on the ground.

For the injury riddled OSU offense, it has been tough to move the ball at all.  Without star running back Ryan Nall (ankle), and starting third string quarterback Marcus McMaryion, the offense has been none existent.

The Washington defense has been all over the field, and has made it hard for Oregon State to get past the line of scrimmage, let alone score.  The Beavers had just five first downs, to Washington’s 16, while being outgained 89-318.

The Beavers need a lot to change in the second have, but that will be easier said than done. This Huskies team is every bit as good as it has been hyped up to be.

Halftime score: Oregon State 0 – Washington 31




Marcus McMaryion – 8 for 14, 56 yards and an interception


Tim Cook: 7 attempts, 33 yards


Timmy Hernandez: 2 catches, 33 yards

Paul Lucas: 2 catches, 15 yards



Jake Browning – 10 for 21, 216 yards and two touchdowns


Myles Gaskin - 10 carries, 73 yards and a touchdown

Jake Browning – 5 carries for 21 yards and a touchdown


John Ross – 4 catches, 115 yards

Dante Pettis – 2 catches, 54 yards and a touchdown

QB change? Ducks were just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

QB change? Ducks were just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

It was a controversial move by Oregon Coach Mark Helfrich last week when he decided to turn the keys to his team's offense over to true freshman Justin Herbert. Was this the right time? Why not wait until after a bye week? Why do it against one of the nation's hungriest, quarterback-gobbling teams?

Well, Helfrich probably knew something we didn't know -- that it didn't matter. Herbert played just fine for a freshman. It was not a special performance but he seemed to get through it without injury, which was one of my concerns. What difference does it make who plays quarterback if you're going to allow 70 points?

Helfrich's move was just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The Ducks are sinking fast. Might as well play the young kid if you're going to get your tailfeathers kicked anyway. At this point, Oregon needs to forget about that "Win The Day" stuff and think about "Win A Day." Or "Win A Game."

A bowl game? Seems impossible at this point.

Yes, the Huskies have more talent than Oregon -- the result of apparently out-recruiting everyone in the conference by a wide margin over the last couple of years. But should we be surprised? No -- Coach Chris Petersen beat Pac-12 teams with players he could attract to Boise, Idaho -- he ought to be able to recruit better ones to Seattle. You may remember Petersen, by the way. He'll forever be known as the guy Oregon should have begged to take its head-coaching position when it gift-wrapped the job for Helfrich.

But that's ancient history, as is Oregon's swagger and aura of dominance. The Ducks were never in this game... never made anyone think they had a tiny chance of winning. All the glitz, glitter and glamor of the Oregon program -- the locker rooms, the uniforms, the study center, the medical treatment facility, all of it -- has suddenly been rendered meaningless. The Ducks used to have teams beaten when they strutted out on the field behind that motorcycle. But those days are gone.

All season, Duck apologists have been whistling the same tune: "Fans have been spoiled. Don't panic. Every team goes through times like this. These guys were in the national championship just a couple of seasons ago. It's cyclical and this is just a momentary speed bump."

It doesn't look like that to me. In college football, if the recruiting and coaching slides just a little bit, the dropoff in performance can be steep. It can go fast -- very fast. If you aren't moving forward you are falling behind. Just repeating what's been done before simply doesn't work.

All those things that used to be Oregon advantages are now commonplace, just a couple of years later.

Oregon beat teams with its tempo and an innovative spread offense -- which has little impact now because everyone is doing it. The uniforms were a big recruiting deal -- but a lot of teams are fiddling around with their uniforms. Fancy locker rooms? Just about everybody in the conference has built a new operations center, locker room, practice area, study center and/or training facility.

What's left is coaching, which also means recruiting. And keeping players focused.

Look, I'm not in that locker room or on the sidelines but for all those people who are saying they are worried the Ducks might quit on this season, I must tell you -- it sure appeared they've already quit.

And really, that's the best possible excuse for what happened Saturday night in Autzen.

Because if it's strictly a talent issue... If the Ducks didn't quit, well, it's a sobering thought for this program to come to grips with suddenly being 50 points worse than a team it had beaten 12 seasons in a row.


Ducks embarrassed 70-21 by No. 5 Washington

Ducks embarrassed 70-21 by No. 5 Washington

Washington 70, Oregon 21

How Oregon lost: The Ducks (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12) were owned by the Huskies (6-0, 3-0) from the jump in front of a sellout crowd of 58,842 at Autzen Stadium on Saturday night.

Washington's defense made life miserable for the Ducks, holding their running game in check and making life difficult for freshman quarterback Justin Herbert, making the first start of his career. 

Washington's offense looked unstoppable against the Ducks' poor defense.  Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning completed 22-of-28 passes for 304 yards and six touchdowns with zero interceptions. Sophomore running back Myles Gaskin rushed for 197 yards and had a 65-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. 

Washington led 21-0 after the first quarter and 35-7 after the second quarter. 

The Washington win ended a 12-year drought against the Ducks. 

What it all means: Oregon is now in serious danger of not qualifying for a bowl berth for the first time since 2004 (5-6). The Ducks must win four of their final six games with the only assured victory likely to come at Oregon State in the Civil War. However, the Ducks next face California and Arizona, two teams that are bad enough on defense to maybe allow the Ducks to get to 4-4 over the next few weeks. 

Washington looks like a legitimate playoff contender. 

Key sequence: Oregon trailed 21-0 before finally reaching the Huskies' red zone thanks in large part to a 15-yard penalty on Washington for kick catching interference following a punt. Oregon took over at UW's 40. Freeman rushed for 12 yards to the 28, then two plays later went 22 yards to the six where he fumbled while fighting for extra yardage. 

Washington recovered and promptly went on a five-play, 94-yard scoring drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Browning to wide receiver John Ross to make the score 28-0.

Play of the game: Oregon got on the board on its next drive when Herbert rolled left from the Washington 18, stopped, looked right and found Tony Brooks-James in the end zone. Herbert threw a strong and accurate pass to Brooks-James for his first touchdown pass of his career to make the score 28-7.  

High flying Ducks: Herbert showed signs of being the real deal by completing 21-of-33 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

Running back Taj Griffin had a touchdown run of 10 yards and scored on a 21-yard pass from Herbert. Both came in the third quarter. 

Freshman linebacker Troy Dye returned to action after missing last week's game and had two tackles for loss.  

Fowl play: Oregon's defense got dominated once again. It had no answer for anything Washington tried to do on offense. 

The Huskies gained 685 yards of total offense. 

UO running back Royce Freeman was held to 50 yards on 11 carries. 

Next up: Oregon has next Saturday off. The Ducks return to action on Friday, Oct. 21 at California.