Season Report Card: Washington Huskies
OK, that was a little harsh.
All jokes aside, the Huskies did play some fine football, as they went 9-4 on the season by finishing the year strong after stumbling in the middle of the schedule.
The middle part of their schedule featured back-to-back games against Stanford and Oregon, with Washington almost pulling off the upset in Palo Alto. All four conference losses for the Huskies were to teams that finished with 10 wins or more, so that's nothing to be upset about.
Although there is likely still some bitterness surrounding Sarkisian's exit to rival USC, he took a program that was dead in the water and made it into a Pac-12 contender.
Let's grade the Huskies on the 2013 campaign:
Star quarterback Keith Price helped orchestrate a pretty outstanding offensive display for the Huskies this season. Price was the catalyst through the air, throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and 21 touchdowns. But, honestly, the running game for Washington was even more impressive. Junior running back Bishop Sankey ran all over opposing defenses in rushing for 125 yards or more nine times on the year. He also threw in 20 touchdowns for good measure.
Statistically, the Huskies were a middle-of-the-road defensive team. But aside from three rough outings against Oregon, Arizona State, and UCLA, this defense played very well. It had a strong linebacker unit led by senior Princeton Fuimaono, and Washington also finished fourth in the country in sacks with a whopping 41 on the season.
Throughout his tenure with the Huskies, Sarkisian put his teams in a position to win. That was no different this season, as Washington really only found itself in a monumental struggle one time (Arizona State), and that was it. This team was prepared for the Pac-12 challenges on a regular basis, but just couldn't get that signature win that it needed.
Finding a way to squeak out a win over Stanford in early October may have changed the course of the few weeks that followed for Sarkisian's team. But that sent the Huskies on a three-game spiral until turning things around with a win over California. The big question now turns to whether new head coach Chris Petersen can duplicate Sarkisian's success, or perhaps even take Washington even higher.
What are your thoughts on the state of Washington football? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!