Dawg Pack Perspective - Oklahoma

Dawg Pack Perspective (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

SEATTLE - From the get-go this was a loss. There was no excitement and no belief in this Washington team against Oklahoma. When the Sooners ran out onto the field and their band started playing their fight song a fellow dawg pack member turned to me and told me to get used to that song because we would be hearing it all night.

I heard the Oklahoma song more times in the first half than I have heard the Husky fight song in two home games.

You know what ESPN means to some students these days - TV time. Not for the team of course but for themselves. Get on TV and get out. At halftime the Dawg Pack emptied out considerably and the noise started to die down. Maybe it's because class hasn't started yet and there aren't as many students on campus. Last year against Ohio State, students came because there was a buzz going on after the first two wins and excitement was up. Those two wins carried the Dawg Pack for almost the entire year. There was a feeling if we can beat Boise State than we can beat other teams too. That sentiment was there for USC, Arizona, Oregon, and of course Washington State.

With an 0-3 start this year the buzz is gone and reality has hit hard. The Huskies got spanked by their rivals, cheated by their own refs and hammered on national TV by a national power. Almost every emotion has been spent in that three-week stretch, except joy. The joy of victory. Watching this team play is draining, going from watching the amazement of Jake Locker in week two to depression in week three is beyond draining.

The team needs the crowd to win and the crowd needs the team be good to get excited, especially on defense. Otherwise the crowd will continue to get smaller and quieter. Stanford will be the true test for the crowd. Class will be under way by then and all the new freshmen will be in town.

I remember arriving last year and my first game was USC, the number-one team in the nation. I didn't know too much about the Tyrone Willingham era at that point and I truly expected to win that game. Yesterday, after watching Husky football first hand for a year, I didn't believe. Hopefully with the Dawg Pack in full effect it can help rejuvenate the team against Stanford.

Remember last year when Louis Rankin returned the opening kickoff in the Apple Cup? Where is that this year? Jermaine Kearse had a 48-yard touchdown catch against BYU, but I haven't seen very many game-changing plays yet. No interception return yards, no fumble return yards, and incredibly enough - no sacks. It seems like the only time there are any highlight plays is when the Huskies help their opponent make them with missed tackles.

On Saturday, Oklahoma had two touchdown passes over 63 yards. Oregon had two touchdown passes for over 47 yards in the opener. BYU also had a 38-yard touchdown pass. Opponents have outscored UW through the air 66-12.

The Huskies need game changers. Jake Locker is an amazing quarterback but he can only do so much. "We put all the focus on him (Jake Locker) because we believed he is their whole offense, we felt the offense couldn't be ran unless he took care of it. That's where our main focus was, get him out of his comfort zone and we would be alright," said Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy after the Sooners limited Locker to less than 200 yards total offense - including only 44 yards on the ground.

What happens when other teams execute their defense as well as Oklahoma did on UW? Someone else has to step up and make plays. Asking true freshmen at almost every skill position to run an offense is a lot of pressure for an 18-year old. The promise is there and glimpses of great talent have been shown the last three weeks, but are these freshmen really ready?

The Dawg Pack is waiting.

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