Washington Huskies Vs. LSU Tigers: A Rematch Between Improved Teams

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Head caoch Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies leads his team down the tunnel for the game with the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Huskies and Tigers last met in 2009, when Washington gave LSU a scare before falling 31-23.

Back in 2009, when Washington faced off against LSU, it signaled the start of a new era in Husky football. Fresh off a 0-12 season, the Huskies had an energetic new coach, Steve Sarkisian, who had previously been the offensive coordinator at USC.

Playing in that game was true freshman Desmond Trufant, a member of Sarkisian's first recruiting class, who, symptomatic of the team's lack of depth, was being thrown to the fire having yet to attend a real college class.

Trufant and the Huskies hung tough with LSU that night in Husky Stadium, giving the Tigers a scare before falling 31-23.

Now, ranked No. 3 in the country and a national title favorite, LSU is obviously improved over the 2009 version. The question is, have the Huskies improved as well?

"I think that game, it was a totally different mindset here," Trufant said. "Everything was fresh, it was coach Sarkisian's first year, so but now, we have the mindset to be a contender. We want to play the best teams. To have the opportunity to play at LSU, that's just a great opportunity to prove to people that we deserve to be here."

It would be expected that the Huskies, who failed to make a bowl game that season, should have had more room to improve than LSU, who finished No. 17 in the country. But the expectation is that this game could easily turn into a blowout.

Sure, the UW has traded the friendly shores of Montlake for a hostile venue that goes by the designation "Death Valley", but still, if the program has improved the Huskies should at least be able to make a game of it.

"My freshman year, we almost pulled it out," UW quarterback Keith Price said. "But I think we're a lot better team than we were three years ago. I'm sure that they're not overlooking us, I'm sure they know that we're going to bring it to ‘em, and they're going to bring it to us. It's going to be a hard-fought game."

The talent has improved at the UW, there's no doubt about that. Sarkisian joked that before the first game against LSU, he felt the team was at a mismatch just by looking at the two teams warm up.

This year he'll have players like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams and Shaq Thompson running around the field, guys who would look good warming up for any team.

But if the program is truly on the path to someday compete for Rose Bowls and championships than it needs to improve relative to the powers in college football. The Huskies cannot afford to get blown out in this game.

To do so would mean that whatever the coaches are trying, it isn't working. At least, it isn't working well enough. Because all that's changed over the past three years is the players, and Sarkisian's amount of head coaching experience.

"Our schemes haven't changed much, their schemes haven't changed much," Sarkisian said. "The venue will be different, but outside of that, there will be a lot of purple and gold in the stands and on the field."

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Seattle

You must be a member of SB Nation Seattle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Seattle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.