The Washington Huskies dropped their Week 6 showdown with the No. 2 Oregon Ducks, 52-21 last Saturday, and Ben Knibbe of UW Dawg Pound has some answers with regard to what went wrong.
There's no question that the Huskies had their work cut out for them against the undefeated Ducks, and Knibbe points to a muffed fair catch by freshman punt returner Marvin Hall as the potential beginning of the end to any chance Washington had for an upset, via UW Dawg Pound:
Freshmen make freshmen mistakes. Hall is a freshman. He made a freshman mistake, a mistake that could have been the spark that set Oregon's path to victory. Now I am not saying that the onus for the loss should be put on Hall's shoulders, or that this game would have turned out much differently had Hall fair caught the punt, but it was just a play that may have been the catalyst.
Knibbe goes on to address what might be the core of the Huskies' difficulties this season – the number of true freshman who are getting playing time rather than redshirting:
Which players have played as true freshmen this season? Brostek, Erich Wilson, Hall, Jaydon Mickens, Cory Littleton (just this last weekend), Kendyl Taylor, Thompson and Pio Vatuvei to go along with specialists Korey Durkee and Ryan Masel. That makes eight non-specialists, more than last season. The season is not over yet. It has been speculated that Cyler Miles, another freshman, would be the one to take over for Keith Price should Price miss any extended time with an injury, thus burning another redshirt.
That's quite a few youngsters being relied upon to make contributions for a team that is in a challenging conference.
Washington saw their record drop to 3-2 (1-1 Pac-12) and are currently in third place in the Pac-12 North heading into another tough tangle with a conference foe when they face the No. 11 USC Trojans in Week 7. Oregon improved to 3-0 in Pac-12 play and are tied for first in the Pac-12 North with their cross-state rival Oregon State.
Kickoff for Saturday's game against the Trojans is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT, and the game will be televised on FOX.