By Ken Goe | Posted October 07, 2018 at 11:14 AM
A couple things …
— I wasn’t really surprised when Washington struggled to hold off UCLA yesterday in the Rose Bowl.
This was a classic trap game, the Huskies coming off a precision clocking of BYU and knowing the Oregon Ducks are waiting for them next Saturday in Eugene.
Besides, in this corner of the country we know how well UCLA coach Chip Kelly can craft a game plan.
The knee-jerk reaction — that the Huskies stumbled and nearly fell — isn’t wrong, but it lacks context.
David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times writes that stinker of a Washington victory won’t impress the playoff committee.
Which, in the short term, undoubtedly is true. In the big picture, if the Huskies dust Oregon next Saturday afternoon in Autzen Stadium, nobody will remember they nearly stubbed their toes against UCLA.
In some ways, having to struggle against UCLA probably helped Washington.
As Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times, puts it, Washington won, but that Dawg won’t hunt against the Ducks.
I expect UW coach Chris Petersen to spend the week hammering that home that as the Huskies gear up for Oregon. He needs to, because the Ducks have had two weeks to get ready. There isn’t a game on the schedule Oregon would rather win.
The O’s John Canzano spent the day with UO coach Mario Cristobal yesterday.
As Canzano writes: The Ducks had a bye, but Cristobal hasn’t been resting.
More on Washington-UCLA lower in the links.
— As I’ve written before, this Oregon State season never has been about the win-loss record.
This year is when first-year coach Jonathan Smith installs the foundation. I think most OSU fans understand that. They want to see the Beavers play hard, hustle, refuse to quit, show some hope for the future.
I think OSU delivered on those things in last night’s 56-37 loss to Washington State.
Here is my column from Corvallis: The Beavers lost, but they were entertaining and went down swinging.
The R-G’s Austin Meek saw it in much the same way, writing OSU isn’t there yet. But you can see where Smith wants to go and it could be fun to watch the Beavers get there.
OSU’s defense has been a season-long problem, one that probably won’t be resolved in 2018. The Beavers aren’t going to win many games this year.
Next year might be a different story.
OK, more links:
John Blanchette for The Spokesman-Review: #Pac-12AfterDark is at its most weird in Reser Stadium, but the Cougs win anyway.
OSU is better, but the scoreboard doesn’t lie.
Encouraging signs from the Beavers despite the double-digit loss.
Oregon State empties the playbook and it still isn’t enough.