Huskies' resurgence hinges on improved defense
That improved pass defense will get possibly its strongest test from Washington State. While the Cougars pass game has yet to match the vaunted productivity coach Mike Leach had while at Texas Tech, it's still a unique style and Washington has struggled facing unique offenses this year. The Huskies gave up 52 points each to Arizona and Oregon, which run unconventional spread offenses.
"I think at the end of the day the statistics are just a matter of execution," Wilcox said. "You execute well, the statistics are going to be better."
While a bowl berth is already secured for the Huskies, entering the postseason on a five-game win streak could make Washington even more appealing when the selections are finally made. Washington last won five straight regular season games in 2000 when it won its last seven conference games on its way to a Rose Bowl berth.
The Huskies offense has finally awakened the past two weeks, scoring 34 points against Utah and 38 last Saturday in a blowout win over lowly Colorado. After scuffling through most of the season, Keith Price now has three straight games with at least 230 yards passing and his eight touchdowns the last three weeks matched his entire total for the first eight games of this season.
"The rapport with the receiving corps, the anticipation and understanding coverages and where guys are going to go has just really improved in the last month," Sarkisian said. "Again, that's a sign of a guy willing to work, willing to try and get better, and taking to coaching."
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