The Washington Football Huskies: Glory, downfall and the Jimmy Lake factor

In college football, the Washington Huskies represent the University of Washington. Washington is a member of the Pac-12 Conference’s North Division in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Since 2020, Jimmy Lake has been the team’s head coach. Since 1920, Husky Stadium, located on campus, has served as Washington’s home field.

Washington Football: Best, worst, and most likely scenarios for 2021
Washington Huskies represent the University of Washington. Source:


Washington has won 17 conference titles, seven Rose Bowls, and four NCAA-designated major championships. As of 2018, the school’s all-time record ranks 20th in terms of win percentage and 19th in terms of overall victories among FBS schools.

Washington has the longest unbeaten streak in FBS history, at 64 games, as well as the second-longest winning streak, with 40 wins in a row. In school history, there have been a total of 12 undefeated seasons, including seven perfect seasons.

Washington is one of four founding members of the Pac-12 Conference, and one of just two institutions with continuous membership, along with California.

Washington had 27 consecutive non-losing seasons from 1977 to 2003, the most of any Pac-12 club and the 14th longest stretch by an NCAA Division I-A team. Its 390 conference victories through the 2017 season are the second-most in league history.

Because of its extensive history of quarterbacks playing in the National Football League (NFL), including the second-most QB starts in NFL history, Washington is sometimes referred to as one of the best Quarterback Universities. 14 of the last 19 quarterbacks who have led the team in passing for at least one season have gone on to play in the NFL, dating back to Warren Moon in 1976.

On December 6, 2013, Washington hired Chris Petersen as its next head football coach. Petersen previously served as the head coach at Boise State for eight years.

In 2016, Petersen led Washington to a Pac-12 title and a berth in the College Football Playoff. The Washington Huskies Athletic Department renewed Petersen’s coaching contract through 2023 on April 11, 2017, with a reported annual salary of $4.875 million paid completely from Washington Athletic Department revenue, such as ticket sales, television rights, and donations.

Washington was invited to play in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl at the end of the regular season. Petersen led the Huskies to their second Pac-12 title in three years and their 15th appearance in the Rose Bowl in 2018.

Petersen stated on December 2, 2019, that he would resign as head coach and take on an advisory position. Jimmy Lake, the defensive coordinator at the institution, has been appointed as his successor.

The downfall of the Washington Football team

The Washington football team’s much-anticipated season opener turned out to be their most humiliating defeat in program history. The Huskies were heavy favourites over the Montana Grizzlies coming into this game, but they fell 13-7 to the top-10 FCS club.

There were a few remarkable plays, such as a few near-interceptions on defence, but the Huskies’ overall performance was dreadful. The team couldn’t put anything together after not playing in front of a crowd since 2019.

Following the game, quarterback Dylan Morris was slammed with a lot of blame. Morris had a strong first drive (3/4 passes for 28 yards) that took the offence all the way down to the one-yard line, where he scored on a sneak play.

Jimmy Lake, the head coach, must bear the brunt of the blame. We were encouraged to believe that this squad may be a Pac-12 Championship contender throughout fall camp, but game one proves us wrong.

Lake must accept responsibility for not having his squad prepared on game day and for not making the required adjustments in-game to come out on top, as much as Lake’s staff hirings continue to worry fans.

Was hiring Jimmy Lake a mistake?

Lake and the people he’s hired will have to wait and see if they’re the proper people for the job. The notion that hiring Lake was a mistake on the surface because he had big-time (or any) head coaching experience is patently incorrect.

There are numerous cases that show it’s a manageable risk with a good probability of success, and it’s probably no riskier than hiring an outside head coach or another’s assistant. For Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Georgia, appointing an “associate head coach” or “coach in waiting” for a rising assistant who demonstrates talent, potential, and desire to become the next big thing is working out just well. The issue isn’t with the procedure.

Hiring Lake may turn out to be a mistake because he doesn’t have what it takes to succeed, rather than because it was a mistake based on his lack of expertise. If he fails (or continues on the path to failure that appears to have already begun), it will be on his own merits and the merits of those with whom he surrounded himself.

The Washington football program is rapidly disintegrating, and Husky fans are uneasy with their coach’s response to the team’s lack of preparation. It’s no longer acceptable, and something must be done.

Coach Lake is a defensive coach, but he needs to figure out how to play offensively. If he fails to accomplish so, the Huskies’ season in 2021 is doomed.

The scores of Washington Huskies after Jimmy Lake

After possibly the most humiliating loss in the history of the Huskies football program, Washington coach Jimmy Lake declared his squad wants to “make apologies” to their fans.

Washington’s history is littered with setbacks. There was the 10-7 defeat to Hawaii in 1973 as a 50-point favourite, a 38-point favourite loss to Oregon State at home in 1985, and a 19-point favourite loss to Stanford in 2006 that cost the Huskies a bowl game.

The inability of Washington to use its greater talent to push itself on Montana was perhaps the most discouraging aspect. Despite having one of the best offensive lines in the country, Washington was unable to overcome Montana’s defensive front. Last season, Huskies quarterback Dylan Morris was sacked once in four games; the Grizzlies sacked him three times. With the sacks removed, Washington rushed for 90 yards on 24 carries for a 3.8 yard per carry average.

Morris also threw three interceptions, the latest of which came with 31 seconds remaining in the game. Morris only had a small group of receivers; thus, it was one of his rare downfield shots.

Washington was without its top three wide receivers, and No. 4 WR Ja’Lynn Polk was injured in the chest on the opening play of the game, requiring emergency surgery, according to Lake. Polk’s ailment was not discussed in detail by Lake. He stated that he is recovering well, but that he will not be ready until the postseason.

Jalen McMillan, Rome Odunze, and Terrell Bynum, Washington’s other receivers, are all on a week-to-week basis, according to Lake. Due to their inability to play against Montana, the Huskies were left with only four scholarship wide receivers.

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