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The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

The news site of Glacier Peak High school

The Edge

The Top Dawgs Hit Rock Bottom


Just one week ago, Washington Huskies fans were at an all-time high. Coming off a thrilling Sugar Bowl victory, they were hyped up going into the National Championship game against Michigan. Little did they know, a loss to Michigan wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to the Huskies this week.

The Huskies had worked all season to make it to the National Championship. Faced with the most challenging schedule in the PAC 12, they went 13-0. In conference, they played four ranked teams, and beat Oregon not only once, but again in the PAC-12 championship. The Huskies were the first (and last) team in the PAC-12 to ever go 13-0.

“I didn’t follow the season very closely, but it was awesome to see my home team go so far and that they are the last PAC-12 champions. I felt very proud to be a Husky fan,” Amelia Holst said.

They then went on to play Texas at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite being the underdogs going into the game, the Huskies beat the Longhorns 37-31. Michael Penix Jr. performed what was probably the best game of this season, and of his college football career. He was named MVP of the game, throwing 430 yards and 2 touchdowns. Trevor Butler, a loyal Texas fan, travelled to New Orleans to watch the game.

“I went to the Sugar Bowl. Obviously, I was rooting for the Horns. It was a great game, probably one of the best college football games and one of the greatest sporting events I’ve ever been to. Michael Penix Jr. absolutely destroyed Texas’s defense. I knew going into it that they were gonna throw for quite a few yards since the Huskies have the best pass offense in the country and everyone thought Texas’s secondary would be smoked by the Washington passing offense. Most of Texas’s coverages were pretty good, but Penix just has a way of dropping a pass into a window that really only an elite NFL quarterback can hit. Penix had a great game, there’s not a lot you can do when it’s statistically the best quarterback performance of the entire college football season,” Butler said.

Brynna Pukis, who also traveled to New Orleans to attend the Sugar Bowl, started the week excited for the national championship game. “The Sugar Bowl was the best football game that I’ve ever been to and the energy was amazing. If the Huskies won the National Championship I would be super, super happy, but angry that I wasn’t there,” Brynna Pukis said.

The Huskies played Michigan on January 8, yet again going into the game as the underdogs. Unfortunately for Husky fans, Washington lost to Michigan 34-13. The Washington Huskies ended their season 14-1, second place in the country. Many Husky fans were very sad after the game, but still optimistic about the future of the program and upcoming seasons.

However, any hope held by UW football fans after the game is surely lost now. The National Championship loss was only the start of the downfall of the Dawgs.

First, many of the still-eligible players for the Huskies declared to go into the NFL draft. Although Rome Odunze and Bralen Trice were no-brainers, players such as Dillon Johnson, Ja’lynn Polk, and Jalen McMillan had Husky fans surprised. Joshua Westlund, an avid Husky fan, has season tickets with his family and has been to every home game for the last 4 years. “I think that some of the players should’ve stayed, like Polk and McMillan. It’s disappointing that they are leaving because it would’ve been cool to have them for another good season next year,” Westlund said.

Second, and what may have broken the most Husky hearts, was the departure of Washington’s head coach, Kalen DeBoer. DeBoer took over for the Huskies after their 2021 season where they went 4-8. He insisted that he was excited to build up Washington’s program, and after 2 great seasons of being head coach, he held a special place in the hearts of Husky fans. He even won multiple Coach of the Year awards for the 2023 season. However, rumors started speculating about DeBoer leaving for Alabama once Nick Saban announced he was retiring. The news was made official on January 12, after a team meeting where DeBoer announced his departure to the team. The next day, he was already in Alabama and had his first press conference. “I would say it makes me mad, but you have to understand where he’s coming from. Alabama is the place to be since he will get better recruits there than he would get at Washington,” Nate Staudinger said.

Lastly, many incoming recruits decommitted from the program, most likely in consequence of DeBoer leaving. Local 4-star linebacker commit from Bethel High School, Zaydrius Rainey-Sale, officially decommitted on January 12. Following that, Will Rodgers, quarterback transfer from Mississippi State, who had previously stated his commitment to Washington, reentered the transfer portal. Current Huskies also decided to enter the transfer portal, such as Asa Turner, Jabbar Muhammed, and Mishael Powell. On January 13, the Huskies lost another 4-star defensive end commit from Arizona, Noah Carter. This chain of unfortunate events left Husky fans upset. “Screw DeBoer. I’m super pissed about the players leaving. The transfer portal is a black hole sucking college football into it,” Ethan Work said. As of January 14, UW’s last quarterback option, Austin Mack, entered the transfer portal as well.

Although the final week of the 2023 Washington Huskies season ended on a low, this season is sure to be a season remembered by all Husky fans for a long time. Now with no starting QB named and with former Arizona coach Jedd Fisch named as the new head coach, the possibilities are endless for next year.

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