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Commentary: Best part of Huskies up-tempo offense? Their defense

A look at new UW Huskies football stadiumSEATTLE — Tonight we put our spotlight on the new-look, up-tempo Huskies offense, that moved so quickly at times last night, Seattle times columnist Larry Stone dubbed it “Sarknado.”

My take? The best part about the fast-paced offense – is the Husky defense.

No offense to Keith Price, and an offense that found success against a top-25 opponent. But a main reason the Huskies are able to make the up-tempo switch on offense this year – is because the defense is finally in a position to carry the extra burden. I’d say allowing Boise St. to just six points last night is more than doing its job.

Husky fans will hate the comparison – but any Oregon fan knows that the largest burden from an up-tempo offense – falls on its defense. While the Ducks offense gets all the attention for its frenetic pace – its strong and deep defense allows them to play that way.

Just think – if the Huskies played their up-tempo offense in the Alamo Bowl two years ago, Baylor wouldn’t have scored just 67 points. They would’ve scored 150. The Dawgs couldn’t stop molasses from escaping sugarcane in that game – and the defense would’ve been on the field even longer.

Case in point: Baylor ran 85 plays in that game. Boise St. ran 88 plays last night – and scored 61 fewer points.

Credit new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox for a complete turn-around on that side of the ball – but also credit strong recruiting and development for getting the athletic, tough, hard-nosed players they needed. Last night, the Husky defense was on the field for more than any game in close to three years.

To handle the extra burden of the up-tempo offense, they’ll need talent – and they’ll also need depth. We’ll see if they’re up to the challenge. Last night – they certainly were.

Meanwhile, it’s just one game – but there’s a split reaction to the Washington St. loss at auburn.

Yes, there’s encouragement in seeing some improvement. Yes, there are positives from outplaying an SEC team at times on the road. But it was a game the Cougs could’ve, and frankly should’ve won, based on how they played – and it still ends up as another tally in the loss column.

No offense, but Coug fans that are fine with improvement in losses remind me of Mariners fans who have been fine with the last 12 years without a playoff team.

Don’t be the fan that makes excuses for your team all season long, then shakes their head at the end of the season when your record is 4-8. Stand up and demand more – demand a winning team.

Mike Leach is starting to turn the corner in Pullman – but don’t let off until that corner is turned.

This is Division One football. You don’t play just to see improvement. A la Herm Edwards, “You play to win the game.”

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