Last Saturday, I traveled to Montlake to take in UW’s spring football game, the first for new coach Steve Sarkisian. What I found was bevy of Huskies football fans with plenty of excitement and high expectations after a season which ranked as possibly the worst ever in Pac-10 history.
Saturday’s fans didn’t care. The stadium’s lower bowl was around 3/4 of the way full to watch the first-string Purple team blank the second-string white team 33-0.
Of course, you can’t read much into that but hey, this was an 0-12 team. They needed something to cheer about.
Plenty of things looked good: Jake Locker completed 16 of 18 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns; one of the incompletions a drop by Jermaine Kearse. The running game looked consistent; the tight ends and running backs getting plenty of work in short passes.
No sane person would expect the Huskies to contend for a Pac-10 title this season. But 3-4 wins isn’t impossible if things bounce UW’s way.
The energy at the game was notable. It seemed the fired-up body language of the coaches spread into the crowd. At least three or four times I heard comments from spectators on the rowdiness of defensive coordinator Nick Holt in particular.
Of the five Bellevue players on the roster, only one, senior safety Tripper Johnson from Newport, saw action. Bellevue graduate EJ Savannah, projected this season as a starter at linebacker, missed the spring game with a non-serious injury, and is expected to make a full recovery in time for fall camp.
Other Bellevue players listed on UW’s roster include junior Brendan Lopez, a Bellevue alum who sat out last season after transferring from the University of Michigan, and Andrew Ferleman, a walk-on junior from Newport High School.
Bottom line: if you’re a UW fan, you have plenty to be excited about, evidenced by the turnout for the spring game. But then again, you can’t really be any worse than winless, can you?