HONOLULU – With a Hawaiian lei draped around his neck as he stood on the Aloha Stadium field, John Timu’s evaluation of the Washington Huskies’ 17-16 victory over Hawaii on Saturday was understandably tempered.
The senior linebacker was happy the Huskies won. That fact aside, he also spoke an inescapable truth, one each of his teammates would do well to heed as they prepare for their home opener this Saturday against Eastern Washington.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Timu said. “Offense, defense, special teams. A lot of work to be done. All we can do now is improve.”
There is plenty of room to do so. The Huskies weren’t particularly impressive in any area of the game, though their defense performed admirably in the second half despite being put in adverse circumstances by a UW offense that punted on each of its first eight second-half possessions.
“Certainly, as a team, we didn’t play nearly like we think we can play,” coach Chris Petersen said after his first game with UW. “I think it’s going to be a big wake-up call.”
It’s the offense that most needs awakening. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Lindquist, in his first career start, completed just 10 of 26 passes and missed a few throws to open receivers that likely would have yielded big gains. And aside from Lavon Coleman’s six carries for 37 yards on the final drive, the Huskies’ running game struggled to establish itself.
It’s unclear whether Lindquist will remain the Huskies’ starting quarterback when they face the Eagles on Saturday. Petersen said after Saturday’s game that he hopes to make a decision early in the week, and that “we’re going to do this thing the right way. We’re going to look at this with a fine-toothed comb and figure out what the best is, and we’ll go that direction.”
That would seem to imply that third-year sophomore Cyler Miles, who was suspended for the Hawaii game, will be given strong consideration.
Lindquist looked comfortable in the first half, when he completed 7 of 11 passes for 134 yards and a fantastic 91-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver John Ross. But in the second half Lindquist completed 3 of 15 as the offense failed to put together any meaningful drives.
(25) Washington 17, Hawaii 16
Haw—Iosefa 1 run (Hadden kick)
Haw—FG Hadden 28
Wash—Ross 20 run (Van Winkle kick)
Wash—Ross 91 pass from Lindquist (Van Winkle kick)
Wash—FG Van Winkle 36
Haw—FG Hadden 38
Haw—FG Hadden 27
|Time of Possession||25:49||34:11|
RUSHING—Washington, Coleman 17-78, D.Washington 12-38, Ross 1-20, Lindquist 9-20, Callier 3-16, Mickens 2-7, Cooper 1-1, Team 3-(minus 6). Hawaii, Iosefa 30-143, Lakalaka 9-34, Woolsey 13-34, Pedroza 1-9, Saint Juste 1-(minus 3).
PASSING—Washington, Lindquist 10-26-0-162. Hawaii, Woolsey 23-42-0-207, Kemp 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Washington, K.Williams 3-11, Ross 2-96, Hartvigson 1-20, Mickens 1-16, Campbell 1-8, D.Washington 1-7, Taylor 1-4. Hawaii, Pedroza 9-90, Harding 5-45, Kemp 4-31, Iosefa 2-0, Barker 1-29, Moleni 1-9, King Jr. 1-3.