SEATTLE – A day after finding out their bowl destination, the University of Washington football players discussed putting the past behind them.
The Huskies will face a stern opponent in perennial winner and 20th-ranked Boise State on Dec. 22 at the Las Vegas Bowl.
That game is not just a chance to get to eight wins or win a bowl game for the second time in three seasons. It’s an opportunity for at least a mild purge of the Apple Cup collapse.
The Huskies blew an 18-point fourth-quarter lead Nov. 23 in a 31-28 overtime loss to Washington State in Pullman, where fans rushed the Martin Stadium field. Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was struck by a fan on his way off the field. Much like the game, Seferian-Jenkins is putting the incident behind him.
“Whoever that guy was, it’s not a big deal,” Seferian-Jenkins said Monday. “He obviously was intoxicated, I hope, intoxicated or something like that. I’m not really worried about it. I’m over it. I think everyone else should be over it. I still think people should rush the field, I think that’s part of college football and what makes it special.”
Seferian-Jenkins said UW officials asked if he wanted them to pursue the assailant, and he said no.
“It would have been fixed if we had won the game,” Seferian-Jenkins said.
They didn’t, which left split perceptions Monday. Seferian-Jenkins insisted he put the game behind him the next day.
“It’s upsetting that we lost to our rival,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “The way we lost was unacceptable. No one’s really hanging their head on it anymore.”
That’s not quite the way QB Keith Price put it.
“This past week has been rough for the team,” Price said. “A lot of our guys have been down. Obviously, you don’t want to finish the season like that.”
Beating Boise State will not be easy. Though known for trick plays and blue turf, the Broncos have one of the better defenses in college football.
Boise State is 14th in the country in Footballoutsiders.com’s adjusted defensive ratings. For comparison, Alabama is second and Stanford is fourth. Georgia is 28th.
The Broncos are seventh in pass efficiency defense, a spot ahead of Alabama, because of sticky cornerback play and a staunch edge rush from Demarcus Lawrence, who has 91/2 sacks.
“They’re a good defensive football team and they create a bunch of turnovers,” coach Steve Sarkisian said.
Which means the Broncos are challenge enough to make the Apple Cup quickly forgotten.
Seferian-Jenkins said he has talked to basketball coach Lorenzo Romar and reiterated he will not make a decision about playing basketball until after the football season is over. … The Huskies have moved redshirt cornerback Brandon Beaver to safety and redshirt Dwayne Washington from wide receiver to running back.Todd Dybas firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas