SEATTLE – Travis Coons had the chance to rescue the Washington Huskies from Apple Cup infamy.
His field goal could have turned Washington’s fourth-quarter collapse into smiles and exhales when talking about what “almost” happened.
If his 35-yard attempt went through, quarterback Keith Price would have an Apple Cup-winning drive in the final minutes as opposed to an egregious overtime turnover.
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins would not have been decked by a fan while walking off the field because no one would have rushed the field.
The 105th Apple Cup would still be referenced as a great game, with the joy of the outcome switching sides.
But, the snap was low, then righted by holder Cody Bruns. Coons’ kick fluttered toward the goal posts as time expired. It was wide right. He chunked it.
“That’s the life of a kicker,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. “You’re going to make some, you’re going to miss some. He’s going to get some opportunities again, and we have every faith in him that he’s going to go out there and make that kick.”
On the whole, it has been an interesting year for Coons. He ended up Washington’s kicker in all three phases: kickoffs, field goals and punts. He even punted with his left foot twice when snaps went through his hands.
Coons was 7-for-11 (63.6 percent) on field goals. The Apple Cup miss made him 2-for-4 from 30-39 yards. His long on the season was 45 yards. He averaged 39.5 yards a punt and 58.9 yards per kickoff.
He also hit a 30-yard kick with 1:20 left to beat Oregon State.
Sarkisian said Coons’ Apple Cup miss was one of many issues in a game in which the Huskies tied a UW record for penalties (18). He also said he didn’t put Coons on the psychiatrist’s couch following the kick.
“I don’t necessarily over-coach those moments,” Sarkisian said. “It is a unique position and it takes a real mentally tough individual to do that. You know everybody’s watching. There’s probably not (another) position in sports (like that), other than pinch hitter in bottom of ninth.”
OFFENSIVE LINE DEPTH IS COMING … NEXT YEAR
Washington loses senior center Drew Schaefer from the offensive line.
The Huskies should get back two would-be starters who were injured this season, Colin Tanigawa and Erik Kohler. Sarkisian wasn’t sure if the two will be ready for spring football in April after each had knee injuries end their season.
“I know this, we won’t rush them … just to get them to practice in spring ball,” Sarkisian said. “They both have a good amount of experience in our system. We’ll see what we get out of them.”
Sarkisian said he wants to get an extensive look at younger linemen such as Jake Eldrenkamp, Nathan Dean and Auburn’s Cory Fuavai, who all redshirted this year.
AND THEY’RE OFF
Washington head to Las Vegas on Monday, then start practicing Tuesday.
The Huskies will run a normal schedule leading up to Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. kickoff.
Events such as a Blue Man Group show at the Monte Carlo casino and Goodie Two Shoes Foundation Shoe Distribution, both scheduled for Thursday, are among those planned by Las Vegas Bowl email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas