It wasn’t all hoots and hollers echoing across the Puget Sound on Friday night. I know not all Seattleites are University of Washington fans (shoutout Wazzu), but the campus is in the city, and there’s definitely a hefty overlap of Mariners and Huskies fans. For as euphoric as the M’s win was, the sports gods are a fickle bunch and find ways to dampen a good time.
It just so happened that Washington’s visit to UCLA was a Friday night showcase, with the No. 15 Huskies looking to solidify a spot in the race for the Pac-12 title against Chip Kelly’s undefeated team. It was not meant to be as neither team was able to get stops, and UW quarterback Michael Penix had more interceptions (two) than his defense had forced punts (one), which turned out to be the difference in a 40-32 loss.
The Bruins led by as many as 24 in the second half after building a 16-point lead at the break, off the help of the turnovers and pushed it to 23 one possession into the third. While the Huskies added a couple of late scores and 2-point conversions to cut it to eight, fifth-year UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson picked up a couple of first downs with his legs and arm to seal the victory and stifle any late drama.
If it seems like Thompson-Robinson has been at UCLA forever, he has, and he looked like the more dynamic, composed quarterback at the Rose Bowl on Friday night. If Kelly’s team isn’t in the top 25 following this win, they’ll be damn close, and the conference all of a sudden looks kind of good — albeit a little top-heavy. Depending on how voters view Washington’s loss, and if USC, Oregon, and Utah hold serve in games they’re supposed to win, there could be as many as five Pac-12 schools ranked after this weekend.