I agree with the general tone of what many of you wrote after the USC game -- and frankly, three main themes remind me of what I head around the UW locker-room area after the game:
1.) The officials might not have been just right at the end, but...
2.) The good news is that UW stayed with USC for 60 minutes on their home field, but...
3.) The bad news is the Huskies had their own chances to win and didn't.
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The important thing now is that the players shake any lingering disappointment and look ahead.
It's suddenly tempting to move this Oregon State game right into the mental win column. Vegas has the Huskies 11-point favorites (another sign of national respect).
However, just as this season so quickly turned for the better, it could also turn that quickly for the worse if they don't take care of business this weekend. That visit to Cal the following week looks very tough, so a loss to OSU would set up the real possibility of a three-game losing streak and 4-4 heading into the final third of the season.
However, now -- at the halfway point -- the Huskies look far better than I had expected. And up to now they also have reflected a Willingham-like, all-business quality that leads me to believe they'll be focused again Saturday.
The first half of the season makes Arizona State and even Oregon seem far more winnable than I would have imagined six weeks ago.
That fascinating first six games should set up a fascinating final six. And probably, final seven.