Much of the discussion about this one – for years to come, maybe – will be the Huskies' bad luck, misfortune or whatever you want to call it in not reaching the end zone from inside the Notre Dame 2-yard line on several occasions in the second half.
In case you were hiding in a barn, the Fighting Irish beat Washington, 37-30, in overtime at Notre Dame Stadium here in South Bend, Ind.
Late in the third quarter, the Huskies were knocking on the door near the Irish end zone, and called on quarterback Jake Locker to get the final yard on third and fourth downs. Twice, they were rebuked.
And on the 18-play drive that chewed up more than nine minutes of the fourth quarter – the one riddled with the Chris Polk controversy (it appeared he scored from 6 yards out, but officials overturned it on instant replay saying his knee touched the ground), the one where the Huskies had first-and inches TWICE – Notre Dame posted the same rejection notice, this time holding the Huskies to a field goal.
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As Polk remarked later, "It's like they knew what we were going to call, because we were in motion … and they keyed off that." Credit the Irish for doing its homework watching film.
Needless to say, the come-so-far-to-fall-short result really shook up the locker room tonight. Players were emotional. Locker, easily the team's most visible star nationally, refused to speak to reporters afterward. He was clearly upset.
"He takes every loss to heart. I feel like it was my fault, and I know he feels like it was his fault," Polk said. "Talked to him, (said) 'Hey, it's a team effort.' We'll see the old Jake after Monday. He'll be back."
For all the weather-related blunders – Jimmy Clausen's slip-for-sacks, passes bouncing off receivers' hands, going through their hands, etc. – I don't think any of us in the press box realized how nasty it was for both teams out there. The field was downright treacherous.
It didn't really start raining until midway through the second quarter. Once the teams went to halftime, and in their locker rooms, it poured about as hard as I've seen it anywhere all year (poor Notre Dame marching band).
Everyone knows the grass on Notre Dame's field is pretty thick anyway. Throw about three inches of a sheet of rain, and you have a mess.
"When we came out in the second half, it was raining and we started noticing the field getting pretty bad," said UW backup quarterback Ronnie Fouch, who was the holder on Erik Folk's field goals.
"It was pretty chunky out there – the grass had a lot of chunks and divots."
Yet, both teams were aggressive through the air to start the second half – Notre Dame getting the Clausen-to-Golden Tate 77-yard scoring pass right out of the gate, and Locker trying to hit Jermaine Kearse on a deep post route on the UW's first play from scrimmage – and had little resistance moving the ball.
"We kind of knew at halftime. (Coaches) said that is what we were going to do," UW receiver James Johnson said. "That's what the receivers wanted to do.
"And it was actually weird. It seemed like every time we were on offense, the rain kind of stopped."
• Free safety Justin Glenn is done for the year. He broke his right leg on a collision with teammate Donald Butler after going in for a tackle on Tate on that long scoring pass.
• In a matter of minutes in overtime, strong safety Nate Williams and receiver D'Andre Goodwin suffered concussions. Williams went in head-first tackling Tate on a 22-yard reception in overtime, and Goodwin was smacked hard going up for a fourth-down pass by Locker to end the game.
• Anybody surprised to see walk-on running back Cole Sager deep to return kickoffs with Quinton Richardson. Sager said coaches told him Thursday that he would be the guy back there. Coach Steve Sarkisian said the staff was considering replacing Jordan Polk with a better lead blocker for Richardson earlier this week, and that is exactly what they opted for. Sager did not carry the ball, serving only as a blocker – with mixed results.
• And what about Nick Wood? What a story. A month ago, he was a defensive tackle. And Saturday, for the last scoring drive of the first half, and the entire second half, he was the starting left guard in place of Gregory Christine, who has been battling sore ankles.
"I got moved to O-line right after camp, I've been doing well in practice, and coach (Dan Cozzetto) said to be ready," Wood said. "On Monday, they told me that me and Greg would switch series – Greg would get two, I'd get one and we were going to alternate and see how the game was."