There's been a lot of talk the past couple days about Chris Petersen's decision to run the ball at Arizona instead of trying to kneel out the clock on the Huskies' final possession, and we'll get to all that in a moment.
But first, let's revisit another strange game management decision made earlier this season -- one that you could argue was actually more egregious than what you saw in Tucson.
Take a look at the screen grab above, courtesy of the Pac-12 Networks' 'Football in 60' replay of Washington's game against Eastern Washington.
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You might remember that the Huskies, leading 59-52, converted a third-down with 2:16 remaining in that game. Eastern had no timeouts remaining. So with a first down and the clock ticking inside of two minutes, the Huskies had to do nothing more than snap the ball three times, kneel down on each of those plays, hand the ball to the official and end the game.
Instead, as you see in the screen grab, the Huskies for some reason decided to run another play. Cyler Miles handed the ball to Dwayne Washington and he ran it up the middle on first down. And they ran the ball again on second down, too, again unnecessarily.
Miles called for the first-down snap with 1:49 left -- meaning if he had simply taken a knee, then taken another knee on second down at about the 1:10 mark, then taken another knee on third down as soon as the game clock went under 40 seconds, the Huskies could have killed the clock all the same and there's nothing EWU could have done about it.
As it was, Washington held onto the ball on first and second down, then the Huskies did take a knee on third down to kill the clock. For that reason, nobody seemed to notice (or care) that the Huskies ran two plays (in a 7-point game) when they could have drained the clock completely by simply taking a knee. If they had fumbled? Different story. So as you debate and discuss everything that happened in Arizona, remember that there was a time earlier this season when the math clearly, unequivocally supported kneeling three times to end the game (unlike at Arizona, where there was at least a small amount of gray area), and the Huskies didn't do it then, either.
(And, as Petersen pointed out on his radio show last night, the Huskies also opted for a strategy similar to the Arizona game in the season opener against Hawaii and it ended up working out when Lavon Coleman rushed for a first down. Replays showed he might have stepped out of bounds before getting to the sticks, but the play wasn't reviewed, and the Huskies were able to kneel it out from there.)
On to some links:
--- Five Pac-12 men's basketball teams were in action yesterday. Four of them won.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple