Sept. 3, 2005
Seattle - For 50 minutes the Husky defense held like the Great Wall of China. They were strong and impenetrable, holding the opposition out of the end zone. Unfortunately for the Huskies, football games are 60 minutes long and Air Force was able to break down the Huskies defense and escape Qwest Field with a 20-17 victory.
Fatigue and several key injuries took their toll on the Huskies in the final 10 minutes and the Falcons quickly turned a 17-6 deficit in the fourth quarter to a 20-17 victory.
After the Huskies pinned the Falcons on their own one-yard line, Air Force responded with some quick hits to dig their way out of trouble and started their momentum swing with a 84-yard touchdown pass by Adam Fitch to Greg Kirkwood. The Falcons followed that up on their final possession with a 14 play, 83-yard drive that led to the go ahead score.
The shocking comeback by the Falcons left the Husky defense understandably disappointed and scratching their heads in search of answers.
"This hurts," said cornerback Matt Fountaine. "It hurts the guys on the team a lot more than anything that happened last year hurt. That feeling that is in our stomachs right now, we've got to be able to shake it off."
Senior Evan Benjamin, who led the team with 14 tackles, said the youthful Huskies need to learn to finish off the opponents, a skill that will come with time.
"We played well most of the game," said Benjamin. "But we got a little antsy when we got ahead a little bit. There's no secret to it, they did well and moved the ball when they had to and made plays when they had to and we didn't."
The Huskies don't have much time to wallow in their sorrows. On Sunday, they will review game film and on Monday it's back to the drawing board for their Pac-10 opener against the Cal Bears. The Huskies will have to dig deep to regroup.
"There's another team coming in here and they don't care how you feel," said Fountaine about the upcoming week. "They're prepared to come in and beat you. They could care less about what you did last week or how your emotions are. It's a tough task, but something that you've got to have if you play this sport - you've got to be able to shake it off and get ready."