Sept. 18, 2007
"It used to be a moral victory to be up on Ohio State 7-3 at halftime or something like that. But now, that's not the case," Reffett, the Huskies' senior defensive tackle, said on Monday.
"... There are no moral victories. We just got outplayed and it's disappointing," he said.
Washington's litany of mistakes in Saturday's 33-14 loss to No. 8 Ohio State was still lingering two days later.
But there were also dropped passes, the inability to establish a running game besides Locker, dropping interceptions on defense, and a missed blocking assignment on special teams that led to a blocked field goal.
"I hope we're angry all season about losing that ball game, but I hope we also don't allow any of the residue from that ball game negatively affect us for the next ball game," Willingham said. "It's a real fine line, because usually every year there's one game that just jumps out at you that had you done something different or put this game away it makes a difference in your season. You hope it's only one."
Most appalling to Reffett was the inability of Washington's defensive line to pressure Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman. The Huskies failed to record a sack for the first time this season, giving Boeckman plenty of time to find open receivers against the Huskies' vulnerable secondary.
Reffett wondered if the Huskies' roster, filled with young players and those who haven't experienced much success, were ready for the scrutiny of playing on a national stage.
"I think that maybe we weren't ready to play in a big-time game like that and it showed," Reffett said. "But I didn't think that we got outplayed by any stretch of the imagination. I just think we made too many mistakes."
The Huskies will get a chance to learn from their mistakes the next two weeks, with a pair of nationally televised games, beginning with Saturday night's matchup at UCLA.
The Bruins have been a nemesis for Washington, winning eight of the last 10 meetings. Last year in Seattle, the Huskies rallied from a 16-0 deficit to beat the Bruins 29-19.
UCLA itself is smarting as well after a stunning 44-6 loss at Utah on Saturday that knocked the Bruins out of the Top 25. UCLA was No. 11 entering the game. The Utes forced five turnovers and kept the Bruins from scoring a touchdown for the first time in four years.
"We look at UCLA as not the team that played last weekend against Utah," Willingham said.
After Saturday's game, the Huskies will host No. 1 Southern Cal on Sept. 29 in another nationally televised game before reaching their bye week.
LB Dan Howell, who didn't play against Ohio State with a right knee injury, is still listed as the starter on the Huskies' depth chart, although Willingham is unsure how much Howell will be able to participate this week. CB Byron Davenport, who started his college career at UCLA, is in a similar situation with his hamstring. ... Washington has not beat UCLA at the Rose Bowl since 1995. ... After not blocking a field goal since 2001, the Huskies now have blocks in each of the last two games, both by Reffett.