What a strange Washington football season.
The September lightning strikes changed everything, right?
Put a mojo on the team.
Made the Huskies lose five times -- by 1, 4, 5, 6 and 10 points.
Caused their renowned coach to quit.
Made their quarterback with the golden arm mortal at times.
Compelled two first-team All-Pac-12 players to turn in their gear a game early.
What else can happen before everything wraps in Vegas?
Here's a quick look back at a dozen UW games for 2019, some of them truly forgettable, with California my personal favorite. Not because of the outcome, but because of the meteorological assault on Husky Stadium.
It was mesmerizing. Just look at the photos and video. Heavy artillery all around.
The season in review:
Washington 47, Eastern Washington 14 -- In the season opener, Georgia transfer Jacob Eason made his Huskies debut and got everyone all excited, completing 27 of 36 passes for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns.
California 20, Washington 19 -- This Pac-12 opener ended at 1:22 a.m. because of that aforementioned lightning storm, which held up play for more than two and a half hours, The game came down to two field goals: Peyton Henry put the UW ahead 19-17 with a 49-yarder that was true with 2:08 left to play. Nine plays later, Cal's Greg Thomas matched him with a 17-yarder for the win with just eight seconds remaining on the clock.
Washington 52, Hawaii 20 -- After lightning, the UW welcomed Rainbows to Husky Stadium. They beat up the visitors pretty good, with Eason throwing three more touchdown passes, including a 28-yarder to promising freshman receiver Puka Nacua.
Washington 45, at BYU 19 -- No Salvon Ahmed, no problem. As fill-ins for the injured running back, junior Sean McGrew rushed for a career-best 110 yards and redshirt freshman Richard Newton scored twice.
Washington 28, USC 14 -- You may digress, but this outcome alone might have been worth five losses. Without question, it was the apex of the season. The Huskies beat the Trojans. Say it again: the Huskies beat the Trojans. It doesn't happen much. Ahmed was healthy and rested, rushing for 153 yards, which included an 89-yard scoring sprint. One more time, the Huskies beat the Trojans.
at Stanford 23, Washington 13 -- In seven days, the UW went from season highlight to the low point. They were flat, disinterested, ineffective. No one played well. Researchers are still conducting tests on what happened. .
Washington 51, at Arizona 27 -- In the desert, the Huskies looked like their old selves. They ran the ball with abandon, with McGrew picking up his second 100-yard rushing game (106) and Ahmed scoring three times.
Oregon 35, Washington 31 -- The Huskies led Oregon for nearly the entire game, 28-14 at one point in the third quarter, and couldn't finish. This one was a quarterback duel for Eason and the Ducks' Justin Herbert. Eason was efficient, hitting on 23 of 30 passes for 289 yards and 3 scores; Herbert was better, completing 24 of 38 passes for 280 yards and 4 TDs, tossing the game-winner with 5:10 left to play.
Utah 33, Washington 28 -- Another top 10 opponent, another fourth-quarter fade. The Huskies let a 21-19 third-quarter lead slip away this time. They also squandered tight end Hunter Bryant's 40- and 34-yard touchdown receptions, a performance that might have strongly influenced him to turn pro early.
Washington 19, at Oregon State 7 -- The UW defense flexed some muscle for four quarters, permitting the hosts 6 first downs and 119 yards of total offense. Redshirt freshman Edefuan Ulofoshio started his first game at inside linebacker and led the team in tackles with 9, while sophomore Joe Tryon collected 4 tackles for loss. Ahmed turned in his third 100-yard rushing game, collecting 174 yards and 2 scores.
at Colorado 20, Washington 14 -- The Huskies provided Stanford the sequel against the Buffaloes. They offered little more than a Cade Otton TD catch, same as they did against the Cardinal. It was like looking in a football mirror.
Washington 31, Washington State 13 -- Defense kicked in again for the Huskies, who received 42 tackles collectively from Brandon Wellington, Elijah Molden and Ulofoshio, with Wellington piling up a UW season-high 16. Add to that 8 tackles for losses, 5 of them sacks, and a pair of interceptions, and the Apple Cup remained with the Huskies.
Vegas Bowl -- How else should such an uneven season end? You send your conservative coach to Sin City. To face his former employers. You won't see Chris Petersen at the slot machines. If you see lightning, run.