As the season opener against Montana uncharacteristically began slipping away, Ryan Bowman didn't panic or worry. He got annoyed by his team's response. Or the lack of one.
The University of Washington edge rusher wasn't in a good mood from the outset as the Big Sky visitors continually held him, twice getting called for it and once probably getting away with it.
Offering yet another take on how the Huskies came up a shocking 13-7 loser to their FCS opponent, the thick-shouldered, straight-talking Bowman bluntly laid it out how not everyone was as emotionally invested in the tougher-than-expected proceedings as they should have been.
"I was getting kind of irritated," the sixth-year senior from Bellevue, Washington, said. "We would come off the field and something big would happen, but guys would be just walking around, kind of like low energy, kind of like zombies."
The Huskies basically were the Walking Dead. They were expressionless, maybe in a state of shock. This reached the point where it wasn't readily fixable on Saturday as Montana saw its chance to do some serious damage and took it.
"If you would say something to a group of guys, maybe you wouldn't get any sort of reaction, and typically you would get a reaction," Bowman further explained. "So it was a little irritating."
There were other examples. After going through a short pandemic season that played out in an empty stadium, the Huskies, as crazy as it sounds, didn't exactly know how to respond to the crowd — especially if it suddenly showed its disappointment.
"Once guys got punched in the mouth, the crowd went silent and the guys were like mute, too, on the sideline," Bowman said.
To fix this and other pressing post-game issues, the UW players met in the aftermath by themselves to air things out, then some of the coaches joined in. Finally, the team leaders and the coaches got together. Of course, there was a lot to talk about.
The 6-foot-1, 280-pound Bowman, who finished with 6 tackles and some deep scratches on his biceps where Montanans latched on to him, appeared to be satisfied that steps are being taken to rectify the emotionless response before playing at Michigan this weekend.
"I don't think dudes recognized that was happening," he said. "I think we're on the same page about it currently, so I'm not too worried about where we're going to be moving forward in that regard."
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