Two hours before kickoff, Husky Stadium was more of a somber place rather than its usual bustling football setting.
The sun peeked through the clouds at times, counter to the week-long gloomy weather predictions of steady rain, which was encouraging. Of course, a Northwest downpour could show up at any moment.
Yet an 0-2 start for what was expected to be a promising season for a University of Washington football team, hoping to rebound against Sun Belt entry Arkansas State, stands to keep the crowd count down again and the energy levels low.
Contrary to the Montana season opener and most Husky game days, tailgaters were set up in far fewer numbers across the south-side parking lot, and quietly so. Just a handful of yachts were tethered to the docks outside the stadium whereas most slips were taken well before opening kickoff two weeks ago.
Two hours before kickoff, the team entered the stadium and did its Dawg Walk.
The Huskies face an urgent situation after two poor performances that have ignited an outpouring of fan displeasure, a lot of it directed at second-year offensive coordinator John Donovan.
The crowd won't be patient if Donovan's offense struggles once more. The possibility exists that highly regarded freshman quarterback Sam Huard might make his first appearance, likely in a relief role just to change things up.
The large flag at Husky Stadium flies at half mast today, likely a continuing reminder of 9/11 events.
The UW football team will try to brighten and enliven the mood. It needs to score points.
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