Having already proven capable of beating some of the Pac-12’s best teams this season, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian’s team faces another monumental task as it tries to close in on a bowl berth.
The Huskies are winless in their last six road games dating back to 2011 and have been outscored 145-41 in their three games away from CenturyLink Field this season.
That’s the primary reason Washington (4-4, 2-3) heads into the final month of the season needing to win two of its final four games in order to become bowl eligible. Three of those four games are on the road, beginning tonight at Cal (3-6, 2-4).
“More than anything it’s understanding what the challenge is and embracing it,” Sarkisian said.
The Huskies are coming off an impressive 20-17 win over then-No. 7 Oregon State.
That helped keep the Huskies’ bowl hopes alive heading into the final stretch of the regular season. They got a boost this week with the news that Cal all-time leading receiver, Keenan Allen, would miss the game with an injured left knee.
The Bears need to keep Washington quarterback Keith Price contained if they are to avoid missing out on the postseason for the second time in three years.
Cal must win its final three games just to become bowl eligible. If the Bears fail, the pressure and criticism surrounding Tedford is surely to increase after what has been a monumentally disappointing season.
“There’s been a sense of urgency in every game and that’s the way we approach this game,” said Tedford, whose team has lost three straight against Washington. After going 67-35 and playing in seven bowl games during Tedford’s first eight years in Berkeley, California is just 15-19 over the past two-plus seasons.
Winning the final three games and earning a bowl berth would go a long way toward smoothing over some of the Bears’ failings this season.