A frustration of the Sarkisian era at the University of Washington was their inconsistent and frankly not good play on the road. They struggled to win the winnable games and occasionally — emphasis on occasionally — competed in road games they had no business being in.
Last year, Washington played Stanford to a near-stalemate in Palo Alto, Calif. and eventually lost, and were absolutely blown out of the water by Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz.
Washington did play one excellent game last year against Oregon State, so there are signs that the Huskies are moving forward. They still have a lot of work to do to shed their road reputation.
For many Huskies fans, road games were painful to watch — at least extremely stressful — and most of the time they were resigned to losses before kickoff.
The 25th-ranked Washington Huskies are looking to change their road fortunes this season. And it begins with a long trip to Hawaii to face the Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu.
Speaking to reporters after practice Monday, defensive coordinator Paul Kwiatkowski said you can never anticipate what will happen on the road in a new environment, but they are taking steps to ensure that his players are prepared.
"We had a practice and a mock game over at [Quest Field]," Washington’s new DC said. "We took them to a hotel, did the whole hotel deal, got on a bus next morning, went through our pre game everything, then went out and…did a simulated game, then went out and practiced.
"It was good. We threw a lot of chaos at them, stressed them big time so they get a taste of what it’ll be like on game day."
The Dawgs are a little lucky with this opener. They get a Hawaii team that struggled last year to win games, going 1-11 in a down MWC. Like Washington, Hawaii has to replace a senior quarterback with decent numbers, and like Washington has some roster questions.
This difference in the two programs, though, largely outweighs those two minor similarities. In two seasons as the head coach at Hawaii, Norm Chow is 4-20. They have struggled to recruit a traditionally strong football state
It doesn’t appear the Huskies coaching staff is all that concerned with the schemes of Hawaii. Kwiatkowski said he expects to see some new things and adjustments will be made quickly. But the emphasis will still be on what Washington is doing, not what Hawaii is doing.
"[We’re] not exactly sure what [we’re] gonna get, Kwiatkowski said. "But we are gonna stick to our rules, play with great eyes and adjust."
Washington will start local product and redshirt sophomore Jeff Lindquist at quarterback in lieu of assumed incumbent Cyler Miles’ suspension. Lindquist grasped the new offense more and quicker than redshirt freshman Troy Williams to get the nod… Washington’s running back opening will be filled by committee initially, but look for sophomore Lavon Coleman to take the lead in the backfield…Washington transfer and Hawaii-native Taz Stevenson will start at safety for Hawaii.