Washington looks to avoid 0-3 start against Arkansas State

Field Level Media

September 15, 2021 at 3:49 pm.

The “good mojo” Washington coach Jimmy Lake felt after spring ball and fall camp is gone.

The word he used most often in his Monday news conference was “unacceptable.”

The Huskies (0-2, 0-0 Pac-12) have dropped their first two games of the season for the first time since their winless 2008 campaign.

They’ll try to get back on track Saturday afternoon when they play host to Arkansas State (1-1) in Seattle.

“So the positive thing is we have lots of football left to play. Our players are in good spirits. They know we haven’t played our best football,” Lake said. “We know there is a lot of room for improvement, but the improvement needs to happen now. All the work we’ve been doing needs to show up with the results on game day.”

The Huskies opened the season at home with a stunning 13-7 loss to FCS member Montana before suffering a 31-10 defeat last Saturday at Michigan.

Despite scoring just 17 points through two games, and going 20 series between its two offensive touchdowns, Washington opened as a 16 1/2-point favorite against the Red Wolves.

Arkansas State, under new coach Butch Jones, defeated Central Arkansas 40-21 in its opener before nearly rallying in a 55-50 loss to Memphis last week, a late Hail Mary pass falling incomplete in the end zone.

“I’m really proud of our players. They had every opportunity to get out of the game and they kept fighting,” Jones said. “There are no moral victories, but I thought there were things to build upon.”

Arkansas State quarterbacks Layne Hatcher and James Blackman combined to complete 42 of 66 passes for a school-record 582 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions last weekend.

The Huskies are allowing the fewest passing yards per game in the country (74.5). But they gave up 343 yards rushing to the Wolverines, who built a 10-0 halftime lead and never felt the need to put the ball in the air.

“If we’re not scoring any points and they can keep handing the ball off … you’re going to get the result we just got put on us,” Lake said. “So that’s what we’ve got to figure out and make sure we get a different result this Saturday.”