Here we are 10 games in to the Petersen era with a 6-4 record looking to finish out the regular season with a likely 8-5 record. Maybe this is underwhelming but we've beaten every unranked team and lost to every ranked team. Unless Oregon State surprises us this will be the first year since 2003 we have not had a three game losing streak. We haven’t been blown out by anyone except for Oregon (not that this is justification but they have blown out teams that are much better than us) so it looks like we've been a consistent not-quite there yet type of squad. If you’re looking for a silver lining I would say that is better than an inconsistent not-quite there yet type of squad.
But we aren't there yet.
We don’t have an offense and we are only getting by thanks to our star LB stepping up at RB. Our star CB was removed for not being an OKG, which will pay long term dividends but hurts the defense in the short term. Kikaha was out for much of UCLA which left only one of our defensive stars playing on defense in our most recent loss. I've previously written about how we don’t have talent that is ready to play right now. We lack depth on defense (especially in our secondary to the point where we had to move our best regularly-offensive player to CB) and that is highlighted now with only Danny Iron Law Shelton covering up defensive deficiencies. Hopefully recruiting and coaching will take effect sooner rather than later – on offense we've seen that a true freshman in Dante Pettis has stepped up so I am optimistic that the coach of a WAC team which sent players to the NFL like a BCS/Power 5 school can leverage his new status into bringing in many guys who can make an impact and sooner rather than later.
As Steve Spurrier once said about Georgia, "Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don't understand that. What happens to them?"
That quote has described Washington over the past several years but I anticipate that will change soon. Until it does though – until we recruit the right guys (not just 4* guys but OKGs) and institute a system that develops their talent and executes at a high level we are only going to be a mediocre team. It’s not a knock against Petersen it is just a simple fact that it will take time. We will know in due course whether or not Chris Petersen is Dan Hawkins or Don James. Right now his track record at Boise State suggests Don James but based on Washington alone it is too early to tell. Let it play out.