PULLMAN, Wash. (CBS Seattle/1090 The Fan) — Surrounded by cameras in Washington State’s weight room — a makeshift press conference area for the night — Washington head coach Chris Petersen is understated and unassuming.
Having just routed their in-state rival Washington State Cougars 45-17, Petersen’s Huskies have earned their fourth-consecutive Apple Cup and a trip to the Pac-12 Championship.
Just as notably, they have finished the season 11-1 — something UW fans haven’t seen in 16 years.
“I think it’s good, but we have a lot more ball to play,” Petersen told reporters after the victory. “The thing is always about how you finish.”
It’s a minimalist response, but perhaps one that highlights the root of Washington’s success under the third-year coach.
“The really good teams, the special teams, can finish. So the hard thing about that is we’re playing better teams as we finish. The next team that we play will be a really good and elite team. We feel we have some good football left.”
Washington’s last 11-1 record, under head coach Rick Neuheisel in 2000, ended with a Rose Bowl victory. For now, UW will head to Santa Clara to play the either the USC Trojans (who handed the Huskies their sole loss this season) or Colorado in the Pac-12 Championship Dec 2.
A dominant performance in the Championship game could give the Huskies another opportunity: an appearance in the College Football Playoffs.