university of washington blog

UW Question Mark: Has the Nick Holt era run its course?

Huskies Stats!

The UW Huskies program had a chance to make a major statement with a win against undefeated Stanford Cardinal. Instead on ABC the Huskies were embarassed 65-21. The Huskies are now 5-2 on the season but will be underdogs in two of their next three games despite an amazing offense.


An offense that features a quarterback who is fourth in the nation in passing touchdowns with 22 and a running back who is on pace to rush over 1,500 yards while averaging close to six yards a carry.

The focus this week has been on the defense as the Huskies football team have now lost their fifth game in the past two seasons by over 30 points and second straight year losing to Stanford by over 40 points.

The Huskies allowed a school record 446 yards rushing on the ground something that not even the Tyrone Willingham defensives accomplished.

I’ll give you some statistics that I received from KJR’s Mitch in the morning as I add a comment to them.

Huskies Defense in the Holt era:

  1. Pts per game allowed: 2009 – 26.66, 2010 – 31.16, 2011 – 33.71
  2. Yards per game allowed: 2009 – 389.5, 2010 – 401.17, 2011 – 431.28 (thru 7 games).
  3. Sacks per game: 2009 – 2.5, 2010 – 2.33, 2011 – 1.86 (thru 7 games)
Nick Holt

Has the Nick Holt era ran its course?

The stats clearly show the defensive side of the ball has regressed each season under Nick Holt. Holt was the defensive coordinator at USC and left to Washington as the Huskies are paying him more money than Washington State Cougars head coach Paul Wulff.

The Huskies figured by year three at least there would be signs of progress instead there hasn’t been.

While Steve Sarkisian has seen his offense show some progress.

Since Sarkisian has taken over the offense here are the numbers.

  1. Points per game: 2009- 26.1, 2010- 21.8 , 2011- 34.7 (through 7 games)
  2. Yards per game: 2009- 376, 2010- 362.5, 2011- 421.1 (through 7 games)
  3. Yards per play: 2009- 5.8, 2010-5.5, 2011-6.5 (through 7 games)
  4. Passing yardage per game: 2009- 236.5, 2010- 190.4, 2011- 247.7 (through 7 games)
  5. Rushing yardage per game: 2009- 139.5, 2010, 172.2, 2011- 173.4 (through 7 games)
  6. Touchdowns: 2009-34 (12 games), 2010-34 (13 games), 2011-30 (7 games)

As you can clearly see the offense had a slight decline last season but has picked up quite a bit of steam this season.

The offense simply put is progressing like a program in year three should. While the defense isn’t as it has gotten worse.

I think Sarkisian needs to pull the plug on Holt or step in and solve the defensive problems before they ultimately fall on his lap.

In conclusion, if Sarkisian doesn’t solve the defense he’ll be losing his job. Right now everyone is blaming Holt but in two years this will be come Sarkisian’s problems as a coach you only have the one time fire the coordinator get out of jail free card.

After that if the problem continues to happen that is on you.

I look for the Huskies to fire Holt at seasons end unless something drastically happens with the defense.

The Huskies will never compete for Rose Bowl berths as long as their defense continues to be so poor.     

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  • Steve

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I’m a long time Husky fan, born and raised in Washington. But currently living in Houston, TX. I still bleed purple and gold and I’m a big fan of Sark for what he has done to turn the program around offensively. But if he continues to stay with his buddy Holt his job has to be in question as well. A friend is a friend off the job but on the job friendship takes a back seat, you still need to get the job done. I don’t buy the excuses any longer from Holt. There may be a lack of talent and speed but not playing smart football is the coaches fault in my book.

  • KShell

    I feel like Sark has to get rid of Holt unless the Huskies defense shuts down RGIII which I dont’ see happening.  If Holt is retained and the same poor defense continues next year then Sark’s job could be in jeopardy as well.

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