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December 20, 2012

Bowl win could be redemption for Baylor game




There are some that would scoff at the notion that the Huskies are avenging a game against Baylor that didn't even take place this year.

That was last season, after all. The page has been turned. New coaches, new players, new year.

But the bowl game presents the Huskies' with a national stage. And it's a stage on which they will attempt to make amends for an atrocious defensive effort last year.

Washington has played elite teams this year: LSU, Stanford, Oregon, Southern Cal [or so we thought]. But the fact is the last image most of the nation still has of the Huskies was a wild west shootout against Robert Griffin III.

Husky fans know that's not the team they have watched this year. That's not the team that defeated Stanford and Oregon State in grueling, physical grudge matches.

Still, national perception matters. And there's a good chance the nation will see a very different U-Dub team in the bowl game.

Boise State is not the Boise State of old. It's tough to imagine the Broncos running up and down the field and lighting up the scoreboard against Justin Wilcox's unit. But if that happens, perception won't change.

If U-Dub's defense plays fast, physical and smart, like they have in their best moments this year, Washington will be thought of very differently. That tough-to-stomach Apple Cup loss won't be the lasting memory of the 2012 season.

And the Dawgs will head into 2013 with a new identity.

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