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Washington suffers rare loss at home to Cal

SEATTLE — When Chris Petersen finally went back to watch what happened to No. 23 Washington after enduring a delay he’d never experienced as a coach and a game that ended at an hour never seen in school history, he didn’t see glaring issues.

It was a lot of little problems that cumulatively added up to a loss on one of the strangest nights in Washington’s football history.

“A lot of it, three quarters of it was really good football. … Played well on tape,” Petersen said. “And then there’s a handful of things you just would love to have back. That’s the game. That’s why we’re still a work in progress.”

Eventually the multitude of factors that went into Washington’s surprising 20-19 loss to California will likely be forgotten. The Huskies missed several red-zone opportunities, settling for field goals instead of touchdowns; had some untimely penalties; and put up little resistance to the Golden Bears’ rushing attack in the third quarter.

This game will always be remembered for the severe weather early in the first quarter that caused a delay of 2 hours, 39 minutes. The game restarted at 10:30 p.m. and ended at 1:22 a.m. Sunday, shortly after Cal kicker Greg Thomas hit a 17-yard field goal for the winning points.

Petersen said after the game and again on Monday the delay was not an excuse for Washington’s lapses.

“I feel like the game picked up right back where it was,” Washington safety Myles Bryant said after the game. “But we just needed to come out with a little bit more edge and energy, and I don’t think we did a good job doing that.”

It wasn’t even a sure thing that the game would resume.

Petersen said Monday there was constant communication with Cal’s staff, including coach Justin Wilcox, about the options as lightning continued to flash within an 8-mile radius around the stadium and restart a 30-minute delay clock with every bolt. There appeared to be a consensus that if the game couldn’t be restarted by 11 p.m., it would be called off and the teams would try to reschedule.

But the emphasis was on trying to play that night since the teams didn’t have a mutual open date.

“We were trying to figure out if we were going to play is really what we were doing. We were looking at the weather and how long this was going to take,” Petersen said. “I think we were getting close, both sides were getting very close to calling it off if we couldn’t get that thing started by about 10:30. Kept talking about 11 o’clock, that’s too late for the guys.”

When the game did restart, California’s secondary caused problems for Washington quarterback Jacob Eason, who completed just 18 of 30 passes for 162 yards.

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