Washington's goal when the season began was to do better than 7-6, its final record the previous three seasons. So, with a final mark of 9-4, that primary mission was accomplished.
Of course, that improvement being registered, the surprising end game of the Huskies' season was winning the Fight Hunger Bowl in dominant fashion under interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo, a Huskies legend who later joined former coach Steve Sarkisian at USC.
While Sarkisian's departure was a stunning conclusion to the season, it seemed most Huskies fans were pretty happy with their new head coach, Chris Petersen, who built Boise State into a national power.
Offensive MVP: While the return to form of quarterback Keith Price was critical to the Huskies' success, running back Bishop Sankey was simply one of the nation's best offensive players. He rushed for 1,869 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry, and scored 20 touchdowns. His 143.8 yards per game ranked fourth in the nation. He also caught 28 passes for 304 yards. He was named second-team All-America by both the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Football Foundation and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Defensive MVP: Defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha made an inspired return from two knee surgeries by leading the Huskies and ranking third in the nation with 13 sacks. He also had 70 total tackles, three forced fumbles and three pass breakups. The junior earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors and will enter the 2014 season as an All-American candidate.
Best moment: It's rare to call a season-opener a season's best moment, but the Huskies' 38-6 win over No. 19 Boise State was one of the highest moments for the program in years. That's because it was the first game played in remodeled Husky Stadium, a venue that is now worthy of its scenic location. The Huskies, under considerable pressure to win, turned in a dominant performance on both sides of the ball. The victory was the first win in a 4-0 start that surged Washington into the national polls.
Worst moment: When Arizona State whipped Washington 53-24 on Oct. 19, we didn't realize that the Sun Devils were in the midst of a run that would carry them to the Pac-12 title game. But that doesn't excuse perhaps the most shocking beatdown delivered in a conference game this year, one that gave Washington a three-game losing streak and had fans starting to again grumble about Sarkisian. The Sun Devils outgained the Huskies 585 yards to 212. ASU outrushed Washington 314 to minus-5 yards. Sankey rushed for 22 yards on 13 carries (1.7 yards per rush). For whatever reason, Washington didn't look ready to play, and the finger was pointed at Sarkisian. The Huskies went on to win five of their next six games to salvage the season.