Is natural grass a problem for the Huskies?
Washington doesn't often lose when favored ... unless it's playing on grass.
SEATTLE — In 15 games as Washington’s head coach, Kalen DeBoer already has won at Oregon, won an Apple Cup on the road, defeated Texas in a bowl game in the Longhorns’ home state, become only the third coach in school history to win 11 games in a season and secured a contract extension before he had been on the job a full year.
Yet one milestone eluded him.
The Huskies did not win either of their games played on grass surfaces last season.
Saturday’s trip to Michigan State is DeBoer’s first opportunity this year to check that box. Spartan Stadium boasts a natural grass playing field installed in spring 2019 and grown at Tuckahoe Turfgrass Farms in New Jersey (and, per the stadium’s bio, is one of only four collegiate stadiums to twice win Field of the Year honors from the Sports Turf Managers Association).
Here’s the thing about The Grass Narrative: it would probably be too silly to justify asking about, if not for three reasons.
1. The Huskies don’t have a grass practice field.
2. Several of the Huskies’ most disappointing performances under former coach Chris Petersen came on grass, as did both of DeBoer’s losses so far (more on that shortly).
3. DeBoer is making sure UW’s players practice on grass, in some capacity, this week.
“We’ll adjust a few things,” he said Monday. “It’s always what you make of it. You make things a big deal, it becomes a big deal. We’ll certainly adjust a few things throughout the week, make sure the guys at least get a chance to get on the grass at some point. What you really don’t want is on Saturday for that to be the first time where they finally feel grass underneath their feet.”