Kalen DeBoer ahead of Sugar Bowl: 'We have everything it takes to win a championship'
Kalen DeBoer will take Washington into a football game as an underdog for the third time in four outings on Monday when the Huskies face Texas in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Texas is hovering around a four-point favorite at most sportsbooks. The Longhorns are viewed as a balanced team, capable of winning a national championship, and certainly capable of putting the clamps on Washington’s high-flying offensive attack.
But not so fast.
The Huskies were a one-point dog on the road in Week 12 when they faced Oregon State. They won by two. They were a 9.5-point dog in the Pac-12 title game and won by three. Under DeBoer, UW is 4-0 as a betting underdog.
Despite a 13-0 record, UW has been doubted. Each of the last nine wins this season came by 10 points or fewer.
“It’s just kind of something we need to keep proving what we’re all about and finding ways (to win),” DeBoer said on Saturday at a pre-Sugar Bowl press conference. “It’s not really bulletin-board material or anything like that, but just finding those ways to disprove the doubters. We’ve talked about that a lot, especially in the last three or four weeks of the season.”
Washington is drawing motivation from all the doubt. The Huskies — with a Heisman Trophy finalist and an unblemished record — aren’t exactly talked about the same way the other three Playoff participants are when it comes to winning a national title.
“We know that you have to earn everything. So we have to go earn this win and this opportunity that we have in front of us,” DeBoer said. “We had to do that each and every week during the season.”
Those close games helped shape Washington’s season. The Huskies have found ways to win, whether that’s a wide receiver converting a fourth down with a rushing attempt to set up a game-winning field goal, or a maligned ground game exploding to pave the way for a Hollywood win, or a pick-six when the offense was bogged down.
“In the end, there’s a trust and belief that we have in ourself that we’ll find a way. We’ll get it done,” DeBoer said. “When it comes to those big moments, those big times, when we’ve got to get a touchdown or get a stop, that we’ll do it and that we have everything it takes to win a championship ourselves.”