I guess my concern going into this game was the same as everybody else’s: how would the Huskies respond after getting punched in the mouth against USC? While the defense was on point throughout – keeping ASU in the double-digits in yards through three quarters – I’d say I was pretty worried about Jake Browning for most of the first half. His throws were high and wide, he seemed tentative, leading to balls being thrown late. He had an abysmal completion percentage and his first TD was a swing pass that Chico McClatcher took 75 yards to the house!
Eventually, Browning settled down, completed a bunch of passes in a row, and ended up with a completion percentage north of 60, with another (proper) TD for good measure. I’m not sure what THAT was all about, but it was pretty reasonable to keep him in there for most of the game, to ensure that the offense got on track. He’ll need to be MUCH better, much earlier in the game, on Friday if we want to go to the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Thanks to our amazing defense, we ran out to a 24-0 lead at halftime, and a 30-3 lead after three quarters before they started moving the ball in garbage time. Still, a 44-18 win is a 44-18 win.
Aside from Chico, let’s give kudos to John Ross for doing his best impression of a possession receiver. No big plays for Ross in this one, but he caught 12 balls for 95 yards and helped us move the sticks on many occasions. Dante Pettis had another big game: 7 catches for 105 and a TD, but he did drop a ball that ended up getting intercepted. Gotta play a clean game against the Cougs this week.
Myles Gaskin got on track, running for 127 yards on 16 carries, with a TD. Lavon Coleman also chipped in a TD and 47 yards. And, for as bad as he looked early, Browning finished with his second-highest passing yardage game of the season with 338.
Defensively, DID YOU SEE THAT INTERCEPTION BY KEVIN KING??? That was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.
With some injuries to some key players, the Huskies were forced to bring the blitz more to get pressure on the quarterback. Highlighted by Budda Baker’s 1.5 sacks, the team racked up 6 in total to make it a long day for their quarterback. They had no better luck running the ball, as their two feature backs ran for a combined 34 yards on 14 attempts.
The Huskies are 10-1 going into the Apple Cup. The last time the Huskies won 10 or more games was in the year 2000. This is only the second time the Huskies have double-digit wins since their championship season in 1991. Coming into this season, if you would’ve told me the Huskies would be guaranteed to have 10 wins, I would’ve taken that on the spot. But, if we closed out this season with 10 wins now, it would probably go down as the most disappointing season in history.
Time to finish, Huskies. Don’t stop now.