Washington vs. Oregon State Game Grades

The Washington Huskies returned to action yesterday after coming off the bye week, on a beautiful sunny day at Husky Stadium.

It was a game that the Huskies won comfortably as they came out and dominated the first quarter, and set the tone early.

The Husky offense came out and scored on the opening drive and imposed their will on the Beavers defense.

Defensively, the Huskies stifled the Oregon State Beavers offense for most of the game, and didn’t allow them to get back into the game.

It was important for the Huskies to take care of business with a win to keep their hopes alive, of winning a Pac-12 Championship this season.

We will now take a look at how each position group for the Huskies fared last night and also how the coaching staff graded out…..

QUARTERBACKS

It was a great night for senior quarterback Jake Browning as he became the Pac-12 Conference’s all-time winningest starting quarterback with 37 wins.  Browning managed an efficient game, was very accurate for the most part and didn’t turn the ball over.  It still seems as if Browning holds onto the ball too long sometimes with receivers open down the field.  What was impressive was Browning’s ability to make some pinpoint throws into tight windows.  His final stat line was 17 for 23 with 242 yards and 3 TD’s on the game.  A-

RUNNING BACKS

The Huskies best player on offense is Myles Gaskin and he continued his strong finish to the season, with another dominating performance.  From the opening drive, Gaskin put his stamp on the game with his tremendous burst and ability to hit the hole hard.  He controlled the game from the ground with 135 yards on 18 carries for 2 TD’s total.  Gaskin averaged 7.5 yards per carry which was impressive.  Salvon Ahmed and Sean McGrew shined as well.  A

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

The highlight of this group was the production from the tight end position as Cade Otton was impressive with 3 catches for 55 yards.  Hunter Bryant had a couple catches for 55 yards total as well and looked more assimilated into the offense this week.  The only concern was the lack of production from the wide receivers.  Talented playmakers Aaron Fuller and Ty Jones only notched two catches between them and didn’t gain much separation.  B

OFFENSIVE LINE

Overall it was a good night for the offensive line, as they were able to help pave the way for a 503 yard output by the offense.  Browning had ample time to throw the ball most of the night and the Huskies ground game was able to get going, with 275 yards total.  It wasn’t all perfect as there were some missed assignments and blocking errors.  The return of LT Trey Adams was great news, as he was working off some of the rust from being sidelined all season.  B+

DEFENSIVE LINE 

It all starts with pressure up front and Greg Gaines was able to get some push up the middle and affect the pocket.  The Huskies were facing one of the best running backs in the conference in Jermar Jefferson and didn’t allow him to make a huge impact, despite his 115 yards off the ground.  Shane Bowman returned to the rotation and provided that much-needed depth that had been missing as of late.  Overall, it was a solid night for this group.  B

LINEBACKERS

This group was led by ILB Ben Burr-Kirven who had 11 total tackles on the night.  What seemed to be a struggle for this group was consistency with staying in their gaps and being sound with their run fits.  A huge lift came from Edefuan Ulofoshio who forced two fumbles during the game with his physical play.  Joe Tryon continues to improve each week off the edge and Benning Potoa’e recorded his first sack of the season which was good to see.  B-

DEFENSIVE BACKS

On a whole, the secondary for the Huskies played a solid game and got the job done, but the Beavers were able to get some big chunk yardage down the field.  The Huskies welcomed the return of their senior starter Jordan Miller back into the starting lineup, and his leadership and presence on the field made a difference.  There were really no huge momentum plays from this group but just a maintenance game, which sometimes is good enough too.  B

SPECIAL TEAMS

Head coach Chris Petersen values special teams play more than anything and it wasn’t a stellar game for this group.  Positively, the Huskies were able to force fumbles and keep the Beavers return game at bay most of the game.  What wasn’t so good was the missed 39-yard missed FG as well as the blocked punt attempt that led to an easy Beavers score.  Also, the Huskies did not execute properly for the onside kick and fake punt by the Beavers.  The special teams unit will have to go back to the drawing board this week.  D

COACHING

Everyone was waiting to see what a recharged and refreshed version of the Huskies would look like coming out of the bye week.  The coaches and the team came out ready to play from the opening kickoff, and the team had that fire that had been missing for weeks.  The offense was much improved with the Huskies leaning on Myles Gaskin which always gives the Huskies the best chance to succeed.  What is still concerning is the Huskies inability to put a 60-minute performance together for an entire game.  The Huskies took their foot off the gas in the second and fourth quarters and didn’t finish out the game strong.  They didn’t leave the game with that “killer instinct” they had in the first quarter and that falls on the coaching staff.  B-

ENTIRE TEAM

It would have been easy for the Huskies to overlook an inferior Oregon State team and have their eyes set on the Apple Cup the following week.  It was great to see that intensity again from the team at the opening kickoff, and that is all predicated from a rejuvenated and healthier team coming out of the bye week.  The Huskies coasted through parts of the game, and obviously the coaches wanted to save their best wrinkles for their showdown with the Washington State Cougars.  With so much to still play for, the Huskies came out and took care of business and kept their hopes alive for a conference championship and Rose Bowl berth.  Albeit, something still is missing from this team and they will need to find the magic and mojo quickly.  Simply put, sometimes just getting the job done is good enough but they will have to put their best game of the season together next week.  B

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