The Washington Huskies started out the 2019 season in front of the Husky faithful, on a beautiful day at picturesque Husky Stadium.
From the outstart, the Huskies were in complete control of the game and never let their foot off the gas pedal.
Offensively, the Huskies were efficient and productive with garnering 570 total yards while showing their full potential.
Defensively, the young and promising defense played aggressive and physical with recording 9 tackles for loss.
It was good for the Huskies to get their first “game time reps” of the season and familiarize the younger players with the college atmosphere.
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…..
Simply put, junior Jacob Eason had the best debut of any Husky quarterback in school history with 349 yards passing. From the opening kickoff he was simply outstanding. He had full command of the offense and showed his vast ability to throw the ball downfield quickly and decisively. The offense had a different feel to it for the first time in a long time and it was because of Eason. Redshirt freshman Jacob Sirmon came in and had a nice completion as well. A
This is exactly how we thought this group would handle to amount of carries, which is by committee. Redshirt freshman Richard Newton was the story of the day showing his ability to get into the second level after his initial burst through the hole. He ended up with 12 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. Junior starter Salvon Ahmed began his quest to show the coaches he is an every down back. Overall this group gained 200 yards on the ground. B+
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
Senior leadership showed it’s way yesterday with Aaron Fuller and Andre Baccellia leading the way with consistent catches all day long. Chico McClatcher had a nice game as well with his speed in the passing lanes and reliability. Fuller definitely had the catch of the day with his one handed grab in the endzone. Junior tight end Hunter Bryant led in receptions with 6 total for 81 yards. It was the physical blocking of Bryant and sophomore Cade Otton that was most impressive. A-
While the story of the game was the sudden injury to senior center Nick Harris, redshirt freshman Matteo Mele came in and did a nice job to replace Harris. This group did a good job of giving Eason time to set his feet and throw the ball downfield to his receivers. What needs to be cleaned up is the push and opening up holes for the running backs to run through. It will be essential for this group to get it done up front and spring some of these runs loose at the line of scrimmage. B-
Throughout the course of the game, this group constantly was pushing the pocket and made things uncomfortable for Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere. The duo of junior Levi Onwuzurike and senior Benning Potoa’e is going to be very formidable this season. Potoa’e may have found his position with already recording two sacks and using his high motor as a down lineman. The Eagles were held to 63 yards rushing because of the Huskies stoutness at the point of attack. A
One thing that stands out about this group after yesterday’s game is that the starting positions are up for grabs this season. Redshirt freshman Jackson Sirmon and redshirt freshman MJ Tafisi showed why they are pushing for starting positions. The physicality and the ability to swarm to the football was evident. Some plays and clean up tackles were missed by this group and will have to improve. Pressure off the edge was solid but more can be accomplished here. B
It was a “baptism by fire” sort of game for this position group throughout the game. With a holding penalty on redshirt freshman Kyler Gordon and a bad angle route by true freshman Cameron Williams that surrendered the 64-yard TD, teaching moments arose for the young secondary. Away from that, this group played very solid throughout the game and held the Eagles receivers in check. Defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will want more turnovers from this group going forward. B
The production from this position group needed to improve the most heading into this season and yesterday was a good start for this group. True freshman placekicker Tim Horn showed his strong leg with reaching the endzone and getting touchbacks. Sophomore placekicker Peyton Henry converted his first field goal attempt of the season from 22-yards out. The coverage units looked solid but the return guys need to break one loose to change the momentum of the game at some point. B+
Give the coaches a ton of credit. With so many young players and new starters at crucial positions, the coaches had the guys ready to play from the opening kickoff. Often times after coming out of fall camp, players can play tight and with hesitation but that wasn’t the case. Players were “cutting it loose” and playing fast and free football which is the sign of a coaching staff preaching mental focus. Offensively, offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan called a great game which had a good mix of being balanced and multiple with showcasing Eason’s strength’s. Defensively, Lake was able to disrupt Barriere and not allow the Eagles to get into a rhythm all game long. Head coach Chris Petersen did a good job of shielding the quarterback situation from the past week without it causing a distraction in the locker room and on the field. A
On a whole, the entire team looked very focused and ready to jump on their opponent right out of the gate. With the talk of this being a rebuilding year for the Huskies by most analysts, the players seem to be using it as a “chip on their shoulder”. This is exactly what the veteran savvy Petersen will use at his disposal all season. Conference play starts next weekend for the Huskies and this was an inspired effort of mental focus and preparation. The players knew they couldn’t come out without being ready to play because a defensively stout Cal Bears team would be waiting for them the week after. For as many young players and new faces that were on the field together, the chemistry was apparent and the players were in sync with one another. From the coaching staff down to the players, it was a great week one. Par for the course for a season opener. A