On a night where the Washington Huskies couldn’t wait to get back on the field and “get right”, the blazing start put the game away early.
Throughout the course of the game, the Huskies dominated the Rainbow Warriors in every facet of the game and won 52-20.
The “lightning in a bottle” start is just what the doctor ordered for the Huskies, after dropping their first game of the season last week.
“We had the 24-hour rule so we had 24 hours to dwell on the Cal game and then we were right back Sunday morning. We watched the tape, learned from it, and then had our Sunday practice, corrected a few things, put that aside, and onto Hawai’i. The team did a great job of getting over that hump and preparing and then going out and executing this week,” quarterback Jacob Eason said.
At the 13:44 mark, the Huskies were already up 7-0, which set the tone for the rest of the night -…………………………. but they were not done yet.
Almost two minutes later, the Huskies would find the endzone again when junior running back Sean McGrew ran for a 22-yard touchdown.
With the Huskies up 14-0 in less than four minutes, Hawaii was searching for answers as they couldn’t stop the momentum of the Huskies.
Later in the first quarter, true freshman wide receiver Puka Nacua‘s Husky career was officially baptized in grand fashion.
Eason threw a dart to the corner of the endzone to Nacua for a 28-yard touchdown which was the first of Puka’s young and promising career.
At the end of the first quarter, the Huskies were leading 21-0 over the Rainbow Warriors and looked like a focused team.
“That is a good question, I thought we had a good run/pass balance. We had some things add up, we were throwing the ball downfield. Early on, they were mixing up their coverage. At times, they were playing soft and trying to get behind them, and we couldn’t. Other times, they were tightening up and Jacob Eason saw that, and threw it over the top,” Petersen said about the first quarter offense.
Defensively in the first half, the Huskies were extremely stout on defense and held their counterparts to just one touchdown.
They were able to figure out Hawaii’s schemes on offense and looked fully prepared for the “run and shoot” offense.
“Coming in, I think we had a good week of preparation and then we understood what they were trying to do..and from thereon we just put ourselves in position to make plays,” senior defensive back Myles Bryant told DubLife after the game.
During the second quarter, the Huskies would score a couple more touchdowns with a 37-yard touchdown from senior wide receiver Aaron Fuller.
The other touchdown came when redshirt freshman running back Richard Newton scampered in for a 5-yard “Newtoncat” touchdown.
Capping off the scoring in the second half, was sophomore placekicker Peyton Henry‘s 23-yard field goal and the Huskies went into the half leading 38-7.
In the second half and more specifically the third quarter, the Huskies lost their pace and momentum they established in the first half.
The Husky defense was on the field most of the quarter as they couldn’t get off the field and stop Hawaii’s third down conversions.
What would ensue is 20 straight unanswered points scored by the Rainbow Warriors, which cut the lead to 38-20.
After last week’s result, the Husky faithful were starting to moan and grumble, wondering how momentum could change so quickly.
Those concerns and angst would quickly be put to rest as the Huskies would own the fourth quarter on the scoreboard.
At the 12:02 mark in the fourth, Newton ran in from the 1-yard line to push the score to 45-20 and give the Huskies a jolt.
On the next drive, the Husky defense came away with an interception when true freshman defensive back Cameron Williams got an interception.
The Husky offense would finish out the day with another score to ice the game when Mr. Newton would score again with an 8-yard TD run.
Newton finished the night with 3 TD’s on only 8 carries for 29 yards. He is quickly becoming a “redzone catalyst” for the Huskies.
I think everybody sees what we see. He puts his pads down and he runs hard. I am anxious to put this tape on for a couple of reasons, for a couple of guys to look at, and he is one of them. It is always hard for us to see what they are seeing or what they are not seeing on the field. He runs hard. He is a good player that we have to keep progressing,” Petersen said about Newton.
With redshirt freshman Jacob Sirmon coming in for Eason to finish out the game, the Huskies ran out the clock the rest of the way.
Sanity was restored to Montlake as the game ended with a 52-20 victory for the Huskies which pushed them to 2-1 on the season.
The offense had great balance with Eason’s touchdown throws and the running backs scoring off the ground.
Tonight, the running backs group had a three-pronged attack with Salvon Ahmed, Richard Newton and Sean McGrew.
“The running back room..it’s an awesome room! I think it’s why we are called ‘the stable’ cuz all of us can pick up the flag and go whenever the time is needed,” McGrew told DubLife after the game.
Defensively, the Huskies stymied the Hawaii “run and shoot” offense for three quarters, but lost their focus for the other quarter.
Those things are going to happen with a young defense and with nine new starters on the field. They are gaining experience every single rep.
The ‘en fuego” start can be attributed to a Husky team with too much self pride to not respond after losing to California. It’s what won them the game.
Below is the actual video of the Chris Petersen Postgame Press Conference…..