In the end, the Huskies delivered its most impressive performance of the season with a crushing 45-19 victory over BYU.
A promising factor in the game was that the Huskies finally showed up in the 3rd quarter for the first time all season.
Offensively, the Huskies had their way throughout the entire game, with steady balance in both the run and the pass game.
Defensively, the Huskies were able to gain some push upfront and disrupt BYU quarterback Zach Wilson‘s ability to make plays.
With such a dominating performance, the Huskies put the rest of the conference on notice, that they are not to be forgotten.
We will now take a look at each position group and coaching staff on the Huskies, and how they fared last night. Here are how things graded out…..
Junior Jacob Eason was simply spectacular yesterday, with decisiveness in the pocket and his ability to throw the ball down the field. With his immense arm strength, Eason was able to shred BYU’s zone defense and absolutely carve up their secondary all game long. The only blemish on Eason’s resume yesterday was an interception he tried to fit into a tight window to junior tight end Hunter Bryant. Hard to criticize a guy who went 24 for 28 on completions. A-
With the big news of the day breaking before the game, that junior starting running back Salvon Ahmed was injured. The “two headed-monster” attack of junior Sean McGrew and redshirt freshman Richard Newton filled the void and were fantastic. McGrew surpassed his career high with an 18 carries for 110 yards performance. Newton chipped in 16 carries for 83 yards, 2 TD’s (1 rushing). These two guys helped move the chains and were extremely efficient. A
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
At a much needed time with the Huskies playing on the road for the first time, the wide receivers group stepped up in grand fashion. Seniors Aaron Fuller and Andre Baccellia made huge impacts for the Husky offense, with some explosive plays. Fuller finished with 8 receptions for 91 yards and 1 TD. Baccellia finished 4 receptions for 72 yards and 1 TD as well. Tight ends Cade Otton and Hunter Bryant were consistent with catching the ball and extending drives. A
The strength of this Husky offense is the experience and chemistry on the offense line. Yesterday, this group was simply outstanding! They gave Eason enough time to set his feet and throw the ball down the field to his playmakers for explosive plays. What continues to be a positive trend for the Huskies, the line was able to open up holes for the ground and pound attack. What needs to get cleaned up are some false start penalties, but nothing alarming here. A-
One of the biggest factors heading into the game for the Husky defense was the need to put constant pressure on BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. This position group did a good job of disrupting Wilson’s rhytym and his ability to make big plays. Senior Benning Potoa’e had a high relentless motor and got after Wilson the entire game. Gaining push upfront and the constant pursuit of Wilson set the tone for the game. The line will need to continue to plug the middle more against the run. B+
In what was probably the best performance of the year for this group, it certainly didn’t show up on the stat sheet, but their impact was huge. Senior inside linebacker Brandon Wellington‘s 69-yard fumble recovery TD was a huge momentum shifter. The pressure off the edge was much improved with senior outside linebacker Ryan Bowman leading the way. A tough targeting call on sophomore outside linebacker Joe Tryon was certainly questionable. There are still more tackles to be made for this group. B
While the secondary was able to come up with another interception this week and limit explosive plays, this unit has some work to still do. Many times during the game, the Cougars receivers were wide open over the middle and for big chunk yards. The young starting corners are still learning how to use leverage, while still staying near their man. True freshman Trent McDuffie has thrown his hat into the ring for a starting job. True freshman Asa Turner is now baptized into the DBU club with his pick. B-
A much needed breakthrough finally appeared in the return game for the Huskies. Fuller was able to do his best Dante Pettis impression with an 88-yard TD return that really ignited the Husky sideline. Peyton Henry continues to be flawless with his FG attempts as “Mr. Reliable”. The Huskies kickoff coverage team gave up the 48-yard return, that needs to get cleaned up. Oh..the fake FG attempt and the missed blocking assignment on that play. Head scratching? Overall a solid day for this group. B
Give the coaching staff a ton of credit for manufacturing this type of dominating performance. To travel on the road for ths first game of the season with a young roster, and to get that type of result is a testament to Washington head coach Chris Petersen and his staff. For the second straight week, the Huskies came out of the tunnel “smoking hot” and set the tone from the outstart. That kind of a start means the coaches have the players focused and ready to play. Execution wise, the Huskies continue to improve each week and yesterday the players were on-point for the most part. For as much criticism as offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan gets from time to time about the offense, I feel he should get his just due as well. Yesterday, Hamdan called a great game with a solid balance of run and pass. He also found a way to mitigate the loss of Ahmed and fill the void in his absence. His playcalling was aggressive and put a ton of stress on the BYU defense. Kudos to Hamdan this week. Wide receivers coach Junior Adams did a nice job of getting his receivers to dial in and make some big time catches for Eason and the offense. On defense, defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake had a nice game plan to put constant pressure on Wilson and limit his effectiveness the entire game. Lake will have to get some things fixed in defending the passing game. The coaching staff has done a great job of getting the players to forget about the loss to California and refocus on all the things the team can accomplish moving forward. A
On a whole, the entire team has bounced back nicely from the California loss, and seems to be recognizing its full potential. The last two weeks it seems like the Huskies are hitting their stride at the right time and they will be a tough “out” the rest of the season. While nobody likes losing, the Huskies seemed to have used their lone loss as a teaching moment to refocus and get themselves right. With such a young team, it is easy to lose focus from time to time but the coaches and players seem to be on the same page right now. Going into Provo and coming out with a win is never an easy task for any team, but the Huskies made a bold statement yesterday. A big game looms for the Dawgs against the USC Trojans this coming weekend, but the Huskies will be ready after what they showed yesterday. Outstanding effort and performance by the coaches and players against BYU. Optimism has returned to Montlake with the Huskies at 3-1 and looking to be as dangerous as the preseason hype. Full speed ahead. A