Huskies Still Unable To “Finish” In 33-28 Defeat To The Utes

For the second consecutive game for the Washington Huskies, they were unable to “finish” with a victory against an elite ranked Pac-12 foe.

“Well, it was a frustrating game. We played against a really good Utah team. We just couldn’t get the plays in the second half.  Washington head coach Chris Petersen said afterwards.

In the end, the Huskies gave a hard-fought effort, but it just wasn’t enough as they fell 33-28 to the #9 Utah Utes.

During the first quarter, it was the Huskies who struck first on the scoreboard when junior quarterback Jacob Eason hit junior wide receiver Jordan Chin on an 11-yard touchdown pass.

It was a methodical drive for the Huskies as they marched down the field on 13 plays for 70 yards, taking 5:56 minutes off the clock.

Defensively, the Huskies were swarming to the ball early and were disrupting Utah’s rushing attack in the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Huskies were firmly in control with a 14-3 lead after Eason hit junior tight end Hunter Bryant for a 34-yard touchdown strike.

Things were looking good for the Huskies at that point as they had full momentum and gained confidence with scoring against the #3 defense in the nation.

After the Bryant touchdown, the game started to turn towards the Utes as they pulled back the momentum from the Washington Huskies.

They rallied to score the final 10 points of the quarter and closed the 11-point deficit down to 1-point heading into halftime.

It was a solid effort for the Huskies in the first half, but some of the issues that had plagued the Huskies in previous weeks were showing again.

The Utes started establishing their power run game in the second quarter and the Huskies ability to stop the run has been an issue all season.

Also, the offense started to sputter a bit and it was getting tougher for the Huskies to move the ball against that vaunted Utes defense.

Halfway through the third quarter, the Huskies would strike first when Eason would connect with Bryant again for a 40-yard touchdown.

The Huskies were ahead 21-13 and feeling good about themselves as the Utes offense even gifted two fumbles to the Huskies as well.

Even with those two turnover recoveries, the Huskies didn’t make Utah pay for them.  It was a big turnover by the Huskies that swung the game over to the Utes.

With a few minutes left in the third quarter, Eason’s pass was picked off by Utah defensive back Jaylon Johnson, who ran it back 39-yards for a touchdown.

The score would cut the Huskies lead to 21-19, after a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Utes.

While the game of football is a four-quarter game, the interception and score really gave Utah life and energized their entire sideline.

Washington was feeling really good about themselves and then Utah made arguably the biggest play of the entire game.

During the fourth quarter, the Utes scored on two goal line touchdown runs which put them ahead 33-21 on the scoreboard.

The Huskies got the ball back with 4:52 left in the game, and they were able to march down the field and score a touchdown.

Eason hit senior wide receiver Aaron Fuller for a 3-yard touchdown strike, which cut the Utah lead to 33-28 with 1:01 left on the clock.

Sophomore placekicker Peyton Henry‘s onside kick was recovered by the Utes who took a knee and ran out the clock for the victory.

The flow of the game felt eerily similar to the Huskies previous game against the Oregon Ducks.

They came and threw the first punch and got an early lead and then they could not sustain it over all four quarters.

“I feel like a big part of it was we just weren’t getting off the field on third down. They were doing a good job of converting and making tough catches. It is what it is,” sophomore Joe Tryon said.

Defensively, the Huskies couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Utes passing and running game.

“We didn’t make enough plays that is really obvious. All we can do is analyze and try to re-create those mistakes in practice,” Petersen said.

Offensively, they couldn’t move the ball consistently over the last three quarters to seal the deal against a top ten team.

That big win still eludes the Washington head coach Chris Petersen and the Huskies, who are still learning how to get over the hump and “finish!”

It will be imperative for the Huskies to have a good week of preparation as they have a short week coming up before playing again.

“Keep fighting you know..address what we did when we put on film and get ready for next week,” Tryon told DubLife.

Next up for the Huskies (5-4, 2-4) is a road game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon against the Oregon State Beavers (4-4, 3-2), next Friday night at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Washington vs. Utah Final Game Stats

Below is some actual “Game Notes” for the Huskies…..

Husky Stadium – 57 degrees, sunny, no wind.

  • Petersen confirmed that true freshman wide receiver Puka Nacua broke his foot in practice this past week while running a route.  He had successful surgery already and is expected out for at least 5 weeks.  There is a slight chance of a return for a bowl game for Nacua.
  • The captains for today’s game were: Salvon Ahmed, Myles Bryant, Nick Harris and Levi Onwuzurike.
  • The Huskies are outscoring opponents 104-13 in the first quarter after taking a 7-0 lead into the second quarter.
  • Hunter Bryant (1,126) passed John Brady (1040), Mark Bruener (1,102) and Jerramy Stevens (1,113) all the way up to third all-time in UW tight end history for career receiving yards.  He trails only Austin Seferian-Jenkins (1,838) and Dave Williams (1,133) on the all-time list.
  • Bryant had the first multi-TD game of his career. He entered the day with just one TD in each of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • Bryant also moved up to fifth all-time in UW history for receptions by a tight end. He now has 69 for his career.
  • Bryant notched his second 100-yard receiving game this season and the fourth of his UW career.
  • Aaron Fuller moved up the career receiving lists in UW history with 143 (T-8th) receptions for 1,994 yards (7th).
  • Jacob Eason surpassed 300 yards for the second this this season and tied his UW career high with four touchdown throws.
  • The Huskies recorded three sacks in the first quarter – Joe Tryon and Ryan Bowman had solo sacks while Levi Onwuzurike and Benning Potoa’e shared in another one. Tryon would go on to record his first multi-sack game.
  • Jordan Chin has recorded touchdowns in back-to-back games after having not scored previously in his career.
  • After Elijah Molden’s fumble recovery, the Huskies punted for the first time this season after causing a turnover – a span of 14 takeaways.
  • Terrell Bynum has made 13 receptions over the last two games after having three in his first 16 career games.
  • The Huskies tied a season-high with 9 tackles for loss (also vs. Eastern Washington).  
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