Heading into this contest, the Huskies were a desperate team looking for their first victory of the season and much-improved play. Washington entered the game as 17 point favorites to beat Arkansas State, who had just put up 90 points combined in their first two games of the season. In the end, the Huskies took their 0-2 frustrations out on the Red Wolves in a complete domination in all three phases of the game in a 52-3 rout.
On offense, the Huskies were simply fantastic! There were some glaring things that stood out, which should provide the team with some positive momentum heading into conference play next week. For once, the offense was able to put together some methodical and long sustained drives. They were also able to move the chains consistently, for the most part, and put points up on the board. Another huge piece was getting wide receiver Jalen McMillan back in the lineup. He was spectacular with making big play after big play down the field. Running back Sean McGrew was another nice surprise for the offense. He helped set the tone early for the Huskies and had a nice 13-yard jumpcut touchdown in the first quarter. Quarterback Dylan Morris threw some nice touch passes downfield and made some big throws, which resulted in points, despite the two picks that he threw. The offense amassed 598 total yards, with offensive coordinator John Donovan moving up to the booth to call plays. It was a huge breakout game for the offense.
Defensively, Washington almost pitched a shutout, only giving up the 3 points on a field goal during the third quarter. One huge point of emphasis and a cornerstone of previous Husky defenses, was the ability to create turnovers. Washington head coach Jimmy Lake said after the game that “turnovers come in bunches”. The Huskies defense was able to manufacture three turnovers on the day, culminating with an electric 72-yard fumble recovery touchdown run by outside linebacker Bralen Trice. The defense held the Red Wolves to only 268 yards of total offense and 48 yards rushing, on 23 attempts (2.1 yards per rush). It was a major emphasis this week for the Husky offense to try and stop the run. Defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles was fantastic tonight. He made huge plays for his team and his imprint and impact were all over the game from the start. He finished with 9 total tackles, with 2 tackles for loss. It was a typical dominating Husky defensive performance in fine fashion.
This was just what the doctor ordered for the Washington Huskies. A complete beatdown of an inferior opponent in all three phases of the game. The offense finally gained some confidence and continuity, with the emergence of a playmaker back at wide receiver. The defense shined and looked dominant! With the offense performing up to standards, and signs of innovation that were missing in the first two games, the defense was able to stay off the field and get rest. It was a great job by the coaching staff to get the team refocused on the mantra that “their best football is still ahead”. Husky Nation is breathing easier tonight and feels much better about their beloved Dawgs, but the true assessments will now come with the non-conference portion of the schedule being done. For tonight though, the Huskies should feel proud and good about themselves!
Next up for the Huskies (1-2) is the start of Pac-12 Conference play against the California Bears, at Husky Stadium, next Saturday night, September 25th, with a kickoff time of 6:30 PM PT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
JIMMY LAKE POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO
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