The Washington Huskies couldn’t wait to compete again for a second consecutive week and show their vast improvement from practice.
With the big question being answered as to who the starting quarterback would be, it was time to see if the Huskies could take that next step on offense.
Sporting their new “all-black” jerseys, the Huskies were looking aero-dynamic in their new threads, looking very sharp.
On the opening drive, the Huskies faced a 4th and 1 and were set to punt, when the Huskies dialed up the QB sneak for the first down in Husky territory.
“It’s game circumstance,” Lake said when asked about Morris taking more shots down the field this week.
It was now time for the Husky defense to show their worth and set the tone by getting a stop. They forced a three-and-out from the Arizona offense and momentum was definitely all on the Huskies sideline.
“Stopping the run” was a huge emphasis this week Lake said.
On the next drive for the Husky offense, they would drive the length of the field, all the way down to the 1-yard line, and would have to settle on a 20-yard FG by PK Peyton Henry.
It was a disappointing ending to a nice drive, which should have resulted in 7 points for the offense. Nonetheless, it was still positive to get some points on the board.
At the 4:58 mark, the Huskies were leading the Wildcats 10-0, and in full command of the game, dictating their style of play.
On defense, the Huskies would bring their swarming to the ball defense and force a fumble recovery at the Arizona 9-yard line. Senior defensive lineman Josiah Bronson recovered the ball for the Huskies.
Two plays later, the Huskies would capitalize on the awesome field position with a 1-yard TD run by RB Sean McGrew, and the Huskies were off to the races.
With 2:48 left on the clock in the 1st quarter, the Huskies were leading 17-0 over the Wildcats after 3 consecutive scores by the offense.
On defense, the Huskies would maintain their dominance when OLB Zion Tupuola-Fetui would get a sack for a 7-yard loss and force Arizona to punt.
What was most impressive was the Husky offense would then make four consecutive scoring drives, when they drove the ball the length of the field again.
“Coach Donovan does a great job of getting them the ball,” TE Cade Otton said about the playmakers on offense.
RB Richard Newton would power the ball into the endzone from 2-yards out and give the Huskies a commanding 24-0 lead, with 8:49 left in the 2nd quarter.
At this point, the Arizona offense was trying to find any spark that they could to get some points up on the board. It wouldn’t happen, as their drive would stall out on the Washington 46-yard line.
It was now time for the Husky offense to go on one of their patented 5-6 minute drives to end the half and not give the Wildcats back the ball.
While the Huskies dominated the entire first half on offense, their drive would stall on the Arizona 39-yard line with around a minute left on the clock.
Punter Race Porter would punt the ball 37-yards down to the Arizona 2-yard line, as special teams were much improved from last week for the Huskies.
The Huskies’ defense would corral the Wildcats’ offense on the final drive of the half, as the Huskies went into halftime with all the momentum.
OLB Ryan Bowman said, “stopping the run most definitely” was the biggest improvement from last week.
With a score of 24-0, it was utter and complete dominance by the Huskies on both sides of the ball. The first half was a display of how talented the Huskies could be this season.
Stats wise, the Huskies were outgaining the Wildcats 267 yards to 45. It was a remarkable performance by the Husky defense for two straight quarters.
“When you can make an offense one-dimensional that’s advantage defense,” Lake said.
In the second half and more specifically the third quarter, the Huskies needed to establish some momentum with their defense taking the field first.
On the very first play, OLB Tupuola-Fetui would sack Arizona QB Grant Gunnell for an 8-yard sack. The Huskies defense would force another 3-and-out and set the initial tone of the 3rd quarter.
With Morris back at the controls, it was time for him to keep the Huskies’ offense firing on all cylinders just like the first half.
The Huskies would drive the ball all the way down the field, resulting in a 21-yard TD run by RB Kamari Pleasant. A 2-point conversion failed and the Huskies would lead 30-0 with 10:31 left in the 3rd quarter.
Defensively, the Huskies would get a huge stop on the ensuing drive on 4th and 2. They stuffed the Wildcats offense on their own 48-yard line, which set up great field position once again for the Husky offense.
Morris would take advantage of the field position advantage like he had been doing all night long. He hit TE Cade Otton for a 20-yard TD reception to put the game completely out of reach.
At the 5:02 mark, Washington was leading 37-0 over Arizona, as they were making a statement to the rest of the conference that they will be a tough team to beat this season.
The Wildcats offense couldn’t get any continuity on offense as they were once again forced into a 3-and-out, which put their tired defense back onto the field.
Cade Otton said, “it seemed like they got frustrated,” about Arizona.
On the next drive for the Husky offense, the Wildcats defense would force the Huskies to attempt a field goal. Henry would miss that attempt from 47-yards out, which was about the only positive for Arizona all game long.
As the 3rd quarter came to an end, would coach Lake put in a different quarterback and save Morris, or would he still roll with his starter?
When the 4th quarter started, the Huskies defense took the field looking to mentally stay focused and sharp with a blowout on the scoreboard.
Arizona would finally get some kind of positive momentum to show up on the scoreboard when WR Stanley Berryhill III caught a 30-yard TD pass.
At the 12:54 mark of the 4th quarter, the Huskies were leading 37-6. Arizona missed the extra point conversion after the touchdown score.
How would the Huskies respond? Well – they would answer right back with a bang of their own! Newton would make an impressive 54-yard TD run into the endzone to halt any positive momentum for the Wildcats.
Washington was winning 44-6 and this score came with Husky backup QB Jacob Sirmon taking his first snaps of the season.
The Husky defense would force the Wildcats into a 3-and-out, but Arizona would get the ball right back on a 5-yard roughing the kicker penalty, which resulted in a first down.
Husky DB Brandon McKinney would deliver a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit, that would result in him being disqualified for targeting.
On the next play, the Wildcats would make the Huskies pay with an 11-yard TD catch by WR Ma’jon Wright, which got them into double digits on the scoreboard.
With 9:28 left in the game, the Huskies were leading 44-13. It was all a matter of running out the clock and escaping without injuries from here on out.
On the next drive, Sirmon’s scramble run would fall short of the first down marker, forcing the Huskies to have to punt.
With the game being academic at this point, the Wildcats would march down the field and score when RB Michael Wiley ran into the endzone from 3-yards out.
At the 4:54 mark, the Huskies were winning 44-20 and now it was time to finish strong after three consecutive scores by the Arizona offense.
Another 3-and-out for the Dawgs would force them to give the ball back to the Wildcats with 2:29 left in the game. It was time for the Husky defense to not let Arizona score on a 4th consecutive drive.
That stop wouldn’t happen and Berryhill III would score again, on a 24-yard TD catch, making a fourth consecutive score.
Taking their foot off the gas was an understatement, as far as the Huskies’ effort down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
In the end, the Huskies were able to get some valuable playing time for a bunch of players, which will prove to be important.
Defensively, the domination was apparent through three quarters and the Wildcats couldn’t do anything against the Huskies starting defense.
Senior OLB Ryan Bowman said, “We just had an emphasis of having fun.”
Offensively, the Huskies were able to put up a lot of points on the board and sustain long drives again. Morris looked very good throughout the entire game.
“We are massive upfront, we are tough, smart, physical!” Lake said.
Overall it was a great team effort and the Huskies dominated the game from the outstart and the outcome was never in question!
Despite the score ending up 44-27, the Huskies completely throttled the Wildcats in all three phases of the game from start to finish. All of the Wildcats scores came against backups once the game was out of reach.
The Jimmy Lake era is off to a great start and his promise of improvement from week one to week two manifested itself in true form tonight.
“First of all, that’s Husky football right there!” Lake said.
Next up for the Huskies (2-0) is the Washington State Cougars, which marks another Apple Cup rivalry showdown, next Friday night, with a kickoff time of 7:30 p.m. PT.
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