Top Five Biggest Impact Plays Of The Season

The Washington Huskies were able to finish out their season on a high note, with winning the Pac-12 Championship and earning a berth to the Rose Bowl.

During the season, there were ups and downs, twists and turns, that took Husky Nation on a roller coaster ride on a weekly basis.

With high expectations coming into the season, the Huskies were slated to win the Pac-12 Championship and make it to the College Football Playoff.

There were some tough losses along the way to Auburn, Oregon and California but there were also some big triumphs as well.

The Huskies were able to finish off the season with a 4-0 record and win some of the biggest games of the year during that stretch.

What gets lost in the shuffle is some huge and impactful plays that turned the tide in the Huskies favor, which allowed them to pull out some timely victories.

It wasn’t just the ability of the players to make plays, but making those plays at huge turning points of the game is what made the difference.

What was nice to see was both sides of the ball contributing to closing out these games.  It wasn’t just the defense but the offense as well.

We take a glance back at some of the top impact plays from this successful season.  Keep in mind that the Huskies still have an opportunity to top this list with their upcoming game at the Rose Bowl Game against Ohio State.

5. Byron Murphy’s Punishing Hit On Britain Covey (@ Utah – September 15th)

In a much-needed win matchup against the Utah Utes, sophomore cornerback Byron Murphy delivered the most punishing hit of the season.  Late in the second quarter, Murphy tackled Utah wide receiver Britain Covey over the middle and laid him out.  The hit paid dividends for the Huskies as it set the tone for the rest of the game.  The Utes receivers were scared to catch the ball and were looking over their shoulders for the rest of the game.

“B-Murph’s hit? Oh man. I didn’t even see it because I was in coverage. But I could hear. I was like, ‘Oh my god, was that lightning? What is going on?”  Senior cornerback Jordan Miller said.

4. Andre Baccellia’s Third Down Conversion (Arizona State – September 22nd)

The Huskies returned home to play a gritty Arizona State Sun Devils team, and the game went down to the wire in the fourth quarter.  A critical play was when senior quarterback Jake Browning hit junior wide receiver Andre Baccellia for an acrobatic high-point catch on third and six.  Originally the referees called the pass incomplete on the field but it was eventually overturned.  The catch allowed the Huskies a fresh set of downs to ice the game.

“I thought he threw the ball well. He found guys even when guys weren’t open,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said of Browning.

3. Taylor Rapp’s Game Sealing Interception (Stanford – November 3rd)

Heading into this game, the Huskies were looking to win a big matchup and keep their season alive, before their upcoming bye week.  With the Huskies leading 27-23, Stanford had the ball and a chance to win the game.  They drove the ball from their own 15-yard line all the way down to the Washington 34-yard line, with 10 seconds left.  Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello threw a pass into the end zone that was intercepted by junior safety Taylor Rapp to secure the win!

“It was a nail-biter, but at the end of the day, you still have to come through.”  Sophomore cornerback Keith Taylor said.

2. Myles Gaskin’s TD Run In The Apple Cup (@ Washington State – November 23rd)

In the Huskies biggest matchup of the season, they relied upon their senior “workhorse” running back to break the game wide open.  With 12:30 left in the game and facing 3rd and 1 from the Washington 20-yard line, the Huskies handed the ball off to Myles Gaskin.  He found a crease to the left and ran for an 80-yard TD that completely swung momentum towards the Huskies.  Gaskin’s TD run proved to be the nail in the coffin, which ensured the victory.

“Myles, what do you say? That guy can do it all.  He is the ultimate competitor. When you need something good to happen he is the guy that is going to get it done.”  Petersen said.

1. Byron Murphy’s “The Pick” In The Pac-12 Championship Game (Utah – November 30th)

The Huskies needed a victory in the Pac-12 Championship Game to secure a berth to the Rose Bowl Game.  With the game being a defensive slugfest the entire game for both teams, the Huskies were looking for a huge momentum changing play.  With 1:05 left in the third quarter, sophomore cornerback Byron Murphy picked off a pass that was deflected off Utah wide receiver Siaosi Mariner.  It was a fluke play where the ball fell right into Murphy’s hands and he ran it back for a 66-yard TD and swung the game to the Huskies.

“It’s one of those plays that, ‘How does that happen?’”  Petersen said.