The 12th ranked University of Washington Huskies ( 8-1 overall, 5-1 Pac-12) pulled out their big play stick and used it to dominate the Oregon Ducks ( 5-5, 2-5) 38 to 3 Saturday night at Husky Stadium. 70,572 braved the rain and cold to watch one of college football oldest rivalries.
The brave fans got their monies worth as they witnessed a lethargic offense come to life in the second and third quarter thanks to a stifling defense and a record-breaking special teams effort from Dante Pettis.
The Ducks looked like they would get payback for last years humiliating 70-21 beatdown at Autzen Stadium when they took the opening drive and marched 62 yards and took an early 3-0 lead on a 30-yard field goal by Aidan Schneider. The Huskies offense took the field marched the ball to the Oregon 28 yard line and was unable to answer the early gut check by the Ducks as Tristan Vizcaino’s 44-yard field goal sailed wide right.
With their offense sputtering and in need of a boost the Husky defense forced a Duck fumble which the offense converted into a 34-yard field goal by Vizcaino that tied the game at 3-3. The Husky defense continued to stifle the Ducks offense and forced them to punt on its next possession.
Rather than punt, the ball out of bounds Duck punter Adam Stack punted the ball to Husky return man Dante Pettis who returned the punt 68 yards for a touchdown and not only gave the Huskies the 10-3 lead but also set the NCAA record for career punt returns with nine.
With the lead in hand, the Husky defense continued to dismantle the Oregon offense and forced two consecutive punts. The Husky offense began to find its grove half-way thru the quarter and the home sides lead was extended to 17-3 when Myles Gaskin rambled 34 yards for the touchdown and went into the halftime break with the lead.
The Husky offense continued it’s offensive explosion in the second half when it scored on all three of its third-quarter possessions. Husky quarterback Jake Browning threw two touchdown passes in the quarter. A 47-yard pass play to Pettis was followed up with a 31-yard pass and catch to Lavon Coleman. Salvon Ahmed completed the rout with a 58-yard scamper to cap the scoring at 38-3. After the game, Husky head coach Chris Petersen was adamant that the big play made the difference.
“Everyone knows that creating explosive plays and stopping explosive plays is a huge indicator of who is going to win the game. It might be more of an indicator stat wise than even turnovers. So everyone is trying to create those, and it comes down to execution. We don’t have things dialed up each game, but it comes down to really good throws or really good blocks. When you can get those explosive plays, it changes the game for you. “
Keishawn Bierria tied a UW school record with his 8th career fumble recovery. He is now tied with Chico Fraley, Ricky Andrews and Travis Richardson for the all-time lead.
Myles Gaskin moved up the record books in several UW rushing categories with his 34-yard TD scamper in the second quarter.
On the play, he passed Bishop Sankey (3,470) for third on the career rushing-yard list. He now has 3,593 and now only trails Napoleon Kaufman (4,106) and Chris Polk (4,049).
Gaskin has 34th career rushing TD and is tied with Napoleon Kaufman for 2nd most in UW History. Bishop Sankey is the all-time leader a with 37
Jake Brownings two touchdown tosses in the third quarter gave him 75 for his career and tied him with Keith Price for most TD passes in UW history.
07:16 – ORE – Schneider, A. 30 yd field goal 15 plays, 62 yards, TOP 7:44
12:04 – WASH – Vizcaino, T. 34 yd field goal 10 plays, 68 yards, TOP 4:18
10:05 – WASH – Pettis, Dante 64 yd punt return (Vizcaino, T. kick )
03:54 – WASH – Gaskin, Myles 34 yd run (Vizcaino, T. kick ), 2 plays, 43 yards, TOP 0:46
13:42 – WASH – Pettis, Dante 47 yd pass from Browning, Jake (Vizcaino, T. kick ) 5 plays, 75 yards, TOP 1:18
05:59 – WASH – Coleman, Lavon 31 yd pass from Browning, Jake (Vizcaino, T. kick ) 10 plays, 80 yards, TOP 4:46
02:17 – WASH – Ahmed, Salvon 58 yd run (Vizcaino, T. kick ), 1 plays, 58 yards, TOP 0:13