Washington vs. BYU Game Grades

The Washington Huskies played a non-conference matchup last night against a top-twenty team in the BYU Cougars at Husky Stadium.

It was an opportunity for a statement win for the Huskies and they certainly achieved that with a convincing 35-7 win.

Senior quarterback Jake Browning was magnificent for a second straight week with 23 of 25 completions and no turnovers.

Defensively, the Huskies were “lights-out” as they almost pitched a shutout against BYU and the only score of the game was academic.

It seems as if Browning and the offense are peaking at the right time and the issues up-front are smoothing themselves out.

We will now take a look at how each position group for the Huskies fared last night and also how the coaching staff graded out…..

QUARTERBACKS

Simply put, it was Jake Browning‘s night and he was magnificent!  He finished with a stat line of 23 of 25 for 277 yards and 1 TD.  He became the Huskies all-time leader in passing yards last night and notched his 100th career TD as well. The fourth-year starting senior really has full command of the offense right now and is peaking at the right time.  For two straight weeks now, Browning has looked decisive and every bit the part.  A+

RUNNING BACKS

We are usually accustomed to talking about Myles Gaskin but the night belonged to Salvon Ahmed.  For two straight weeks now, he is really putting up some good numbers.  He ended up as the leading rusher last night on 10 carries for 86 yards and two TD’s.  Ahmed brings a different “juice” to the offense and the coaches are starting to figure out how to use him effectively.  This group totaled 187 yards total off the ground.  A

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

This group had a very solid night and wide receiver Aaron Fuller continues to impress.  He recorded another 100-yard game last night with a stat line of 8 receptions for 107 yards.  Andre Baccellia quietly had a productive game as well with 4 receptions for 62 yards.  What was equally important was the use of the tight ends in the passing game.  Browning was able to find Drew Sample over the middle on third down conversions.  A

OFFENSIVE LINE

Chemistry and communication are important for this group, and last night the offensive line really played in sync.  They are starting to really open up some big holes for Gaskin and Ahmed to run through.  In pass blocking, they are giving Browning enough time to go through his reads and deliver the ball to his playmakers.  The coaches seem to have found the right combination up front.  Other than the holding penalties it was pretty clean last night.  A-

DEFENSIVE LINE 

The defensive line did a good job of being stout again last night with plugging the middle and holding the BYU rushing attack to just 34 yards the entire game.  Levi Onwuzurike stood out last night with reading the fly sweep game and making some nice tackles of his own.  The talk coming in was how physical BYU was on offense and the defensive line matched that physicality themselves and dominated up front which set the tone.  A

LINEBACKERS

Overall, the Linebackers played a solid game and Tevis Bartlett continues to shine on the inside in the absence of the injured DJ Beavers.  Both Bartlett and Ben Burr-Kirven had 6 tackles total and they were swarming to the ball all night long.  The outside linebackers did a good job of keeping their eyes and reading the fly sweep game on the outside.  It still seems like the Huskies need a more consistent pass rush coming off the edge.  A-

DEFENSIVE BACKS

This was a game where the Huskies were essentially trying to keep everything in front of them with that awkward BYU offense.  The DB’s did a good job of holding the Cougar receivers in check all night long with only 160 yards.  The Cougars averaged 8.9 yards per pass completion but the secondary did not surrender a touchdown.  Coach Jimmy Lake said they need to come up with more turnovers and interceptions.  A-

SPECIAL TEAMS

It wasn’t a great night for the Special teams unit as Peyton Henry missed two field goals from 40 and 24 yards.  Those can be momentum shifting plays in the course of a game but luckily it didn’t impact the outcome.  Two punt-returns total were dropped last night, each by Aaron Fuller and Chico McClatcher with the last one resulting in giving up the shutout by the Husky defense.  The kickoff coverage was better this week and Henry is getting more distance on his kickoffs.  C

COACHING

You have to hand it to the coaching staff for getting the team ready from the very start.  BYU’s style is awkward to play against and the coaches had them scouted out to their gym socks.  Head coach Chris Petersen said afterwards that the team executed the game plan to a “T”.  Offensive Coordinator Bush Hamdan called a really nice game last night and he seems to be finding his way.  Defensively, Lake had the players disciplined on their keys, gaps and assignments.  It was a well coached game all the way around.  A

ENTIRE TEAM

This was the perfect opportunity for the team to come and make a statement and they did just that!  Everyone was waiting for this team to breakout and demolish an opponent and last night the flood gates finally opened.  The Huskies were the only top-twenty five team last night that held their opponent under 10 points.  The offense is starting to click and pair that with an elite defense and this team could become formidable in the weeks to come.  Things are trending upward for the Huskies.  A

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