The Washington Huskies went into Rose Bowl Stadium and narrowly escaped the UCLA Bruins with a hard-fought 31-24 win.
With the win, the Huskies break their winless streak of playing UCLA on the road with their last win coming back in 1995.
Heading into the game, the Huskies were pegged as 21-point favorites against the winless Bruins and the game proved to be much closer.
The game was sort of ho-hum for the Huskies the entire night. It wasn’t a stellar performance, and top-ten teams should be able to handle these games with more ease.
However, a win in this conference, especially on the road is hard to come by. This is the first of three roads games for the Huskies in the month of October.
The offense for the Huskies was the story of the night as Jake Browning had another good performance and managed the game extremely well.
He finished with a stat line of 18/26 for 265 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception. What was impressive was his ability to extend drives and extend plays.
Whether it was the quarterback sneak, scrambling for first downs or just conceding the inevitable sack, Browning looked in control of the offense.
Another huge bright spot for the offense was the play of the wide receivers. This group just continues to get it done by committee each game.
Husky leading receiver Aaron Fuller continues to impress with another 100-yard game and made huge catches in the clutch.
Fuller finished with a stat line of 5 catches for 100 yards and 1 TD. Ty Jones made explosive catches as well with a long of 34-yards on an athletic catch.
Senior running back Myles Gaskin had a great night and finished with a stat line of 27 carries for 116 yards and two TD’s.
What was special is Gaskin continues to cement his name in Husky lore with continually breaking records at Washington.
Gaskin recorded his 22nd game of rushing for 100-yards or more which breaks the school record by any running back in history.
Towards the end of the game, Gaskin was clearly hurting and in pain with what appeared to be an injury to his right arm.
What was puzzling was it seemed the Huskies had figured out how to juggle Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed‘s touches the last couple weeks, and tonight it seemed like it reverted back to inconsistency again.
Defensively, the Huskies seemed to be off their game and they were not their usual intimidating and dominant selves.
The UCLA Bruins were able to put up 422 total yards on the Husky defense which is an unusual output against such an elite defense.
The Husky defense was continually getting gashed for big runs and big pass plays throughout the game which helped the Bruins offense stay on the field.
Coming into the game, the Huskies were only allowing opponents to score 11.6 points per game and this game they gave up 24.
By not getting off the field, the Husky defense was able to give the UCLA offense life and extend plays and ultimately make a game out of it.
There are many factors that contribute to these types of games. Next week the Huskies have a big showdown with their arch rival the Oregon Ducks and the coaches didn’t want to show too much this week.
The Ducks had a bye this week and have an extra week to prepare for the Huskies while the Huskies only have one week to prepare for them.
Either way, the Huskies squeaked through with a win and sometimes they are not all pretty. It’s been a tough place to play for them through years and beating UCLA on the road should be celebrated.
Make no mistake..the Huskies will have to play much better next week against the Ducks if they want to keep their dreams of a College Football Playoff berth alive.
This kind of effort won’t cut it against a top-twenty team on the road next week, but for the night, the Huskies will take this one and focus their sights on “Nike U”.
Up next for the Washington Huskies (5-1, 3-0) is the Oregon Ducks (4-1, 1-1) this coming Saturday, October 13th at 12:30pm in front of the raucous crowd at Autzen Stadium.