Washington vs. UCLA Game Grades

The Washington Huskies played on the road last night at Rose Bowl Stadium which is a place they haven’t won at since 1995 .

It was an opportunity for the Huskies to make a big road statement against a winless team, but rather it turned into a 31-24 narrow win.

Junior wide receiver Aaron Fuller was magnificent once again finishing with another 100-yard game on 5 catches and 1 TD.

Defensively, the Huskies struggled during the game and were not their dominant selves with giving up a season high 422 yards to UCLA.

It was an example of a classic trap game as the Huskies have their arch rival the Oregon Ducks waiting in the wings this coming Saturday on the road.

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

It was a well-managed game by Jake Browning throughout the game as he finished with a stat line of 18/26 for 265 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception.  Browning continually made plays with his legs and his arm which helped extend several plays and drives.  He made good decisions with running for first downs and finished with 49 yards rushing himself.  Browning was a big reason the Huskies were able to hold on and win.  A-

RUNNING BACKS

Senior running back Myles Gaskin was magnificent last night and finished with a stat line of 27 carries for 116 yards and two TD’s.  He controlled the game with his typical “workhorse” mentality and even played hurt at the end with an injured arm.  Sean McGrew gave them a nice change of pace as well.  What is concerning is the staff reverted back to not using Salvon Ahmed much throughout the game?!  A-

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

This position group were the stars of the game all night long as they made clutch catches to extend and save drives.  Aaron Fuller is playing at an ultra-high level and Ty Jones is an extremely athletic target for Browning to throw to down the field.  The Tight Ends were not used much in the passing game but they blocked well.  The wide receivers continue to be a tremendous strength of the entire team.  A

OFFENSIVE LINE

Earlier on in the game, the offensive line was not able to get enough push in the run game.  For a top-ten team it seems like this group should be pushing people off the line more often.  This group surrendered two sacks on the night but they were also able to give Browning time to make some clutch throws.  It still seems like Browning is getting flushed from the pocket too often and this group needs to bring the physicality more.  C+

DEFENSIVE LINE 

There were times where the defense got gashed for big yards off the ground.  The Huskies gave up over 100-yards to UCLA running back Joshua Kelley who finished with 125 yards on 20 carries.  This group has to find a way to eat-up gaps more consistently against inferior opponents like UCLA.  Pushing the pocket and getting pressure on the quarterback needs to improve more regularly.  C+

LINEBACKERS

Inside linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven finished with a game high 15-tackles which was a bright spot for this group.  There were times where the linebackers were fooled in both pass and run coverages.  The outside linebackers gave up outside leverage a lot which allowed for some big yardage on the outside.  What is still non-existent is the pass rush from the edge which seems to hold back this defense from being unstoppable.  C+

DEFENSIVE BACKS

The most talented position group on the entire team didn’t have their usual dominant performance.  They gave up 272 yards in the air and allowed UCLA tight end Caleb Wilson to notch over 100-yards receiving.  Cornerback Byron Murphy was fooled early on a touchdown pass and the game plan going forward was trying to keep everything in front.  This group needs to find a way to create more interceptions.  C+

SPECIAL TEAMS

One of the biggest strengths of the team last night was the special teams unit.  Field goal kicker Peyton Henry made a 26-yard field goal and made all is extra points.  On kickoffs, he was able to kick the ball into the end zone and had further distance than normal.  Punt and kickoff coverage looked sound as UCLA wasn’t able to break anything big.  Fuller had a nice 18-yard punt return himself.  Overall a good night for this unit.  A

COACHING

The Huskies were able to come out with the conference win on the road which is always a good thing.  What was concerning was the lack of focus and ability to impose their will on an inferior opponent.  The offensive play calls seemed a bit sporadic at times.  Players after the game said that UCLA did some things they were not prepared for and ultimately that falls on the coaches to have them prepared for everything and anything.  C

ENTIRE TEAM

Winning at a place that they haven’t won at since 1995 was a great streak to break but something was missing last night?  Where was that team that stepped on BYU’s throat the week before.  This was a classic trap game and the Huskies barely scraped through against a winless team trying to find their way.  I’m sure their sights were set on the Ducks a little bit but this game should have never been that close at any time.  C+

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