The Washington Huskies won their ten straight home opener and extended their unbeaten home streak to 15 consecutive games with a convincing 47 to 14 win over Eastern Washington Saturday afternoon at Husky Stadium. Here a some thoughts from the game.
JACOB EASON IS A GAME PLAYER NOT A PRACTICE PLAYER
Why it’s not quite the old Allen Iverson quote about who needs practice, Jacob Eason showed on Saturday that he is better at games than he is at practice. Part of the delay in naming Eason as a starter by the Husky coaches was that he had a good fall camp but not a great one. After watching the former Lake Stevens High School star and Georgia transfer engineer scoring drives on four of the six drives the Husky had in the first half it is evident Eason is a prime-time player.
After redshirt freshman Richard Newton scored the game’s first touchdown on an impressive 23 scamper from the wild cat formation in which he lined up behind center , Eason tossed two consecutive td passes to Andre Baccellia for 50 yards and Aaron Fuller for 7yards to give the Huskies a 21-0 lead with just under four minutes left in the first quarter. Eason finished the half with a ten-yard pass to Chico McClatcher for his third touchdown of the half.
While Eastern Washington’s defense is nowhere close to that of the California Golden Bears, the Huskies opponent next week, Eason did all the right things to show Petersen he made the right choice in naming him the starter. Eason was calm in the pocket, patient with his reads and no doubt showed he can sling the ball field and stretch defenses. Eason finished the game 36-27 for 349 yards and four touchdowns
THE HUSKIES RUNNING GAME IS OKAY
With school career rushing leader Myles Gaskin long gone the other question for Huskies was who and how will offensive coordinator Butch Hamden make up for the loss? On Saturday the answer was clear in a form of a question. It not who but whom? Richard Newton’s 23-yard touchdown run from the wildcat formation was a small hint by the coaching staff. Newton’s versatility ( 12-91) , Salvon Ahmed’s ( 15-51) speed, Sean McGrew’s (4-25) quickness and Malik Braxton’s (2-43) power running will combine to form a multi-pronged Washington running attack. The Huskies ran for 223 total yards
HUSKY WIDE RECIEVERS ACCEPT CHALLENGE
The Husky receiving corps was publicly challenged multiple times this spring by Chris Petersen . The head coaches expectations of the unit were clear, go out and make plays early and often. On Saturday five different receivers had at least five catches for over 50 yards. Hunter Bryant ( 6-81), Andre Baccellia (5-84,1TD), Aaron Fuller (5-73, 2TD) and Chico McClatcher (5-57,1TD) all answered the call to rise up and be accounted for. For McClatcher just getting back on the field was a major huddle.
By having a receiving corps that is able to stretch defenses vertically the Husky offense can improve on last years red zone percentage of 56% which was 105th in the nation. On Saturday the Huskies were five of six in the redzone.