The Washington Huskies were bigger, stronger, faster and they used all of their athletic advantage in their dominating 45-19 win over the BYU Cougars Saturday afternoon in Provo. While the visiting Huskies did not play a perfect game, they exhibited a determined and focused effort against a BYU team that proved to be a stubborn opponent.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION EARLY AND OFTEN
The Huskies started the game with their customary fire and brimstone explosion scoring on all three of their first quarter possessions. Husky quarterback Jacob Eason had a flawless quarter. Eason was 9-10 for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Both 17 yard td passes showcased Eason’s array of skills as a passer, the first was a touch pass to Richard Newton who was wide open in the back of the endzone.
The Huskies other score third score in the quarter was a defensive sack by Ryan Bowman that led to a fumble scoop by Brandon Wellington who rambled 69 yards for the score. For the first time this season the Huskies outscored their opponents in the third quarter. Aaron Fullers 88 yard punt return, Andrea Baccellia’s 35 yard td grab and Richard Newton’s 3 yard td run gave the Huskies a 21-7 scoring advantage.
Going into the game Husky head coach Chris Petersen wanted to see some toughness and grit. The Huskies dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage. The defensive line pressures and harassed BYU quarterback Zach Wilson all afternoon. The pressure cause two fumbles that led to 14 points, the first quarter strip sack and the Trent McDuffie recovery on BYU’s first possession to start the second half. In addition to the fumbles the Husky defense causes four tackles for minus yardage, two sacks and an interception.
The Husky O-Line had its way with the Cougars D-line, amassing 477 total yards on offense. The Huskies averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 12.1 yards per pass completion. Three different receivers had at least four receptions meaning Eason had time to scan the field when he dropped back or rolled out to pass. Speaking of time the Husky offense had the ball for 12:08 in the fourth quarter.
Fuller electrifying punt return and Peyton Henry’s 30 yard field goal in the second quarter are positive signs that the Huskies emphasis on all three phases of the game are coming to fruition. Henry was offered a scholarship this week so maybe he had extra incentive to earn his keep.
POST GAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH CHRIS PETERSEN
(Opening statement) “I thought it was a good performance on all phases. It was nice to get explosive plays by our defense and it was nice to get them on our special teams. Our offense was striking with explosive plays as well. I thought that the balance of the run-pass on the offense was good. Our defense did a nice job creating turnovers, which changes the game. It was everything that we talk about. Our offense and defense did a nice job taking the crowd out early. First game on the road at a pretty cool venue and I was proud of everything they did. The game is always far from perfect, we still have a lot of learning going on and some things that are frustrating, so we’ll get cleaned up. I like how they practice, and I like how they competed out here.”
(On the strong third quarter start)
“I don’t know why the last two week we haven’t started that. You can’t just talk about things; you have to work on them. That’s not good coaching, to just talk about coming out in the third quarter. There are some things in practice that we try to emphasize and try to get done to help those things, but they came out and they played. There were some young guys that were making some really good plays. Trent McDuffie
in there, as a true freshman he plays at a high level.”
(On the quarterback, Jacob Eason, not needing a lot of room between the offensive line)
“It’s nice, he just needs to learn how to balance how much room he needs because he needed a little more room on that one play, but that’s part of the snap decisions that we make. There are always those throws, whether they’re game changers or not, but as far as I could see that, that was one. We could’ve gotten down field, but he did a nice job checking it off. He’s making good process.
QUARTERBACK JACOB EASON
(On if Washington changed anything on offense) “No, we didn’t change anything, it was the same offense. We have big playmakers, but we had other guys that did a good job of stepping up and making plays when they needed to.”
(On the first possession score)
“That’s the goal every game no matter where you are, we were dialed in, we got some of the looks we wanted, we came out on the attack, so I think we did a good job, opened up the game pretty well.”
(On completing 13 passes in a row)
“It’s just being in the moment, next play mentality. I didn’t know that, that was the first time I heard to be honest. Yeah, just playing the play, doing my job on each play, going through my progressions. Receivers made plays, the offensive line gave me time to throw the ball. All around it was a team effort.”
(On the team’s defense)
“They’re always going to bring it. I know Coach Lake dials them in. Those guys over there prepare all week. I’m always confident in those guys and they’re confident in us too. Super excited to see those guys making plays and playing good football.”
(On when the defense plays well and takes the pressure off the offense) “When we get 14 points on defense it’s definitely a huge energy thing for us. You wish you could get that every game, but that’s just not the case, but we had the opportunity to do that and we made those plays today. Like I said, it was just a huge energy boost for us, super proud of our defense who played really well today.”
RUNNING BACK SEAN MCGREW
(On starting the third quarter well)
“Recently we’ve been starting off slow in the third quarter, so it was nice to come out fast and not slow down from that first half and to keep our momentum going.”
(On hitting a career-high in rushing yards with 110)
‘That’s awesome. Honestly, stats don’t matter to me, it’s just about doing whatever I can to help the team win. Stats are cool but winning is even cooler.”