Game Analysis - Hawaii

It wasn't pretty, but Washington eked out a 17-16 win over Hawaii in Honolulu to kick off the 2014 football season. Here's a closer look at things including what needs to improve upon in order to get to where we all thought they were headed before the season...

Turning Point/Play of the Game (Part 1): With Washington trailing Hawaii 10-0 late in the first quarter and their offense looking erratic at best, Jeff Lindquist dropped back on 3rd and 12 from the Hawaii 41 and hit Kasen Williams for a three-yard gain. However, DB Ne'Quan Phillips hit Lindquist late, drawing a 15-yard penalty and giving Washington new life from the Warriors’ 23. Two plays later, John Ross two an end-around 20 yards for the score and that seemed to ignite the Husky offense.

Turning Point/Play of the Game(Part 2): Ahead 17-16 with 2:40 left on the clock and the ball on their own 29, the Huskies needed to drain Hawaii’s three timeouts and gain some first downs to run out the clock and escape with the win. Redshirt freshman RB Lavon Coleman took six straight handoffs, gaining 47 yards and picking up three first downs including the game clincher with just 44 seconds left.

Offensive Player of the Game: Coleman had a solid evening even though he split carries with Dwayne Washington. The redshirt freshman tailback carried the ball 19 times for 78 yards, but it was his play on the last drive – six straight carries for 47 yards and three key first downs – the really told the tale.

Defensive Player of the Game: Senior DT Danny Shelton had was in on 12 stops, six solo and six assisted. He also had two sacks and three tackles-for-loss. While the stats are impressive and the sacks equal his total in his previous three years at Washington, Shelton and the rest of the defense didn’t play that well as they surrendered 217 yards on the ground and also allowed 10 of 22 third down conversions.

Handouts to the standouts: John Ross had two receptions for 96 yards including the second longest scoring pass in Washington history when he connected with Lindquist early in the second quarter for a 91-yard touchdown. He also had 24 yards on two carries for another score; John Timu racked up nine tackles (five solo) and one pass breakup; Andrew Hudson also had a solid night, totaling nine stops (eight solo); Marcus Peters notched seven tackles, a tackle-for-loss and one pass breakup; K Cameron Van Winkle hit on his one field goal attempt – a 36-yarder at the end of the first half; P Korey Durkee, much maligned by most observers, had a very good game, finishing with a 42.5-yard average on eight punts, dropping three inside the 20 and with two going for over 50 yards including a long of 62.

Stat of the Game: Washington defense, what many consider to be the strength of the team, allowed Hawaii to convert 10 of their 22 third down attempts into first downs, many of which were for more than seven yards. As Chris Petersen noted to the CBS sideline reporter at halftime, “we have to show up better on third down”, and that will definitely need to be focus moving forward for the Huskies.

Needs work: Lindquist’s first start wasn’t pretty – 10 of 26 for 162 yards and a touchdown – and in order for this offense to get going, they have to be a threat to go down the field. Lindquist didn’t lose the game, but if he had hit more open receivers this win should have been a lot easier. With Cyler Miles set to be eligible this coming weekend, you have to feel that his chances of playing increased 10-fold after today’s performance.

Bottom Line: The Huskies got the win. That’s the most important thing, however, the team looked uninspired and lacked fire. While Petersen is an even-keeled coach and teams tend to mirror the personality of the head man, if you go back and look at his Boise State teams, they played inspired and intense football. That isn’t what we saw in today’s game. The Huskies have a tough opponent facing them this week in Eastern Washington who will be highly motivated to beat their bigger brothers to the west and if Washington doesn’t find the fire and intensity necessary to play the game at a high level, the Eagles could shock everyone with a win over the Dawgs.


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