Turning Point/Play of the Game: Once the Huskies got up on the Hornets in the second quarter, they just kept piling on the points and the yardage. So, there really wasn’t a key moment when you said “this game is over”. However, preserving the shutout, the first since 2013, was definitely on the minds of those watching the game in the stands. With most of the 4th quarter still to be played, K.J. Carta-Samuels dropped back to pass and was pressured from his left. He tried to escape, but he forgot about ball-security and fumbled, giving the Hornets the ball inside the Husky five yard line. On three-straight plays the Husky defense held strong and then a personal foul penalty on Sac State took what would have been a 34-yard field goal attempt and turned it into a 49-yard attempt. Washington got a good rush from the left side of the Sac State line and senior DT Taniela Tupou was able to get a hand on the ball, preserving the shutout.
Offensive Player of the Game: Two true freshman battled it out, but we'll go with the amazing performance of RB Myles Gaskin who had 14 carries for 146 yards and three touchdown runs of three, 16 and 78 yards.
Defensive Player of the Game: Junior CB Kevin King had a very good day, posting five tackles (four solo), a tackle-for-loss and an interception deep in Sacramento State territory that set up Washington’s third touchdown.
Handouts to the standouts: Jake Browning was a bit shaky early on, but he settled down and played well although he did stumble a bit in the third quarter as well. The freshman quarterback finished 17 of 24 for 326 yards and two scores on the day; Dwayne Washington got just four carries, but he still managed to rush for 13 yards and two touchdowns; the offensive line didn’t get a lot of push early, but eventually they exerted their influence on the game, finishing with 218 yards on the ground; Chico McClatcher scored the first touchdown of his career on a pretty 49-yarder from Browning late in the third quarter. The true freshman also had two carries for 32 yards; senior WR Marvin Hall got his first touchdown as a Husky, a 78-yarder that bounced off the hands of a Sac State defensive back; senior TE Josh Perkins had five receptions for 77 yards including four passes in a row on Washington's last drive of the first half to set up Dwayne Washington's second touchdown run; Jojo McIntosh tied for the team lead with six tackles (three solo); true freshman LB Ben Burr-Kirven also had six tackles (three solo) in mop-up duty; Tupou had two tackles, a tackle-for-loss and the big block; sophomore LB Connor O’Brien, who made the move to “Buck” during the summer, definitely made his presence felt with four tackles (three solo), one sack, two tackles-for-loss and at least two bone-crushing hits; the Husky defense limited Sac State to just 11 rushing yards and 212 total offensive yards on the day.
Stat of the game: Average yards per play – Sac State…3.3…Washington…8.9. Another one worth noting is that Washington only allowed Sac State one series inside the 20 and they held them scoreless while the UW offense went 4 of 4 in the red zone.
Needs work: Washington was 3 of 11 on third down. That area didn’t hurt them as much as you’d think since they also went 2 of 4 on forth down, but early on, the team struggled to get good yardage on first down and against better teams, that could really get this growing offense into trouble.
Bottom line: In the end, this was a game no one thought that Washington would lose and they didn’t. They went out and handled their business. However, it appears that the Myles Gaskin era at Montlake could have started on this early September Saturday and that might not be a bad thing. If they continue to grow and they are able to shore up some of their youthful errors, the Huskies should be a tough out for any opponent they face.