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A closer look at what went right, what went wrong and what needs work during Washinton's 31-17 win over Utah State

Dawgman.com take's a closer look at what happened in Washington's solid 31-17 win over Utah State on Saturday at Husky Stadium...

Turning Point/Play of the Game: Dwayne Washington’s 81-yard scamper early in the second quarter broke open the game and put a cushion between the Huskies and the Aggies that the visitors just couldn’t overcome. On 3rd and 11 from the UW 19, freshman QB Jake Browning dropped back to pass. He was flushed to his left and he found Washington open in the flat with tons of open field in front of him. Washington outraced a diving Nick Vigil to the sideline and then raced untouched to the endzone to give the Huskies a 10-0 lead.

Offensive Player of the Game: It’s hard to overlook Washington’s contributions, but Browning definitely was the key to the Husky offensive attack. Browning went 22 of 31 for 368 yards and three touchdowns. At one point, after his one miscue of the day, an interception on a poorly thrown pass in the third quarter, Browning hit on 12 straight passes before Quinton Pounds dropped a pass late in the fourth quarter.

 

Defensive Player of the Game: We’d love to give it to the entire starting linebacker unit as they collectively had their best game of the season, however, since this is a player-specific “award” we’ll go with Azeem Victor who racked up 12 tackles, 11 at before halftime, and a tackle-for-loss in the win.

Handouts to the standouts: Darren Gardenhire had probably his best game as a Husky, totaling eight tackles and a pass breakup. While he was solid in coverage, he’ll probably have nightmares about the missed interception he had bounce of his hands in the second quarter; Keishawn Bierria was seemingly all over the field, posting seven tackles and half a tackle-for-loss; Cory Littleton also had a solid afternoon, managing five tackles and half a tackle-for-loss; Kevin King has had an interception in each of Washington’s three games, adding his third in the second quarter when he came off of his own man and tracked down a deep pass from Chuckie Keeton; Brandon Beaver got his first interception as a Husky and actually now holds the record for the longest interception return as he picked off Keeton at the goal line and raced 97 yards before being hauled down at the Utah State three yard line by Hunter Sharp; Washington didn’t have a good day on the ground, carrying the ball just five times for two yards, but he did managed to lead the team with five receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns; Darrell Daniels had his biggest game of the season, seeing six targets and hauling in four receptions for 75 yards including two that were big third down conversions; P Korey Durkee only had two punts, but he did manage to post a 52.5 yard average and he dropped one inside the two yard line, getting the ball to hit the and go sideways out of bounds; K Tristan Vizcaino scored a touchdown in the third quarter on a fake field goal and he hit the one PAT he was asked to hit as well. He also had six kickoffs with three going for touchbacks and only one landing outside the endzone.

Stat of the game: Washington only allowed a 33% conversion rate on third downs (5 of 15) which made it very difficult for Utah State to sustain drives and allowed the Huskies to get the ball in relatively good field position most of the day.

 

Needs work: Yes, Utah State has a very good run defense, but the Huskies are going to face plenty of good ones in the coming weeks when they start playing Pac 12 teams, so when you consider that they rushed for just 74 yards on 35 carries, that is an area that should concern Husky fans.

 

Bottom Line: Washington is 2-1 heading into conference play, where most people thought they would be. Now the real work begins. The Huskies definitely have a lot of work to do to in the running game, but overall, you have to like the direction that the offense is headed and how comfortable Browning appears to be getting and with a young and aggressive defense starting to bare it’s fangs as well, things could be shaping up for some upsets this fall.


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