©Kim Grinolds / Dawgman.com

Grades for each position group after re-watching the Utah State/Washington game

We've gone over the film and we're ready to give our grades for each position group from Washington's game with Utah State on Saturday..

Quarterbacks:  Jake Browning continues to shine and appears to be growing into his role as the leader of the offense. All the freshman did was go out and hit on 22 of his 31 attempts for 368 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. At one point, Browning hit 12 passes in a row. Other than his first throw which was well behind his intended receiver and his one really bad decision, the interception in the third quarter, Browning was almost flawless in his play on Saturday. Jeff Lindquist got some reps as a Wildcat quarterback, but he fumbled late in the game and it was returned 97 yards by Utah State’s Jontrell Rocquemore which brings down the overall grade just a bit. Grade: B+

Running Backs: It’s tough to say if the lack of run production -- 74 yards on 35 carries -- was on the tailbacks or the offensive line and receivers not getting it done with their blocking. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but for the most part, this group’s overall grade was saved by the productivity of Dwayne Washington as a receiver out of the backfield. Grade: C

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: Drew Sample had a touchdown, Darrell Daniels had a big day -- four receptions for 75 yards -- and receivers Brayden Lenius and Jaydon Mickens both had four receptions for 54 yards each. Lenius’s fumble deep in Husky territory and the lack of run blocking on the edge and down the field really hurts the overall grade here. Grade: B -

Offensive Line: The offensive line struggled mightily to get a push in the running game, but they had a solid afternoon pass-blocking and that was with a patchwork offensive line that included a true freshman (Trey Adams) at left tackle, redshirt freshmen at right tackle (Kaleb McGary) and right guard (Jesse Sosebee) and one regular starter (Coleman Shelton) moving from tackle to guard. Lots of work to be done and it’ll be interesting to see if Jake Eldrenkamp gets back healthy enough to move Shelton back to left tackle. Grade: C+

Defensive Line: While they didn’t get a lot of pressure up front, they held strong at the point of attack and allowed just 83 yards on 30 carries. There are times when a defensive line’s overall contribution can’t be seen in individual statistics and this game is a perfect example. Grade: B+

Linebackers: Collectively, especially the starting four, the linebackers had their best game of the season as a unit. Azeem Victor, Keishawn Bierria and Cory Littleton flew around and made plays while Travis Feeney still played a bit out of control, but even he was effective in what he was asked to do. When Scott Lawyer and Sean Constantine replaced Bierria and Victor there was a bit of a drop off, but not enough to worry you. The linebackers were asked to be very active and they obliged by getting pressure on the quarterback and holding strong against the run. Grade: A

Secondary: Kevin King and Brandon Beaver both had picks and the secondary batted balls down and, aside from one long play, they held the Utah State passing game in check. Overall this was a solid effort by the young secondary, especially considering that they lost their leader, Budda Baker, early in the game to an ankle injury. Grade: B

Special Teams: Korey Durkee had only two punts, but he averaged 52.5 yards per attempt and he dropped one inside the five with a perfectly spun ball. Cameron Van Winkle had a 48-yard field goal in the first quarter while backup kicker Tristan Vizcaino came on to score a touchdown on a fake field goal. The coverage units did break down a bit, allowing 60-yard kickoff return that set up a score for the Aggies, but overall, the Special Teams were solid. Grade: B

Coaching: The coaches figured out early on they weren’t going to be able to run on the Aggies who stacked the box and brought a plethora of run-blitzes, so they changed up their game plan a bit and let Browning go out and win the game. It was a good idea to get Daniels more involved in the passing game, he might be the best overall athlete on the team, and on defense the coaches got their players to fly around, make plays and give the ball back to their offensive teammates. Grade: B+

The Bottom Line: The Huskies are 2-1 heading into the Pac 12 schedule, exactly where most people thought they would be, and now they face their toughest test thus far, a talented Cal squad show still struggles on defense, but whose offense can score seemingly at will. This is where the rubber meets the road and if the Huskies can build on this convincing win over Utah State, they could make some noise by the end of the season.

 

 

 

 


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