Turning Point/Play of the Game: You could have chosen to plays which came back-to-back in the fourth quarter. The Huskies, trailing Cal 27-21 with about 11:00 minutes remaining in the game, Washington had the ball, 1st and 10 at the Cal 38. Husky QB Jake Browning lofted a pass to a streaking Dwayne Washington who had gotten behind a linebacker, but the ball fell incomplete as Browning threw the ball too far inside and Washington seemed to lose the ball in the sun. That missed scoring opportunity then led to a 2nd and 10 from the same spot and on the next play, Washington had the ball stripped by a Cal defensive lineman, giving the ball back to the Golden Bears at their own 31 and halted the Husky momentum which seemed ready to take over the game.
Offensive Player of the Game: Washington carried the ball just 10 times, but he managed to total 109 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The junior tailback always seemed to be on the verge of breaking a big one, but never was really ever to break free.
Defensive Player of the Game: Third year DL Elijah Qualls had his best day as a Husky, totaling four tackles, two sacks and two tackles-for-loss. He also got numerous pressures on Jared Goff throughout the day and he was a force in the middle of the defensive front.
Handouts to the standouts: CB Sidney Jones had his best game of the season, totaling five tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery that he took back 70 yards for a touchdown and he also broke up two passes as well; LB Cory Littleton had six stops, a tackle-for-loss and sack; LB Keishawn Bierria tied for the team-lead with 12 tackles and a tackle-for-loss; LB Azeem Victor had 12 tackles and a tackle-for-loss; Freshman DE Jaylen Johnson had a sack and four tackles while LB Travis Feeneyhad a sack and four tackles; CB Darren Gardenhire had a touchdown preventing interception late in the first half as well; TE Josh Perkins had a solid afternoon, grabbing five receptions for 55 yards.
Stat of the game: UW's five turnovers really were the difference in the game. Browning's two picks both gave Cal short fields to work with and Washington's fumble killed all of the momentum the Huskies had as they appeared poised to take the lead. Freshman WR Isaiah Renfro's fumble also killed a drive where the Huskies appeared to have some momentum.
Needs work: Besides ball security, tackling needs to be a focus for the Huskies as we counted at least 27 missed tackles during the game.
Bottom Line: Washington's defense played well enough to win, but the offense was brutal today with five turnovers and missed opportunities. Things only get harder, especially over the next six games, so they need to take full advantage of this bye week to get their house in order and get things fixed with a game at USC looming in 12 days.