Turning Point/Play of the Game: Down 17-7 and appearing to have momentum on their side, Washington forced Stanford into a 3rd and 10 from the Cardinal 36. Stop them there and Washington could have brought the game to within three, however, instead, a tunnel screen pass to RB Christian McCaffrey (a throw the UW offense rarely seems to execute, ironically) resulted in a 9.5-yard gain, setting up a 4th and short. The frustration comes when you watch LB Scott Lawyer and S Budda Baker get dragged three yards by McCaffrey, a player who weighs 195 pounds, to get the ball within inches of the first down. After they converted, one play later QB Kevin Hogan found McCaffrey wide open on a wheel route, due to a busted coverage, and the sophomore tailback scampered 50 yards for the score and the rout was on.
Offensive Player of the Game: Who else? RB Myles Gaskin. The freshman is the only consistent threat for the Huskies and he continues to shine, posting his third-straight 100-yard game, finishing with 18 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Game: We’ll give it to Baker since he led the team with 10 tackles and he also had an interception, but he struggled at times tonight as well.
Handouts to the standouts: P Korey Durkee finished with an average of 44.9 yards on seven punts, dropping three inside the 20 and generally not letting McCaffrey get his hands on the ball; freshman WR Chico McClatcher had a nice return to start the second half, a tough 43-yarder, that set up Washington’s best drive of the game, a five-play, 57-yard drive that only saw Gaskin touch the ball; redshirt freshman S Jojo McIntosh totaled seven tackles while seeing lots of reps in place of the suspended Brian Clay; LB Azeem Victor had eight tackles on the night and got his hands on Hogan several times.
Stat of the game: Stanford held the ball for 40:05 while Washington was able to generate just 19:55 in time of possession. Another stat worth mentioning, which definitely helped cause the disparity in that stat was Washington going 4 of 11 on third down while Stanford went 6 of 14 and also went 2 of 2 on fourth down.
Needs work: While you could point to the defense’s inability to get off the field, a big reason they struggled was because of the offense’s inability to make plays. The Huskies have got to figure out a way to get their offense going, whether Jake Browning returns next week or not, because that will go a long way in allowing the defense to stay fresh.
The Bottom Line: This game was set up to be a blowout and that’s exactly what happened. Washington was dominated by the Stanford defense while their own defense held tough, but missed opportunities to get off the field and allowed the Cardinal to score at will. Every game left on Washington’s schedule is winnable but unless the offense figures things out and quickly, they may only win one or two more games.