Turning Point/Play of the Game: It was more of a series of plays instead of just one. With the Huskies leading 17-10 in the third quarter, Washington went on their best drive of the second half, a 10-play, 61-yard drive, but it ended with an missed 45-yard field goal by K Cameron Van Winkle. While that was ultimately the play that cost the Huskies points, you could also point to QB Jake Browning underthrowing TE Josh Perkins for what should have been a sure touchdown on second down and then Browning took a nine-yard loss on a sack which made the field goal a 45 yarder instead of a 36 yarder.
Now, the argument can be made that the Huskies were still leading, but after that, the wind completely seemed to be out of the Husky sails and the Arizona State defense was emboldened, pinning their ears back and getting after Browning for the rest of the fourth quarter.
Offensive Player of the Game: RB Myles Gaskin was huge in the first half for the Dawgs as they took a 17-3 lead into the locker room, as the freshman rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown in the first 30 minutes. The problem? He only touchded the ball five more times in the game and finished with just 108 yards on the day.
Defensive Player of the Game: LB Cory Littleton had a big game, totaling eight tackles and a sack on Mike Bercovici that will be one of the hits of the year.
Handouts to the standouts: Yes he finished the game with three interceptions, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Browning had his biggest game, statswise so far this season, dropping back 52 times and completing 28 of his passes for 405 yards and a touchdown. Browning also had several nice runs that resulted in first down on a nifty five-yard carry that saw him break four tackles; WR Jaydon Mickens had has best game of the season, finishing with five receptions for 100 yards; TE Darrell Daniels had his biggest game of the season, hauling in four receptions for 61 yards and a score; LB Azeem Victor had nine tackles and a tackle-for-loss; S Brian Clay led the Huskies with 10 tackles (eight solo) and also had a tackle-for-loss; LB Keishawn Bierria had five tackles and two sacks on the day.
Key stat: The Huskies lost four turnovers, three interceptions and a fumble, while ASU had no turnovers. Granted, two were on interceptions late in the game where the Dawgs didn't have much of an option other than to throw the ball, but the fumble and Browning's first pick, after ASU went up 20-17, were just killers.
Needs work: Washington needs to figure out how to finish opponents off. They left at least 18 points on the field with missed opportunities -- wide open receivers who either dropped a pass or Browning overthrowing/underthrowing open wideouts -- and those definitely will haunt the Dawgs over the next week.
The Bottom Line: Many have questioned why the Huskies went away from the run in the second half and a big reason is because ASU brought eight players down into the box. With that happeneing, they had to throw the ball and they just didn't make the plays when they were needed. Either missed connections on over/under throws or dropped passes that could have extended drives. Washington is now 4-6 and facing a daunting task, winning their final two games, to get bowl-eligible. Next week the Huskies have a chance to get better against a very bad Oregon State squad, but what happens when they go into the Apple Cup with a fired up Cougar squad that is playing well and hoping to keep them from playing in a bowl? It's going to be a long week for the Dawgs who will be licking their wounds after this loss for a long time. There might not have been a more frustrating loss than this one all season. They can't fold up their tents though. The need to get back to work and focus on the task at hand and hopefully play much better, both offensively and defensively, in the final two games of the season.