USA Today Sports

Game Grades - UW vs. Rutgers

Here's our look at how each position group performed on Saturday during Washington's 48-13 win over Rutgers with grades to go along with it...

Quarterbacks: Jake Browning got off to a hot start and finished the day 18 of 27 for 287 yards with three touchdowns. He did have an interception and there were two other passes that were dropped by Rutgers defensive backs that should have been interceptions. Overall, Browning looked in control and he showed marked improvement in how he threw the deep ball. Grade: B.

Running Back: It wasn't a great day for the running backs. Some of that can be attributed to Rutgers stacking the box while the lack of much of a push up front by the offensive line also contributed to the down rushing numbers. Whatever it was, the productivity was way below what was expected with Myles Gaskin getting just 57 yards on 15 carries. Grade: D.

Receivers/Tight Ends: Welcome back John Ross III. The speedster had a big first half, grabbing all five of his receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns while also adding a 92-yard kickoff return as well. Chico McClatcher also had a big day, hauling in three receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown while two young receivers -- Andre Baccellia and Aaron Fuller -- both got their first catches as Huskies. At tight end, Darrell Daniels made his presence felt, but he also dropped a touchdown pass, and they combined with the offensive line to be mediocre at best in opening some lanes in the running game. Grade: B.

Offensive Line: On the one hand, the Huskies only allowed Browning to be sacked twice, but overall, this wasn't their best effort. Washington should have been able to put up bigger numbers on Rutgers, regardless of what they decided to do defensively, and to only get your starting runner, a young man who rushed for over 1,300 yards last season, 57 yards on 15 carries, there's definitely a lot of room for improvement. Grade: D+.

Defensive Line: The group was stellar early on, completely shutting down the Rutgers' inside running game. They did get pressure on Chris Laviano, but they only sacked him twice on the day. The scary thing is, this was basically an average day for this group and they were tough to get yards on most of the day. Grade: C+.

Linebackers: As expected Keishawn Bierria (12 tackles, one forced fumble) and Azeem Victor (11 tackles) set the tone early and often. Bierria's hit on Laviano, forcing the first of three turnovers, was big and Victor brought a physical brand of football to the game as well. DJ Beavers did have a costly personal foul penalty that extended a Rutgers drive and some of the younger linebackers looked just so-so, but overall this unit had a very solid game. Grade: B+.

Secondary: Kevin King had a great day, posting seven tackles and a team-leading two tackles-for-loss. Washington really locked down the Rutgers wideouts all day and rarely had a breakdown. Grade: A-.

Special Teams: Cameron Van Winkle's missed field goal was a bit perplexing, but it sounds like Washington rushed things a bit and the whole process of the play was disjointed. It's rare for Van Winkle to miss that badly, so we'll chalk it up to the team being in a rush instead of methodically going through the process. Tristan Vizcaino did a great job of keeping the ball away from Rutgers' dangerous return man, Janarion Grant, on kickoffs, but his punts did leave a lot to be desired as far as distance is concerned. The return game was outstanding with a kickoff (Ross) and punt return (Dante Pettis) for a score and the coverage units were solid most of the game. Grade: B+.

Coaching: Chris Petersen and his staff had the team ready to go and they came out hot and took care of business. Some might question why the Huskies moved away from the run and chose to pass the ball as much as they did, but, like we said earlier, some of that was dictated by what Rutgers did up front. Grade: B+.

Overall Grade: The Huskies took care of business, limited their big mistakes, finished +2 in the turnover department and they had just three penalties. There's plenty to work on, but considering the amount of upsets during the first full weekend of games around college football, for Washington to go out and put it to another Power 5 conference team like they did, it was something Husky nation needed to see. Grade: B.


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