USA Today Sports

Game Grades - UW vs. Arizona

Here's how we think each position group graded out in Saturday's 35-28 win over Arizona...

Quarterbacks: Browning had his moments -- hitting on a couple of long passes while also using his legs to extend plays as well as drives, but his questionable throw to Gaskin that resulted in an interception by Arizona that cut short a UW scoring drive and he also missed a couple of open receivers on key plays that could have extended drives. Grade: B.

Running Back: It was a career-day for Lavon Coleman who finished with 181 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. Myles Gaskin got the most carries (24) and he was able to grind out 85 tough yards. Coleman was a breath of fresh air for the Huskies, but what is perplexing is why Gaskin isn't able to break things open. He has gone down with arm tackles, something that rarely happened last season, and he missed several open holes that could have resulted in big plays. Grade: B+.

Receivers/Tight Ends: The Husky receivers and tight ends definitely helped open things up in the running game and they came up with some big grabs including Dante Pettis who score the game winner in overtime on a very nice four-yard touchdown reception. Pettis also had two other grabs that went for first downs. John Ross III didn't get a lot of touches, but he made the most of what he was given, taking an end around 32 yards for a touchdown while also posting a team-high four receptions for 28 yards and another score. Darrell Daniels had a touchdown pass slip through his fingers, albeit the throw was behind him, but he also made a couple of key blocks that sprung Coleman.. Grade: B+.

Offensive Line: This was by far the best game yet for the Husky offensive line. They paved the way for 352 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Jake Eldrenkamp and Shane Brostek both played arguably their best games. Each pulled and mashed the opponents when called upon. Arizona did post four sacks, but some of that can be attributed to Browning holding the ball a little too long and there were a couple of penalties from the linemen that need to be cleaned up. Grade: B+.

Defensive Line: The Huskies didn't get a lot of penetration up front and they did allow the Wildcats to run for over 300 yards and Vita Vea did miss the chance to get a key sack late in the game as he tried to strip the ball rather than wrapping up the quarterback. In the long run, the defensive line made some plays when it counted, but they left a lot more plays on the field. Grade: C+.

Linebackers: Azeem Victor had a key forced fumble and finished tied for the team-lead with 10 tackles and Joe Mathis had a sack, six tackles and a quarterback hurry that resulted in another sack, but he also left a gaping hole on the right side on one play which allowed Brandon Dawkins to break off a big run that set up Arizona's third score on the day and Psalm Wooching missed Dawkins on another play that resulted in a 79-yard touchdown run.  Grade: C+.

Secondary: When you take on the nickname "Death Row" for your secondary, you'd better play like it. While Arizona didn't carve up the Dawgs through the air, they certainly made plays to extend drives and the long pass from Dawkins to Shun Brown was played horribly by Budda Baker who typically has great ball skills. Kevin King had a great interception while Darren Gardenhire was called twice for pass interference, one of which came because he was badly beaten off the line of scrimmage. Grade: B-.

Special Teams: The glaring issue is Cameron Van Winkle's two missed field goals. One hit the upright while the other was pushed right. Had he converted on both of those attempts, the Huskies would have had a comfortable lead late in the game and it likely wouldn't have gone to overtime. Credit Gardenhire with a big hit on Arizona returner Nate Phillips forced a fumble and Jordan Miller with being in the right place at the right time to pounce on the ball. Pettis really made a huge mistake on a short punt and surrendered at least 25 yards of field position when he could have fair caught the ball. Grade: C.

Coaching: The gameplan heading in was to grind things out and that's what the Huskies did, totaling 51 carries for 352 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. There were a couple of questionable calls on short carries that resulted in Washington failing to get enough yardage to continue their drive. Overall the offensive production, at least when you look at the stat sheet, looks good, but there were plenty of missed chances to put the game away. Defensively, the Huskies always seem to struggle with running quarterbacks and this game was no different. In the end, they did what they needed to do to get the win, but this game was a lot closer than it should have been. Grade: C+.

Overall Grade: Arizona played out of the minds early on and had J.J. Taylor not gone down with an injury, they might have made things too tough on the Dawgs who played well below their capabilities. The sign of a good team is one that can play poorly and still come out with the win. Hopefully the Huskies learned some lessons in today's game. Either way, they are 4-0 and headed toward a big matchup with Stanford this weekend. Grade: B.


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