USA Today Sports

Game Grades - UW vs. Stanford

Here's how we think each position group graded out in Washington's 44-6 win over Stanford on Friday night...

Quarterbacks: Jake Browning finished the night 15 of 21 for 210 yards with three scores. He was poised, he was accurate and he made outstanding decisions. The sophomore stepped up in the biggest game at Husky Stadium in over a decade. Grade: A.

Running Back: Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman combined for 174 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. Gaskin had his first triple-digit game of the season and Coleman was the battering ram the Huskies needed as a change-of-pace to Gaskin. The running backs also did a good job of picking up blitzes which allowed Browning to keep his eyes down the field to make plays. Grade: A.

Receivers/Tight Ends: As far as catching the ball, the tight ends weren't really used, but they did block well on the edge and that allowed the running game to find consistency and to make be plays when they got outside. The receivers only caught 15 passes, but they made the most of their opportunities. John Ross III did manage to grab four passes for 82 yards and a score and continued to show his maturation as a route-runner. Dante Pettis had a big catch on Washington's first drive, hauling in a pretty 38-yarder that set up his three-yard touchdown catch a couple of plays later. The junior finished the night with four receptions for 60 yards and a score. Chico McClatcher finished with four receptions for 44 yards and he also kept Stanford honest on the edges by taking a couple of fly sweeps. Grade: A.

Offensive Line: This was the best game of the season and arguably the past couple of seasons for the Husky offensive line. I thought Trey Adams had a great game while Jake Eldrenkamp and Shane Brostek continued to play at a high level as well. When you rush for 214 yards and your quarterback does not suffer a sack and is rarely pressured against a team like Stanford you get the highest grade possible. Grade: A.

Defensive Line: Just like their offensive line counterparts, the Husky defensive line had one of it's best games. Greg GainesVita Vea and Elijah Qualls each held tough vs. a big and physical offensive line. Qualls caused a ton of problems up front while Gaines and Vea each had sacks. The main subs -- Jaylen Johnson, who is now healthy, and Damion Turpin -- also acquitted themselves well. Grade: A.

Linebackers: The starters -- Azeem VictorKeishawn BierriaConnor O'Brien and Psalm Wooching -- had outstanding games while sub Joe Mathis also had an MVP-like performance. Wooching (three sacks) and Mathis (two sacks) were difference-makers for the defense while Victor led the team with 11 tackles and Bierria totaled eight. O'Brien helped get early pressure on the Stanford quarterbacks and finished with three tackles, one sack and two tackles-for-loss. The only quibble is the missed tackles in the third quarter and that ultimately is why they don't get a perfect grade.  Grade: A-.

Secondary: Washington locked up the Stanford receivers and tight ends most of the night. The holding call on Sidney Jones was a joke and it wasn't until late in the third quarter that the Cardinal was able to move the ball through the air and it was quickly stopped after they scored their only touchdown of the game. Budda Baker had a good night finishing with six tackles while freshman Taylor Rapp looked solid while working heavily into the rotation. Grade: A-.

Special Teams: The missed extra point after Washington's first touchdown was the one glaring issue, but that appeared to be more of a snap and hold problem and not necessarily the kick. The coverage units had one breakdown, Christian McCaffrey's 57-yard kick return, but other than that they were solid and both Ross and Pettis had decent returns. The recover of the muffed punt in the early part of the third quarter was huge and basically put Washington in position to put the game away very early in the second half. Grade: B+.

Coaching: This was the best game that Jonathan Smith has called since he arrived at Washington. Now, it's easy to say that when everything works, but if you break it down, he set up play calls, he stuck with the run and the 16-play, nearly 10-minute drive in the third quarter was a thing of beauty that was executed by the players. On defense, the coaches had the players hyped and ready for what Stanford was going to do and they were able to execute the game plan perfectly. Grade: A.

Overall Grade: What a way to finish September! This team is playing well and appears ready to live up to the hype that many have bestowed upon them. They are currently 5-0 and they will likely be ranked in the top seven when the new polls come out. However, all that being said, if you go out and lose to Oregon next week, the momentum stops and people start to think the win over Stanford was a fluke. Great win for the Dawgs, but there's no rest for the weary. They need to be focused and prepared heading into next Saturday's game in Eugene. Grade: A.


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