USA Today Sports

Game Analysis - Peach Bowl

Here's what went right, what went wrong and what needs work after Washington's 24-7 loss to Alabama in the 2016 Chic-fil-A Peach Bowl...

Turning Point/Play of the Game: The turning point of the game came with 14:45 left in the fourth quarter as Alabama led the Huskies 17-7. Washington's Jake Browning had pinned the Crimson Tide at their own two with a 50-yard quick kick. After two plays that netted just one yard, Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough busted straight up the gut for a 12-yard gain. Three plays later, facing a 2nd-and-9 at their own 32, Scarbrough took a handoff from QB Jalen Hurts, took off over the left side of the line and rumbled 68 yards for a back-breaking touchdown that gave Alabama a 24-7 lead and they would then coast to the win.

Offensive Player of the Game:  It wasn't their fault since they were facing one of the greatest defenses that we've seen at the collegiate level, but there was no offensive players that we could give an award to following this shellacking.

Defensive Player of the Game: DL Vita Vea was the man on the inside for the Huskies today. He was unblockable most of the night with just one lineman and finished with four tackles, one sack and one tackle-for-loss. Sure, he did have a missed tackle or two, but he was a difference-maker up front for the Huskies against a very good Alabama offensive line.

Handouts to the standouts: Kevin King had a great day totaling nine tackles and one tackle-for-loss; JoJo McIntosh brought his big-boy pants and finished with eight tackles and two tackles-for-loss; Budda Baker had six tackles, one sack and one tackle-for-loss, but it was his missed interception on Alabama's first pass that will haunt him; Jaylen Johnson was a monster in the second half, finishing with three tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss; like his linemate, Greg Gaines didn't put up huge numbers, but he was solid most of the day with three tackles and two quarterback hurries; We also can't forget the game that P Tristan Vizcaino had, finishing with a 46.6 yard average on eight punts including a 65-yarder that helped flip the field early in the game.

Stat of the game: UW loses the turnover margin 3-0. Throw out the third turnover, a pick in garbage time, and Washington's two turnovers -- a John Ross fumble and Browning pick six -- gave Alabama 10 points and killed any momentum Washington could have possibly had heading into halftime.

Needs work: The progress of Washington's offensive line has been solid, but make no mistake, this was men against boys most of the day. The Husky offensive line needs to get bigger, stronger and more athletic. Time is on their side, but if they want to win games like this, they have to improve in every facet of the game.

Bottom Line: Washington's defense had a great game and held their own for three quarters before Scarbrough's big run. Offensively, if you had any sort of objectivity, you knew this could be a troublesome matchup and it proved to be as the Huskies were held to a season low 194 yards of offense and just seven points. We all saw what a championship team looks like, now we know how far the Huskies have to go in order to finally get to the top of the college football mountain.


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