No. 5 Huskies roll to 41-17 win over Oregon State
As expected, the No. 5 Washington Huskies didn’t have much trouble against Oregon State on Saturday night, rolling to a 41-17 win. But perhaps the most telling thing about the game wasn’t the final score or any individual performances, but what it said about UW’s season so far.
That’s because, despite being a one-sided affair, it was one of the least impressive games in the Huskies’ undefeated campaign, second only to their 35-28 win over Arizona that took an overtime period to be settled.
Against the Beavers, quarterback Jake Browning had a strong 172.7 rating, yet it was his second lowest of 2016 as a talented Oregon State secondary kept his completion percentage at an even 50. The defense pitched a shutout through the first half, but it also looked as human as it has all year on a 75-yard end-around touchdown run by Victor Bolden in the third quarter. The Huskies couldn’t even cover the spread, lofty as it might have been set at 36.5 points.
That’s how dominant the Huskies have been this year, though. Those three factors, pretty minor in scope, were all it took to make their blowout seem ho-hum.
Don’t expect that to be the case next week, however. Now at 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-12, they’ll hit the road for a huge Top 25 showdown with No. 19 Utah in a possible conference championship game preview.
Turning point: John Ross found himself open downfield on Washington’s second play from scrimmage, bringing in a long bomb from Jake Browning for 51 yards, getting himself some extra yardage thanks to a nifty stop-and-start move as soon as he made the catch. The play could have gone for even longer (and likely a touchdown) if he had ran back to the center of the field instead of drifting to the north side of the field, where he was caught by a Beavers defender. The Huskies were in the end zone two plays later and Oregon State was never a threat to their lead from there.
Biggest takeaway: The Huskies aren’t superhuman, but they’re so in sync right now that the scoreboard barely even reflected the few things that Oregon State did good against them. It’s looking more and more each week like there’s nobody in the Pac-12 who can catch up to Washington. Then again, next week will play a big part in clearing up that assumption.
Player of the game: Ross may have been held out of the end zone, but he had 95 yards on his first two receptions and finished with 115 on four. That all came in the first quarter, not only helping the Dawgs set the tone in the win but also opening things up for fellow receiver Dante Pettis, who hauled in four passes for 112 yards and two scores.
Passing grades: Browning had his moments and still got his numbers, throwing for 291 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. But it wasn’t as easy for him against Oregon State as it has been for most of the season, as he completed just 14 of his 28 attempts – a very pedestrian ratio compared to his usual output in 2016 – and didn’t quite have the same touch on the deep ball and in the red zone as has come to be expected of him.
On the ground: Myles Gaskin had a big game, rushing for 128 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. His one score came on a drive where the Huskies decided to ride the hot hand, as he racked up 52 yards on a 74-yard drive.
Home cooking: The Huskies have yet to play a competitive game at home. With their win over Oregon State, they’ve now outscored opponents 233-53 at Husky Stadium. And as if that isn’t impressive enough, consider the fact that their most lopsided win, the 70-21 laugher over Oregon, was in Eugene.