UW

No. 4 Huskies’ Myles Gaskin has put worries of sophomore slump to rest

Nov 1, 2016, 7:00 AM | Updated: 9:06 am
Myles Gaskin rushed for 151 yards against Utah for his fourth straight game with at least 100. (AP)...
Myles Gaskin rushed for 151 yards against Utah for his fourth straight game with at least 100. (AP)
(AP)

In each of the first four games of the Washington Huskies’ season, Myles Gaskin failed to reach the 100-yard mark, prompting questions about a potential sophomore slump for the talented running back out of Seattle’s O’Dea High School.

Four games later, those questions have been put to rest.

Gaskin has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of No. 4 UW’s past four wins, including 151 in last Saturday’s 31-24 victory over No. 16 Utah. He has 878 yards on the year, ranking 19th in the country and first in the Pac-12.

So, has anything changed since those first four games?

UW coach Chris Petersen addressed that on Monday, and the answer is yes – and not just as it pertains to Gaskin.

“I think opportunities and touches and a combination of the O-line doing a little better,” Petersen said. “Getting into a rhythm, so when the O-line is covering guys up, he’s going to find creases, and then when they don’t … he’s getting positive things, and he can make a guy miss and run through a tackle. I think it always comes back to kind of that rhythm and that flow of being able to stay on the field and keep giving him the ball.”

Huskies’ Dante Pettis, Azeem Victor win Pac-12 player of the week awards

The offensive line surely deserves credit for getting the running game on track, as it isn’t just Gaskin that has found success in recent weeks. Lavon Coleman, who has been the Huskies’ change-of-pace back, has built off of a breakout 181-yard performance in Week 4 against Arizona, rushing for 231 yards on just 32 carries for a 7.2 average over the past four games.

The combination of the bruising Coleman, shifty Gaskin and steadily improving offensive line has resulted in a UW running game that ranks 27th in the FBS at 224 rushing yards per game. Put that together with the highly efficient passing attack led by quarterback Jake Browning, and it’s easy to see why the Huskies are still undefeated after eight games.

Staying on the road

The Huskies head to Berkeley this Saturday for a night game against the Cal Bears, who are 4-4 overall and sit fourth in the Pac-12 North with a 2-3 conference record. It will be the second straight away game for UW, and while that may sound like a disadvantage, there is something to be said for staying out on the road after playing at Utah last weekend, according to Petersen.

“I think it’s good we just went on the road in a tough environment, so it just feels a lot different playing at home than on the road,” Petersen said. “To go right back into another (road) environment I think can be a positive. Cal is good at home like most are. If we’ve got to go on the road, to go back-to-back I think is OK.”

The Cal game will be the final road contest for the Huskies until the Apple Cup in Pullman on Nov. 25.

UW

Pac-12...
The Associated Press

Pac-12 Commissioner Kliavkoff jabs Big 12, touts future after USC, UCLA

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said his conference is far from finished, despite the defections of Southern California and UCLA.
2 months ago
UW Huskies...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard breaks down what he was told was ‘worst day’ in Pac-12 history

Former UW QB and current college football analyst Brock Huard shared his thoughts on the departure of USC and UCLA from the Pac-12.
3 months ago
WSU Jahad Woods...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus: WSU, other small schools ‘going to suffer’ after Pac-12 shakeup

In his latest video for Seattle Sports 710 AM, Michael Bumpus discusses the fallout of USC and UCLA leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.
3 months ago
Pac-12...
Brandon Gustafson

What report of USC and UCLA leaving Pac-12 means for UW and WSU

With reports of shakeup to the Pac-12 conference, Michael Bumpus explains what that means for UW and WSU going forward.
3 months ago
Hugh McElhenny...
The Associated Press

Hall of Fame NFL RB, UW standout Hugh McElhenny dies at 93

NFL Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenny, an elusive running back from the 1950s who starred for the Washington Huskies, has died. He was 93.
3 months ago
UW Huskies Lindsay Meggs...
The Associated Press

UW Huskies baseball coach Lindsay Meggs retires after 13 seasons

UW Huskies baseball coach Lindsay Meggs announced his retirement Monday after 317 wins and three NCAA Tournament appearances in 13 seasons.
4 months ago
No. 4 Huskies’ Myles Gaskin has put worries of sophomore slump to rest