Washington football opened its 2018 PAC-12 season Saturday night. The Huskies beat Utah 21-7 in a hard-hitting contest.
You had to think that at some point the Washington Huskies were going to run the football. Myles Gaskin was not much of a factor in the first two games and the Huskies were facing a good run defense in the Utah Utes. Saturday’s game was shaping up to be a grind. Gaskin showed his worth early and the Huskies survived a subpar performance from QB Jake Browning to beat the Utes in their PAC-12 opener. Here are 3 takeaways from their hard-fought 21-7 win.
1) Running game saves the day
Myles Gaskin came into the season as the NCAA FBS career leader in rushing yards. However, in the first two games, Gaskin had a difficult time finding space. The Huskies entered Saturday with center Nick Adams limited and without left tackle Trey Adams. Utah was 21st in the nation against the run. In 2017, Gaskin was held to 53 yards against Utah. All signs pointed to another tough game on the ground.
But Gaskin provided a spark early with a 38-yard scamper to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead. He would end up with a total of143 yards, on 30 carries, which was a vital part of the Huskies win. In the first two games, the passing game behind Browning was the focus. On a Saturday, the Huskies sputtered through the air. Browning threw for just 155 yards and only one touchdown.
When The Huskies had trouble throwing, the turned to Gaskin, who dominated for the first time this season. The offense only mustered 327 yards, but the running game accounted for 172 and two touchdowns. It was necessary as this was a tough, low scoring affair won by Washington, who is now 11-1 all-time against Utah.