It was a tough day for Washington football. The Huskies lost a 30-27 heartbreaker to Oregon in OT. Here are three takeaways.
Washington football saw their college football playoff dreams take a fatal blow as they dropped a 30-27 decision in overtime to the Oregon Ducks. It was the second loss of the season to a ranked opponent and likely ended any thought of playing for the National Championship. Here are three takeaways from Oregon’s upset of Washington.
The shaky kicking game finally came back to bite Washington
Peyton Henry had missed 3 of his last 4 kicks entering the game on Saturday. A couple of weeks ago, when asked about Henry, coach Chris Petersen deflected any discussion about it. Petersen said he wasn’t going to speak negatively about any players and reiterated that Henry was a good kicker and would make kicks going forward.
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Well, yesterday that didn’t happen. Henry missed a potential game-winning 37-yard kick, wide right, and the Huskies went on to lose in overtime. When your team is playing for a conference title and national semifinal spot, the kicker is going to have to make a pressure kick here and there. This is an Achilles heel that now gives Petersen and his staff something to address in a hurry in preparation for Colorado this weekend.
After the game, Petersen supported his kicker again. He said that Henry will get better. The Huskies will need their kicker again at some point this season and a different result is needed.
The Washington defense had issues with the run, again.
The Huskies defense had given up over 100 yards rushing to a few different backs this season, Saturday was no different. CJ Verdell carried the ball 29 times for 111 yards, wearing the defense down enough to set up his winning score in overtime.
Verdell blew through the middle of Washington’s defensive line to score on a 6-yard jaunt, sealing the victory in front of the home crowd. The Huskies’ defense had shown some cracks in recent weeks. OU’s 30 points were the most Washington allowed in a single game this season.
The Ducks picked up 11 first downs on the ground, were 9 of 18 on third downs, and three for three on fourth down conversions. It was a less than stellar effort for a UW defense, who had been one of college football’s stingiest, until that point.
Injuries in the backfield did not help late
The Huskies did net 437 yards on the day but lost both Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed to injury in the second half. This didn’t help the offense in overtime as they had to settle for a 22-yard Henry field goal to go up by three points, opening the door for the winning score from Verdell.
One reason for Jake Browning’s recent success was the emergence of the running game. Gaskin and Ahmed have become a good dual threat which helped balance the offense. Their status will be something to watch this week in practice.
Chris Petersen’s specialty has been keeping positive and correcting mistakes. Washington should bounce back next week as they re-focus their attention to a PAC-12 title and Rose Bowl.