It was a bounce-back Saturday as the Washington football team beat Stanford 27-23. Here are three takeaways from an important win.
Washington football got back on the winning track with a 27-23 win over Stanford. The win was much needed as Washington moved to 7-3 on the season. Here are three takeaways from the win.
The Huskies finally got off to a fast start
Slow starts had been plaguing the Huskies in the last few weeks. That was largely due to quarterback Jake Browning’s inconsistent play. Against the Cardinal, Browning ran for a score and passed for another as the Huskies jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
There seemed to be more urgency from UW early and it was a good sign as the season was starting to slip away from Chris Petersen’s club. Browning still wasn’t great (16/27 for 194 yards) but the early touchdowns set the tone. RB Myles Gaskin scored early in the second quarter to make it 21-0. The Huskies would need all of that and more as Stanford rallied in the second half.
All in all, it was the start that Petersen has been waiting for. It was nice to have the talented Gaskin back after missing time due to injury. He certainly adds another dimension to the Washington offense.
Myles Gaskin changes everything
Gaskin was just what the doctor ordered for Browning and the offense. After missing two games with a shoulder injury, Gaskin was a workhorse, carrying the ball 28 times for 148 yards and a second-quarter score. It was quite a bit of work for a guy who missed two weeks, but he was certainly fresh and ready to play.
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You could see early on just how much the offense missed Gaskin. A trio of backs did an admirable job in his absence, but Gaskin is on a different level. If he stays healthy, UW has a chance to win the final two games and reach the Rose Bowl. The Huskies will need Gaskin playing at full speed if they are to beat Washington State in the Apple Cup.
The defense was terrific in the first half, but are they wearing down?
The defense didn’t allow a first-quarter first down to Stanford. They also picked off Cardinal quarterback K.J. Costello twice in the first half. Stanford had just 96 yards of offense until the final drive of the second quarter.
As in other weeks, the defense struggled in the second half. In all, Costello threw for 347 yards and had a chance to complete the improbable comeback, but threw his third interception of the game on the final play to Taylor Rapp, sealing Stanford’s fate.
The Washington defense could not get stops in the second half and were victims to some quick possessions by their own offense. In other games this season, the Huskies have played well defensively in the first half and not in the second. You have to wonder if shouldering so much of the load, and carrying the offense at times is beginning to have an effect on the Huskies defense.
UW gets a much-needed bye this week before hosting 2-7 Oregon State. This late off-week did not help them earlier in the season but could be a major advantage paired with what should be an easy win over the Beavers.
Washington should be rested and ready for the Apple Cup in three weeks.