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Grading the Game: Idaho State Edition

Washington got the blowout that was expected vs. FCS foe Idaho State yesterday. How did the position groups grade out in the 56-0 win?

A glimpse at the future at QB
A glimpse at the future at QB
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I'll level with you guys - a game like this is difficult to grade.  There's the level of competition to account for, and the amount of substitution muddies things.  The temptation is to just give each group an 'A' and call it good, but I'll do what I can to dig a little deeper than that.

QB: It's a testament to how efficient the passing attack has been so far that the 16-21 (76.2%) that Keith Price had yesterday lowered his completion percentage on the season.  If I'm picking nits I'll note that he's looked a little less crisp the last two weeks, a hair late with some of his throws and not leading his guys quite as well.  He throw more downfield yesterday, and I'm sure part of that was Sark wanting to build up KP's confidence in taking more shots in the middle of the field.  Cyler Miles saw his first meaningful snaps and looked promising.  He will clearly be a threat on read-option plays.  Jeff Lindquist saw his first action in garbage time.  Grade:  A-

RB: If Sark were an SEC coach, Bishop Sankey would have set several records yesterday.  Instead, after 4 carries that went for 77 yards, his day was done.  Jesse Callier continues to show progress in his recovery from a knee injury, and has a firm hold on the #2 spot on the depth.  Dwayne Washington was 4th off the bench, but is clearly no worse than the 3rd best option, and if he's fixed his ball-security issues, should go back to challenging Callier for the backup spot - his combination of speed and size is unique on this team.  Deontae  Cooper was the feel-good story of the game, seeing extensive action and scoring his first collegiate TD.  RS-Fr. Ryan McDaniel saw his first action.  Grade:  A

WR/TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins got more into the flow in this one and was a major target for Price.  I think Sark & Price are still figuring out how to best integrate him into the new offense, but he's an obvious weapon with his size and hands.  Kasen looked like a man among boys out there.  Jaydon Mickens continues to establish himself as a big part of the passing offense with his speed and quickness.  John Ross showed his explosiveness with his 57 yard TD catch and run.  My only disappointment was that Demore'ea Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels didn't get more targets, but Washington was basically in run-only mode at that point.  Grade:  A

OL: There wasn't much that went wrong yesterday, but the rash of false start penalties was a biggie.  I'll admit that a few of them seemed awfully minor - usually you can spot them right away when they happen, but I didn't notice at least two of them.  Regardless, Colin Tanigawa undoubtedly got an earful from Cozzetto yesterday, and it's something that will need to get cleaned up before conference play starts next week.  The blocking was as expected, and the backup line got a ton of reps, playing the whole 2nd half.  Grade:  B-

DL: Hau'oli Kikaha got a nice confidence boost with a 2.5 sack game yesterday - he was too much for Idaho State to handle.  Danny Shelton got his first sack, a memorable play where he enveloped Bengal QB Justin Arias like a bear falling on a mouse.  The 'Jetsons' package got more time yesterday, and while it provides a decent rush, it's vulnerable to draw plays.  As with every group, lots of reps for the backups.  Josh Banks got in on 1.5 sacks, and true frosh DE's JoJo Mathis and Marcus Farria saw extensive action.  Farria showed nice burst off the edge.  Grade:  A

LB: As expected MLB John Timu got the day off to continue to recover from his shoulder injury.  He'll be needed for Arizona; he wasn't for this one.  Princeton Fuimaono, Shaq Thompson and Thomas Tutogi didn't have a whole lot to do as the DL cleaned up most of the action early, and the bench came in for much of the game.  Travis Feeney got extensive time as he battles Fuimaono for the starting job.  Jamaal Kearse caught my eye a few times, and Scott Lawyer got in a few tackles.  Grade:  A

Secondary: Early in the game the secondary didn't have to do a whole lot as the front was getting big pressure on ISU, but they did as you'd expect and gave Arias few open options.  Sean Parker got a pick, and the Huskies felt so bad for Idaho State that Tutogi tackled him on the spot so he wouldn't run it back.  Cleveland Wallace had a nice game in reserve with a pick of his own and a pass break up.  Kevin King, Trevor Walker and Travell Dixon saw extensive action as well.  Grade:  A

Special Teams: Cameron Van Winkle is still having some trouble getting consistently deep or high kickoffs.  Ross didn't have much chance to work on his returns as ISU's kicker did a good job with his low ling drive rugby kicks putting them to far away to be fielded.  Grade:  B+

Coaching: This is a tough one to grade.  I would have preferred to see more run calls early as it was clear that Sankey couldn't be stopped, but it obviously didn't matter in the outcome and Sark clearly wanted to work on his passing game and get ASJ more involved.  Obviously the false start penalties and the other calls were aggravating and need to get cleaned up.  I think you have to give some credit to the coaches that the team otherwise looked focused and didn't take the game lightly - this was a rout from just about the first play and the outcome was never in doubt.  Sark & co. were able to sub liberally, and I loved how they got Cooper his TD.  Grade:  B+