clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Good, The Bad & The Unknown: Oregon State

New, 6 comments

Very little to complain about for the first time in quite a while.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Start - For the first time since maybe the Illinois game, Washington came out of the game looking poised and inspired. They jumped out front, grabbed control early, got the crowd involved and put themselves in an easy place for the rest of the game. A welcomed change.

Jonathan Smith - We may be watching an offensive coordinator grow before our eyes as Smith had his second-straight excellent play calling game in-a-row. Smith's plays allowed the Huskies to look smooth and effective with balance and a Beaver defense that looked good against Arizona State never appeared to have a handle on what the Huskies were going to do.

Cyler Miles - Speaking of growing up, it was a second-straight impressive game for Miles. Stats for quarterbacks don't mean as much as they used to, but Miles' line is an efficient one that cannot be ignored and he once again had a good game looking comfortable and making plays with his legs.

Offensive line - This was a game of second-straights and a great performance by the offensive line was another second-straight. Seeing how the unit plays with Mike Criste at center only further fuels my questioning of why he wasn't starting there all season, but whatever, the past is the past and this unit did everything they needed to do again after a woeful first three-fourths of the season.

Running game - Dwayne Washington got a lot of attention for another amazing long burst of a touchdown run, but the overall success of the running game was more of a team effort this week with Washington's big run, quality offensive line play, tough running by Lavon Coleman, Micken's jet sweep and some scrambles by Miles combining for a great performance.

Jaydon Mickens - Mickens has been a bit of an enigma throughout his career, but he had what I think is the best overall game of his career. His catch and run touchdown gave the Husky offense a spark and their first score and his jet sweep basically put the game away. If he can put performances like this together on a regular basis, he can help turn the Husky offense into a unit that opponents will start to fear.

Defensive line as a whole - It was a beautiful curtain call for what could be the best non-Emtman defensive line in Husky history. Hau'oli Kikaha and Andrew Hudson got after the passer, Danny Shelton shut down the middle and Evan Hudson was active and effective. It is going to be very hard to ever match this year's unit.

Andrew Hudson - The entire defensive line played well, but Andrew Hudson once again stood out the most and ended his time in Husky Stadium in a magical way with two sacks.

Bowl game - The Huskies are going to a bowl game for the five-straight season and even if it seems underwhelming at this point, remember that seven year stretch where they did not go to one.

The Bad

Fumbles - Back to second-straights, it was a second-straight game where the Huskies could not hang onto the ball. Luckily they got three back, but you don't want to have to rely on luck and Washington's fumble that was recovered by Oregon State could have been a game-changer.

Mannion's end zone bomb - Mannion's third and forever bomb out of his end zone for 70 plus yards is exactly the kind of play that you can simply not give up. The single play turned the game from what looked like it was going to be an easy blowout, to at least a temporarily close game. When you have an opponent in third and 25 in their own end zone, you absolutely cannot let anything behind you.

Time to go - It is going to be hard to see some of the players that will be graduating or likely leaving for the NFL in the case of Shaq Thompson go. Replacing guys like Danny Shelton, Hau'oli Kikaha, Thompson and even John Timu is not going to be easy.

The Unknown

Improvement? The Huskies have looked like a much better team the past two weeks. Have they turned the corner under Chris Petersen or did they just catch Arizona on an off week and get a bad Oregon State team?

Washington State? Whatever the Cougars do in the rest of the season usually has little to do with how they play in the Apple Cup. Right now they look like a team that can move the ball through the air but cannot stop anyone, but I have seen far too many struggling Cougar defenses suddenly stiffen up come Apple Cup time so who knows which Cougar team will show up in Pullman.

Secondary? The Huskies young secondary has looked solid for the most part without Marcus Peters, but they are going to get a very difficult challenge against Washington State. Will the unit be able to hold up and keep the Cougars from bombing the Huskies through the air? I think they will be reliable to an extent, but are going to need to get help from their pass rush and get scoring from their offense to take some pressure off of them.

Bowl game? The Huskies are going to a bowl game it is just a matter of where. Where will that be? I am guessing the Cactus Bowl.

Third in the North forever? With their dusting of the Beavers, the Huskies settle comfortably into their well-known spot at third in the Pac-12 North. The spot is well and good and a lot better than where they rested for nearly 10 years recently, but the question is now if Chris Petersen can crack that seal on the top two spots and get the Huskies to the next level.