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Husky Game Awards - Illinois

Shaq Thompson gets a lot of love, John Ross is electric, where is Kasen Williams?, Hau'oli Kikaha's big game, Sidney Jones leading the secondary's improvement, and tuck it away Cyler Miles.

Otto Greule Jr

Player of the Game: Shaq Thompson. His defensive touchdowns on a fumble return and interception made him the first Husky player to do so since 1978, and those two scores went a long way in putting the game out of reach even in the first half.

Play of the Game: The ones where John Ross touched the ball. He had a 54 yard return, a -1 yard catch, a 75 yard TD catch, a 16 yard return (which went to the house but came back on a penalty), and a -7 yard run. And for the third straight week, the coaching staff let him disappear in the 2nd half, getting only 1 of his 5 touches then.

Goat of the Game: Cyler Miles. Don't get me wrong, he played well, but he can't flop the ball around on scrambles like it's a loaf of bread.

Stat of the Game: Zero catches for Kasen Williams, and just one target (on which he drew a pass interference).

Who Stepped Up: Hau'oli Kikaha. As we've been clamoring for, we saw Kikaha rush the passer more this week and he led the Huskies in tackles with 6 and sacks with 3. He's 7 sacks away from tying Daniel Te'o Nesheim's UW record.

The Game Tipped When: With the Huskies up 14-3 and Illinois facing a 3rd and 9, Wes Lunt threw a beautiful pass right to Shaq Thompson which went for 6 the other way. It completely changed the course of the game; before that play it looked like the defense was going to be just like it was against Eastern Washington, and after that play the defense tightened down.

It Was Over When: Andrew Hudson forced a fumble on a sack, and Shaq Thompson scooped and scored to put the Huskies up 35-5 midway through the 2nd quarter. It was clear at this point that the Huskies had come to play and were finally playing in a manner that reflected the team's talent level.

Surprise of the Game: Sidney Jones. The true freshman was making his first career start and acquitted himself pretty well. Most of the big plays in Illinois's passing game came on the opposite side of the field, and Jones also played a role (with Kevin King) in forcing a fumble that Hau'oli Kikaha recovered.

WTF Moment of the Game: Tim Beckman. With a 35-12 lead and the ball with a little over a minute left in the half, the Huskies looked content to just run out the clock and get in to the locker room. Beckman decided to use his timeouts, and turned the Huskies running out the clock into the Huskies running a two minute drill. Cyler Miles completed passes of 28 and 25 yards to set up a Cameron Van Winkle field goal as the half expired, and Beckman successfully turned 0 points for his opponent into 3.

Also the quick kick. Always the quick kick.