Offensive Game Ball Goes To: Jake Browning
Can we honestly justify naming anyone else here? Jake Browning turned in the most efficient game of his young career by completing 18 of his 20 passes (90 percent) for 211 yards and four touchdowns and zero picks. According to Adam Jude, that percentage is the best single-game completion rate in school history by a quarterback who attempted a minimum of 20 passes. That his performance came against a Pac-12 opponent, even one as feeble as Oregon State has shown itself to be this year, makes it all the more impressive.
Defensive Game Ball Goes To: Azeem Victor
During the summer, many astute observers expected Victor to establish himself as a high level player this year, but not many could have expected him to headline what is likely one of the two best linebacker corps in the entire conference. Azeem's stats don't jump off of the page—that tends to be the case when the opponent runs just 46 plays and controls the ball for 18:38—but his three tackles, one pass broken up and one fumble forced speak to the level of chaos he's a threat to bring on each and every play. Finally, Travis Feeney deserves an honorable mention here for his touchdown-saving tackle on Paul Lucas' long run in the first quarter. Speaking of which ...
Most important play: Paul Lucas' 76-yard run to the Washington 8-yard line
In a game in which the Huskies scored 52 points, it may seem odd to single out a scoring play in which Washington seized momentum and left the Beavers in the dust. The truth of it, though, is that the Huskies seized that momentum on the opening kickoff and never looked back. Rather, then, this play deserves attention because it was the one moment when the Beavers threatened to breathe a bit of life into the stadium. Down 21-0 with 5:00 left in the first quarter, Paul Lucas took advantage of some sloppy tackling by the Huskies to slip their grasp and take off with nothing but green grass between him and the end zone. If he scores on that drive, the Huskies have a two-possession lead with 50 minutes left in the game, and who knows what happens then? Thankfully, we'll never know due to Travis Feeney's fantastic hustle that brought Lucas down at the 8-yard line. Three incomplete passes and a 10-yard holding penalty later, Garrett Owens hooked his 36-yard field goal attempt, and the Beavers didn't get on the scoreboard until late in the third quarter, when the game's outcome had been decided long before.
Most Important Statistic: 2 (OSU drives that didn't end in a three-and-out, turnover or end of half/game)
It's difficult to imagine ways for a college football team to play more efficiently than Washington did Saturday. In addition to the offense providing breathing room by engineering scoring drives on its first six possessions, the defense put on a master's course in keeping the opposing team from establishing a rhythm. In the game's first 30 minutes, UW's defense allowed Oregon State to possess the ball for just 9:54, during which their drives proceeded as follows: Three-and-out, three-and-out returned for a touchdown, missed field goal, three-and-out, fumble recovered by Washington, three-and-out, three-and-out, end of half. That's nothing short of pure domination.
Most Encouraging Takeaway: Huskies did exactly what was expected
As many Husky fans have been reminded this fall, having a team made up of primarily freshmen and sophomores is a recipe for seeing maddeningly inconsistent play on the field. No time had that been truer than a week earlier, when the Dawgs surrendered a 17-0 lead and allowing the Sun Devils to storm back by scoring 27 unanswered points. It was refreshing, then, to see the Huskies (favored by 15 points on the road) come out and deliver the kind of efficient beat down on an inferior team that was expected of them.
Biggest Source of Frustration: Injuries keep piling up
This late into the season, it's not surprising to see injuries playing their part in reshuffling the depth chart, but it's still disappointing to see the impact they've made, especially on the front seven. Elijah Qualls has now missed three consecutive games entirely as well as most of a fourth following a nagging ankle injury suffered against Arizona. On top of that, Travis Feeney, one of the undisputed leaders of the defense, is now likely questionable for the Apple Cup after leaving the OSU game in the first quarter after aggravating a previous shoulder injury. Losing the team's best pass rusher will be felt especially hard against Wazzu's Air Raid, though the Cougars are facing their own hard-felt injury issues following Luke Falk's being carted off the field against Colorado.