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The good, the bad and the unknown: Utah State

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Washington proved a little bit with a dominant win over a tough Utah State team.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The good

Jake Browning - Browning looked every bit the part of the future star that Husky fans have been dreaming about Saturday against a tough Utah State defense. He made beautiful touch and timing passes like an NFL QB, had a scoring drive where it seemed like he was the only driving force and made plays when it seemed like there was no space to make one. Also, his mobility might be the best I have ever seen from a young Husky QB as he is already adept at avoiding pressure and making passes down the field. The Husky offense is in very good hands if he can play this way as the season progresses.

Defense - This was another stellar overall performance by a young defense that is almost completely rebuilt. The unit used their speed advantage and exploited a banged up opposing quarterback for a dominant performance. The unit doesn't appear to have fallen off much thus far despite losing loads of NFL talent.

Coaching - This was maybe the first game of the Petersen era where I came away really enthused with the coaching staff. The staff used trick plays perfectly as sparks, schemed some stuff to get a struggling offense going and really seemed to have whatever Utah State tried on offense figured out except for a fluky play here and there.

Trick plays - Two well-executed trick plays that were huge in the game were exactly what I think I expected to see from Petersen's teams when he was hired.

Dwayne Washington, wide receiver - Now I see why Washington was originally a wide receiver. The rangy speedster looked deadly playing out in space and could maybe become Washington's Byron Marshall as a guy who can run for and receive for 1,000 yards in different seasons.

Azeem Victor - Another stud game from the inside linebacker who seems to be in on every play, especially when they needed him to be in the first half. This guy looks like he is ready to become an all-time great for the Huskies at linebacker as he had another 10 plus tackle game.

Elijah Qualls - Overall, the whole defense played well, especially up front, but Qualls was the most noticeable, especially on pass plays. He has a rare ability as a defensive tackle to collapse the pocket and was huge on holding up against the run, especially on short downs.

The Bad

The Wildquist - I get why it has been tried and I really like Lindquist as a team player, but this option needs to die a horrible, horrible death. It is painfully predictable, only averages about three yards per-play at best against non-Georgia State competition and generally seems to disrupt the flow of the offense.

Budda Baker injury - A high ankle sprain for Baker is potentially catastrophic for the Husky defense the week before facing Cal's Bear Raid. The Huskies have depth at safety, but losing maybe the best player on the entire team right before Pac-12 play is a serious blow.

Offensive line - The Huskies faced off against another good Mountain West front, but it was still no excuse for  how poorly the Huskies were able to move things up front in the run game. Shuffling things around on the line against didn't appear to do much and this unit is going to have to take some major steps forward or winning games in the Pac-12 is going to be tough.

Beaver/King return - Brandon Beaver's inability to finish off a return and Kevin King's inability to recognize that he needed to make just the slightest of blocks caused a 14-point swing. That kind of mishap easily could have cost the Huskies the game and made the game appear much closer on paper than it really was.

The Unknown

Running game vs. the Pac-12? Can the Huskies find a way to run the ball in Pac-12 play? Or were Boise State and Utah State's fronts actually just as good as some of the better Pac-12 fronts?

Who is the running back? Dwayne Washington's hasn't found a crack yet and might move more to being a wide receiver, Myles Gaskin didn't look the same against an FBS defense and Lavon Coleman hasn't shown anything yet either. Who is going to the option(s) at running back in Pac-12 play?

Pass rush against the Pac-12? The Huskies found some pass rushing (primarily from Cory Littleton) at times against Boise State and Utah State, but they also frequently let those teams' quarterbacks stand untested in the pocket and that won't work against most Pac-12 offenses. Can the Huskies find some consistent pass rushing options against better teams with Hau'oli Kikaha no longer around to do it by himself?

Offensive line starters? The line has seemingly tried a dozen different players as starters, but nothing really seems to work in the run game against FBS opponents. Who are going to be the full-time starters?

Go-to receiver? Browning has spread the ball around to a lot of receivers, but no one seems to be a consistent option. The Huskies are really going to need a receiver or two to step up as consistent go-to options for Browning when they start playing better secondaries.

Cal? The Bears have looked quite improved in 2015, still have a top-flight offense and NFL quarterback, but their competition thus far is still a little bit suspect as San Diego State and Texas are far worse this year than they usually are. Are the Bears truly the progressed team that is ready to knock Washington out of the top half of the North or are they still the team that Washington thrashed last year in Berkeley with a good offense but horrible defense?