Coach Pete returned home to a warm reception from his old fans, but his old team put up a bit of a fight, too much for Petersen's young Dawgs to handle, as they were sent packing 16-13 in the final moments.
The Huskies struggled through the first half, lucky to only be down 13-0. The offense couldn't get any push at the line of scrimmage and Dwayne Washington was able to run into his offensive linemen's backs over and over again for minimal gains. The ball didn't move much better through the air, however. Jonathan Smith did everything in his power to protect true freshman Jake Browning: passes were more often thrown to or behind the line of scrimmage instead of beyond it.
It led to a stagnant offense that had four first downs before halftime, one coming by way of a Boise State penalty. The second half featured more yardage from the Dawgs. The offense still struggled to move the ball, but first downs cropped up more often than a California drizzle. Jake Browning began to find his stride, hitting his receivers in the intermediate distance, with the confidence of his offensive coordinator allowing him to actually throw the ball instead of soft toss it behind the line of scrimmage.
What Husky fans will remember is the final drive. With time dwindling, a true freshman at the helm and a kicker with a leg ready to swing UW was ready to send the game into overtime. Browning overcame a pair of overthrows to find Brayden Lenius and Jaydon Mickens for chunk plays.
Facing first-and-20 the offensive line crumbled. Smith dialed up a slow-developing pass play and Browning dropped back, hitched and was hit. The Dawgs were forced to use their final timeout. A quick Texas route to Washington brought the Huskies back into field goal range, except Cameron Van Winkle was narrow right, barely outside the right upright. And that was that.
The first Instant Analysis Dots of the season.
- Washington (the running back) is going to be featured in the offense heavily. The first series for the Huskies had the violet runner touching the ball on five of six total plays, by handoff and by reception. It wasn't altogether effective, as he finished the night with an inefficient 14 yards on 8 carries. He has the speed to break any run or reception for a touchdown, but tonight he was more than willing to run into his offensive linemen instead of looking to bounce it outside - and the space was there at times.
- Jaydon Mickens was keyed in on by the Boise defense. Where he was, there was a whole lot of blue - and I am not talking about the turf that gave me a headache for the entire opening quarter. Any screen attempt to Mickens was
Smurfedsnuffed out by multiple players. And there were a lot of screen attempts.
- The defense was overpowered by Boise for the whole first half. After the break things changed. Elijah Qualls plugged lanes inside. Travis Feeney was making plays from sideline-to-sideline. Budda Baker made plays in the defensive backfield, showing why he is a pick for All-Conference. The defense as a whole just stiffened up.
- Jake Browning is going to be really good with a full playbook and the ability to throw the ball down the field. That's about all I have to say.
- Special teams kept the Dawg in it. Jaydon Mickens blocked a punt (and scared us all that he might have broken his wrist, but returned). The aforementioned Baker blocked a PAT, oh and Dante Pettis returned a punt for the Huskies' only touchdown of the day.
- We will have more time to discuss the playcalling this season and this week, I won't get into that here.
Have a good night Dawg fans, let's just be happy we have football once again.