It is weird to see a final score that is separated by three touchdowns with three two-point conversions and feel disappointed. That says a lot about the level of play from the winning team. Not only were Husky fans not satisfied with the result, but the visible frustration from Chris Petersen was a relief in the eyes of the UW faithful. The final score was 41-17.
In the “grading the game” piece by Chris yesterday, he hit the nail on the head. “This is what it is like for Alabama fans. They’ve seen what “good” looks like and they know when their team hasn’t achieved it, even when the scoreboard says otherwise.”
Even in disappointing domination, totally real Internet awards must go on!
Offensive game ball: Dante Pettis
Pettis has a case for most improved player in the conference. He was but a cog in the machine last season offensively and a weapon as a punt returner. Now he has transformed himself into a bona-fide NFL prospect with strong route running and acrobatic catches.
This award could really be split between Pettis, his co-number one receiver John Ross, and running back Myles Gaskin, with each going over 100 yards in their category of choice and reaching the end zone with the football in his grasp. Pettis scored twice, so he gets the nod.
Defensive game ball: Taylor Rapp
To my eye, Rapp has been the most successful and impactful freshman this season. When Washington dropped into zones, Rapp was often the target. He hasn’t been afraid to stick his nose in the mess that was the run game — four tackles, three solo. The Washington secondary as a whole continued its strong play, and Rapp was a big part of that.
Rapp’s playing time has slowly increased throughout the season, as would be expected for any frosh who stepping into a defense. The play that I have seen from Rapp so far this season, with this being his best game yet, leads me to believe that he would have fit into the frosh DB rotation that was Darren Gardenhire, Sidney Jones, and Budda Baker in 2014.
Most important play: Austin Joyner’s interception
When the game is out of hand, the most important play isn’t something that swings the game. It is a play that signifies something bright. In this case, it signified the depth that the Huskies have. Not many teams have third-string defensive backs who can high-point the ball like that and come down in bounds.
That Taylor Rapp guy is essentially a second-stringer. JoJo McIntosh is a second-team outside linebacker. Tevis Bartlett (who missed the game) is a rotational guy at this point, effectively the backup outside linebacker. Each could potentially start for more than just one or two teams in the conference. It’s going to be important that these guys get repetitions given how many defenders on the defense could be making the jump to the NFL.
The same could be said for the most encouraging takeaway, the Dawgs were able to get important playing time for all available young pups.
Here are a few other encouraging takeaways. Halloween is around the corner, so we’re handing out some Internet candy, I guess.
- Jake Browning averaged over 10 yards per attempt despite only completing half his passes. Washington has the best deep passing game in the conference.
- Connor O’Brien built upon his strong showing against Oregon, continuing to be an impactful player at linebacker.
- Myles Gaskin broke the 100-yard mark for the third straight game. This is a big bag of Skittles split by the line and Gaskin.
- Aaron Fuller joined in on the fun with his own touchdown reception.