Dominance on a football field is always enjoyable, at least for one side. Dominance in the Apple Cup by the Washington Huskies is even more gratifying, at least for our side.
Awards ceremonies are a time of celebration. Alcohol is used in celebration, right? That’s why each member of a wedding party carries a bottle of champagne, right? Instead of the Game Awards, this is the Apple
Pie Moonshine Cup Game Awards Edition.
Offensive Game Ball: Dante Pettis
Of Washington players who have attempted a minimum of one pass this season, Dante Pettis leads in passer efficiency rating at 319.4 per Sports Reference. Dead last on the team is Jake Browning.
If the minimum is set at four passing attempts for a career, Dante Pettis is the best football thrower in Husky history, just edging out Cody Bruns.
The most lethal combination the Huskies have is the Browning-to-Pettis-to-Daniels double pass. It has been so successful for the Huskies that Chris Petersen and Jonathan Smith dialed it up twice (the second time across the field to Myles Gaskin) against the Cougars. Unfortunately for Pettis, the second throw was heavily contested and Gaskin was unable to haul it in.
Except for his lone incompletion on the day, Pettis was spectacular enough to deserve this award. He had five touches, including his two pass attempts. Those five touches accounted for 136 yards and two touchdowns (both receiving). He also had the Most Impressive Play, but more on that later.
Honorable Mention: Lavon Coleman
Defensive Game Ball: Budda Baker
Two weeks in a row, Baker has been the best Husky defender on the field. Once again he was all over the field, though he was in coverage a bit more than in past weeks. The coverage responsibilities are to be expected against an Air Raid offense. Baker came up with his first interception since the Oregon game. With how everywhere he is, it surprises me that his season high for interceptions is only two, which would be this season and last.
Baker was again all over the field. On top of his pick, he led the Huskies in total tackles (five) and in tied for the lead in tackle assists with three. Two of those tackles were behind the line of scrimmage. It wasn’t as if Baker was giving up completions and making the stop. He was flying all over, making stops in the run game and plowing up screens.
Most Impressive play: Dante Pettis
John Ross’s speed is what NFL scouts drool most about when looking at the Husky offense. Pettis can’t be overlooked. He has savvy route-running abilities. We have seen him bury an opposing defensive back using only his route running. He is probably the best punt returner the Huskies have ever had.
What is probably most impressive is his ability to win with the ball in the air.
Pettis is only 6’1”. Given how often he makes these types of catches, one would expect him to have one of the best vertical leaps on the Huskies. Actually, he has the best vertical leap of anyone. A 41” vertical leap is bananas, and that’s what Pettis pulled at the Husky Combine in the spring.
I couldn’t find another play that was a close second for me in this category, so I am just going to write about it, if that’s okay with you. Actually, you’re reading this at least nine hours after I write this, so you are going to have to be okay with it.
Taylor Rapp is already among the Huskies’ five best defensive backs as a true freshman. Three of the guys ahead of him are probably going to be in the NFL a year from now, and JoJo McIntosh could be on that track as well. Rapp had one specific play that caught everyone’s attention after Sidney Jones was beat deep by Gabe Marks. Luke Falk let the ball fly on target to Marks, with an eye on the end zone with the second half closing out. Rapp, playing the deep third, read the seam route and broke on it.
Taylor Rapp is good, could be great someday soon pic.twitter.com/0VeVQwKegE— Ben Kenobi (@KnibbeBen) November 28, 2016
Yeah, he gon’ be good.
One more game stands between Washington and a probable playoff berth. The path is likely clear, but this is College Football, where chaos reigns supreme.