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Washington Huskies rout Idaho Vandals: Instant Reactions

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A dominant second quarter displayed the talent gap between programs

Idaho v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Dawgs did what was expected out of them today. Idaho is going to be an FCS team in the next few years and Washington put emphasis on the school’s decision with a thorough rout by a score of 59-14.

Jake Browning finished the game with a headset in place of a helmet. He ended his day putting his name next to Keith Price, Jake Locker and Chris Rowland atop the record single-game record book for touchdown passes in a game with five. If he put together this display against any Pac-12 school it would be easily considered the best performance of his career. At one point he had completed 13 consecutive passes. His final line: 22-of-28 for 294 yards and the five scores.

Browning wasn’t the only one on top of their game today. Budda Baker kept up his deep-middle dominance, with UW not allowing any deep completions (an overturned completion to the sideline excluded) for Idaho until he was out of the game.

Despite scoring on its first offensive play after forcing a fumble on the opening kick, Washington’s first quarter wasn’t stellar. Aside from a pair of fumbles forced, the Huskies were arguably outplayed in the first period, with Idaho sustaining a drive and coming half an inch from a touchdown twice.

The second quarter changed all of that.

After going into the half with the 35-0 lead, Chris Peterson put the team into neutral and coasted to the finish line. KJ Karta-Samuels went 3-3 on a touchdown drive when he had a chance to throw the ball, with Quentin Pounds able to make his way into the end zone.

The smothering defense wasn’t limited to the defensive backfield, with the Washington D-line (after the first quarter) blowing up anything Idaho attempted to do before it was able to get started Greg Gaines fought through double teams to finish with three tackles, with 1.5 coming behind the line of scrimmage.

Vita Vea continued to show his ability as an interior rusher with a sack and a half to his credit. It will be interesting to see how he is used as he currently is coming in more as a pass-rush specialist than as an every-down player, with Elijah Qualls and Gaines getting most of the early-down reps.

These Instant Dots are just like Instant Mashed Potatoes. Most of the work was already done, just add water (or the final whistle)

  • The running game looked significantly better than last week. Personally, I would hope and expect the Dawgs to do even better than 5.6 yards per carry with their lead back against a nearly-FCS program but at the very least there was improvement. Myles Gaskin wasn’t asked to make a defender miss before the line of scrimmage every play. Jomon Dotson looked very good with the second team, using his agility to consistently fall forward and gain an extra yard on most of his runs.
  • The development of the offensive line was something we all were expecting to see from last year with most offensive linemen returning from last season, but that hasn’t been the case so. Browning didn’t get his rhythm until the Huskies went into a hurry-up offense and didn’t have to sit in the pocket and go through progressions. If he has to hitch before throwing and it isn’t just a back-foot and throw, he tends to struggle. It was the case last season and continues to be that way. I beginning to wonder how much is him and how much of that is on the line not allowing him comfort in the pocket.
  • Vita Vea is the best pass rusher for Washington right now. That is good. What is bad is that there isn’t another consistent rusher, particularly any edge-rushers. After Travis Feeney graduated to the NFL, the biggest defensive question for Washington was where the pressure would come from the edge. We were hoping JoJo Mathis would be the guy but that hasn’t been the case so far. An interior rusher is a very valuable player but without anyone to take advantage of it with single-blocks against the tackles, his impact is muted.
  • Washington now has playmakers on the outside. All three of the top threats have the ability to make plays after the catch, with Chico McClatcher, Dante Pettis and John Ross all having more than a little wiggle to their game, with Pettis showing more traditional-receiver skills in addition to his punt return prowess. The trio caught all five of Browning’s touchdowns, two apiece for Pettis and Ross and a single score for McClatcher.

What are your reactions?