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Game Awards - It’s All About Them Hosses

Let us celebrate greatness.

NCAA Football: Idaho at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

I am the father of two remarkable daughters. They are perceptive. They are sensitive. They are courageous. And they are faithful.

The greatest thing about this family unit to which I’ve contributed some DNA and some comical moments is that we’ve learned to feed off one another even as we all follow our own paths in life. Both of my daughters like crafty activities - sewing, pottery, drawing, that kind of thing. I have no idea why they like to do that. Of course, I blog somewhere around 6 to 8 hours a week. They have no idea why I like to do that.

It works.

When my oldest was just turning two and while my wife and I were still trying to figure out this parenting thing, we put together something called a “potty party.” We decorated the basement in a jungle theme. Jenny put stuffed animals all around, hung streamers from the ceiling, placed topically relevant books all around, and prepared a spread of specialty food and drinks designed to get certain biological processes flowing.

The child, of course, was in Heaven. We danced. We sang. We laughed. And, when the time came, she did her thing. And when she did that thing in the toilet, we celebrated.

Yup. We celebrated. It was a kiddie rager.

It does seem odd to celebrate something that is supposed to happen. Even more odd is to celebrate something that will inevitably happen, as if something special had occurred. Yet that is what we human beings do. We look for things that we are sure are going to happen and then we party our balls off when they do.

That, my friends, is why we are giving awards after UW’s 41-3 annihilation of the Portland State Vikings. Let’s get started, shall we?

Game Ball - Greg Gaines

Is there anything more satisfying than watching a monster throw around people half his size? People love that. It’s why we enjoy things like King Kong. And Andre the Giant. And Sumo. And Midget Tossing. And Rugby Kid Beast Mode.

All UW’s interior defensive linemen were unbelievable on Saturday, but Gaines stood a cut above them all. He was a terror in the middle of the line. Not only was he eating up blockers, he was ending plays. He finished the day with seven tackles, 2 TFLs, and my eternal adoration.

Game Ball part II - Chico McClatcher

4 catches, 69 yards, 2 TDs. Another day in the office for a player who is now on a first-name basis with Mr. End Zone.

I remember feeling a certain optimism about Myles Gaskin after last year’s game against Sac State. Though it was inferior competition, it was a sense that the game had slowed down for the young player and that his confidence was about to allow his talent to come through.

I’ve been getting the same vibe about McClatcher as he continues to thrive in his role as UW’s versatile slot back. He knows his routes. He is patient. He sets up defenders. Most importantly, he catches the ball. It is obvious that Jake Browning has a lot of confidence in him. I think we can continue to expect big things.

Big Hit Award - Tristan Vizcaino

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. The Kicker?

Husky fans don’t have to go very far back to a day when a placekicker putting the ball into the end zone on a kickoff was as rare as my wife agreeing to join me for a cigar and a cognac. Now, it is as common as me agreeing to join my wife for a little “bonding” time over clearing the dishes and emptying the garbage.

Vizcaino nailed four touchbacks on seven kickoffs. And everyone of them was beautiful. BEEEEE-YOU-ta-FULLLL.

Now, about that punting.

Best Two-Way Player - Will Dissly

Dissly became UW’s first two-way player to score a TD this season, continuing a fine tradition dating back to the Shaq Thompson days. I wonder how many people would have put money on Dissly scoring before Budda Baker.

Regardless, the exciting 27-yard TD catch on the bootleg pass was significant on several dimensions. First, it was another TD pass confidence-builder for backup QB K.J. Carta-Samuels. Second, it was Dissly’s first career TD catch. He now has as many career TDs as he does QB sacks. Finally, his score put UW over the 40-point mark for the sixth straight game - the longest streak in all of college football.

Suck it, Oregon.

Most Valuable Half - First Half

You read that correctly. I’m proclaiming a new award. The “Most Valuable Half” award. Why, you may wonder?

Through three games, UW’s point differential in the first half is 94 points. 94.

In fact, UW hasn’t allowed a touchdown in the first half of any game so far this season. Moreover, they haven’t allowed a single point in the first quarter of any of those games.

That did not change against Portland State.

Best Stat - Jake Browning

UW fans, we are seeing history. In the same six-game stretch that I just cited, QB Jake Browning has been on fire. He has completed 78.2% of his 138 pass attempts including 16 TDs, 2 INTs, and a ridiculous 10.4 yards per attempt. His passing has led UW to amass 289 points over those six games. No UW team has scored so many points in a six game stretch since 1970 and 1971, when UW scored a combined 303 points in the last two of the 1970 and first four of 1971.

By the way, Browning has thrown 9 TD passes in his last two games. No Husky QB has ever had that many in a two game stretch. Ever.

Okay, so that award is probably better labeled “Best Stats.” As my Coug friends would say...