Football games do have second halves. Second halves consist of the third and fourth quarters. You could be forgiven if you made the mistake of believing there were only two 15-minute halves and then turning the TV off and completing the final yardwork of the summer or something because this game was over. It was really over in the first quarter with the Dawgs up 24-0.
The most emotion that Chris Petersen showed all game was when Rutgers kicker David Bonagura chunked a 38-yard field goal just past the crossbar to put his team on the board. Petersen's head slouched with his hands on his knees.
The story of the game was the return of John Ross, last (or most senior) member of the Legion of Zoom. After Chico McClatcher hauled in the first deep completion of the day from Jake Browning, Ross stole the show. After missing on one fly route, Ross refused to be overthrown again. He scored on touchdowns of 38 and 50 yards.
Of course, the man throwing him the football was having himself a half to remember. Browning went 17-23 for 277 yards and the three aforementioned scores. The offensive line wasn't leak-proof, allowing three sacks to Browning, though at least one could be pinned on Browning himself.
Ross totaled three touchdowns in that first half, sprinkling in his fourth career kickoff return touchdown.
Dante Pettis wasn't to be outdone with a punt return touchdown, the third of his career. He also added two catches for 24 yards. Following Ross, the next leading Husky pass-catcher was Darrell Daniels with 64 yards on four catches.
Redshirt freshman Andre Baccellia found some playing time and was fortunate enough to reel in the most beautiful rainbow of the day from Browning for a 36-yard gain. He also added a four-yard touchdown from K.J. Carta-Samuels after Browning's day was done.
Defensively, the Dawgs had few issues stopping Rutgers. The secondary picked up right where it left off last season,except better. The Rutgers receivers were unable to separate and Chris Laviano was unable to find the few who were able to shake somewhat free.
Laviano's job wasn't made much easier when he was being put on his back almost every time he dropped back against UW's first-stringers. The statsheet only shows sacks for Elijah Qualls and Vita Vea, but the Dawgs consistently had pressure in his face, whether it was blitzing or just the line.
Football is back; the Dawgs dominated Rutgers and are along the way to proving that all the hype is real, or maybe it isn't and Rutgers is just going to be really bad. We don't know yet but we do know that the Dawgs won handily.
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- In the recap portion, Myles Gaskin's name wasn't mentioned a single time, and that's because the run game wasn't nearly as effective as the passing game. Gaskin ran for 57 yards on 15 carries, under four yards per tote. There were flashes of dominance by the line but the consistent push wasn't there. It will be something that could cause problems putting teams away throughout the year.
- The UW defense is athletic as all get out. The combination of Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria like to hit people and make sure the hit sticks around three generations. Budda Baker was given a fly sweep because why not. Husky fans look forward to Sidney Jones and Darren Gardenhire being tested because of their ability to take the ball away. Elijah Qualls can play anywhere from nose tackle to edge rusher.
- Browning wasn't without fault. He wasn't on the same page as his receives over the middle, misread the defense leading to an interception that entirely falls on the head between his shoulders, and nearly had one or two more but he slipped butter onto the hands of the opposing secondary. Yes, he had three touchdowns and was accurate on his deep balls, but is still a true sophomore with room to grow.
- Football is back.