Welcome back, Mr. Ross - We missed John Ross even more than we thought we did (and we missed him a lot). Ross was simply a player Rutgers could not match up with and could have turned in an epic game had the Huskies needed more of him.
The defense - The Husky defense kept the bar at the incredibly high mark they set in 2015. They made a Big Ten team look like an FCS opponent and held them to just three points when the game was on the line. I think everyone should be excited to see what this unit does in Pac-12 play.
Keishawn Bierria - There are so many players on the defense who could be called out for their stellar performances, so I will stick with just one. Bierria was everywhere on Saturday, racking up 12 tackles, forcing a fumble, and making some big hits. He looked like he could go from honorable mention All-Pac-12 to first/second team this season.
Special teams - John Ross and Dante Pettis are a special, special, kick/punt return combo. The Huskies hadn’t taken a kick and a punt back in the same game in 15 years and those two made it look so easy.
Also, shoutout to Ezekiel Turner for an excellent tackle on Janarion Grant on the opening kick to set the tone.
Jake Browning and his play fakes - The fakes Browning used to free up Chico McClatcher and Ross on his touchdown passes iced the Rutgers defense and the deep balls he delivered were on the money. The timing, trust, and accuracy Browning displayed on the touchdown passes to Ross, and the connection between the two, have to get Husky fans excited for what the two can put together this season.
No injuries - As far as I have heard, there were no injuries which will take key players out of action.
Run game - Hard to knock too much in a game like this, but it was at least discouraging to see the Huskies not do much on the ground. The team averaged just three yards per rush against an overmatched opponent, Myles Gaskin finished with less than 60 on 15 carries, and the team failed to run for a score.
Game/Crowd - Hard to say it wasn’t sad to see an unfilled Husky Stadium and casual atmosphere on one of the best opening weekends in college football history. Nice to get a comfortable win over a Big Ten opponent, but can’t help but think how electric the setting would have been had the Huskies opened with a power program with playoff implications on the line.
The offensive line? The one weak spot of the Husky unit Saturday seemed to be the offensive line. As mentioned above, the offense only moved the ball on the ground at three yards a crack and were able to sack Browning a couple of times. Not a red flag yet, but really would like to see the offensive front control the game more than they did against a lesser opponent. Will they be a concern come Pac-12 play?
How good or bad is Rutgers? I had low expectations for Rutgers going in, but I thought they would put up a better fight than they did. Was the destruction of Rutgers just a great Husky squad working as a well-oiled machine, or is Rutgers really, really bad?
Will they be challenged enough? Sad to say this was probably Washington’s biggest non-conference challenge. It will be nice to likely start 3-0 for once, but I have to wonder if the Huskies will wish they had been challenged earlier on once they head to Tucson.