The Huskies dominated the California Golden Bears Saturday night with a 38-7 victory, as they improved to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in conference play. Remember a few years ago when we had to ring our hands at this time of the year about bowl eligibility? Well, for the second year the Huskies are bowl eligible through their first six weeks and have their sights set on much bigger things. Yeah, I could get used to this.
Let’s take a look at who stood out for the Huskies Saturday night.
Offensive Player of the Game: Hunter Bryant
This one is pretty obvious. Hunter Bryant left his fingerprints all over this game, as he finished with 9 catches for a game high 121 receiving yards and one touchdown. His touchdown reception was easily the most impressive play of the night, as he ripped a would-be interception out of the hands of Cal defensive back Josh Drayden for his first career score.
Bryant was one of the Huskies most heralded recruits coming into the season, and he has wasted little time to show why that hype was warranted. He seems to have emerged as Jake Browning’s favorite target after Dante Pettis, and looks poised to be a real weapon for the Dawgs heading into the second half of the season.
Honorable mention here goes to Jake Browning. While Browning looked a little off on some of his in-completions (to my untrained at least, so take that with a little grain of salt) and he can thank his freshman tight end for saving him from a bad interception in the end zone, but he finished the game 27/40 with 215 yards, two touchdowns through the air, and added one on the ground as well. I’m not sure about you all, but my favorite play of the game was watching Browning run the option on fourth down for a score. He’s not exactly Vince Young, so if you guessed that Browning would record a rushing touchdown in each of the last two games, pat yourself on the back.
Defensive Player of the Week: Tevis Bartlett
My defensive player of the week goes to Tevis Bartlett. Bartlett finished the game with four solo tackles and two sacks, and provided superb pressure for the Huskies off the edge. Quarterback pressure has been one of the concerns of the Huskies fan-base for a while now, so the fact that Huskies were able to get as much pressure as they did - they recorded 8 sacks as a team - was fun to watch, and Bartlett led the way with his two sacks.
On that note, my honorable mention here goes to, well, pretty much the entire defense. As mentioned, they recorded 8 sacks as a team, as well as 9 tackles for loss, and were absolutely suffocating. They held the Bears to negative 40 rushing yards on the night. while that was helped by a botched snap on a last second field goal by the Bears, that is still a mind boggling statistic.
A convincing argument could be made that Ryan Bowman, Jaylen Johnson, JoJo McIntosh, or Vita Vea all deserve the defensive player of the week award or honorable mention, which goes to show how dominant this defensive performance truly was.