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Dante Pettis breaks career return TD record as No. 12 Washington rolls past Oregon 38-3

The star receiver also scored a receiving touchdown on a bomb from Jake Browning

Oregon v Washington Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The new streak is living and breathing and may it never die. The Dawgs had another dominant performance against Oregon, holding the Ducks without a touchdown in a decisive 38-3 win that will have a significant impact on the College Football Rankings.

Dante Pettis starred once again with a pair of touchdowns despite the Huskies needing only one of them to have enough points to stop the Ducks from achieving victory.

Oregon came out with an assortment of run options, using veer runs and bubble screens to stretch the UW defense laterally while opening runs up the middle for Royce Freeman and true freshman quarterback Braxton Burmeister. The Ducks finished their drive with a short field goal, and the Dawgs were able to work their way down the field thanks to Browning’s arm. Unfortunately for the Huskies, their kicking game is inconsistent at best and Tristan Vizcaino missed a 45-yard field goal.

The Ducks took advantage of the field position to make a push just inside the red zone before Ben Burr-Kirven continued his breakout season by forcing a fumble that was recovered by Keishawn Bierria who had a long return wiped out by a foul on Ezekiel Turner. The Dawgs scored their first of many highlight touchdowns on a fake reverse by Myles Gaskin.

Husky Highlights comes later in the week but each UW score had the potential to be the featured play on a SportsCenter highlight. The fake reverse showed the pizzazz. Lavon Coleman had situational awareness. Salvon Ahmed had speed to burn. Dante Pettis had all of that and more.

Pettis set the NCAA career record for punt return touchdowns. There isn’t a better time to do it than a home game against the Oregon Ducks. He is a special player who was combined with a head coach who puts an emphasis on special teams. It was a perfect storm to allow for the record.

After the Ducks had some early success converting third downs, their offense dried up and succumbed to one of the best defenses in the nation. The Ducks averaged 4.1 yards per play on the night. Vita Vea followed up his dominant performance with another one, as he and Greg Gaines anchored the country’s best run defense while Oregon’s passing game was hamstrung by the absence of Justin Herbert.

Some short dots for a short-lived Duck hope for a win:

  • Washington changed up the offensive line and the pass protection looked great as a result. Andrew Kirkland was shifted inside to guard and Luke Wattenberg was at left tackle. Browning had time in the pocket and had his best game in a while.
  • Browning did have an interception but aside from that it was encouraging relative to the games he has been putting out. He was able to hit Aaron Fuller early for a couple big plays, even if one was called back. He his Dante Pettis over the top for score from almost 50 yards out. He was on time and in rhythm for his few attempts, as he only threw 19 passes.
  • Huskies have a legit defense. There is talent at every level. Preseason All-American Azeem Victor is running with the second team. That’s the level of players this defense has. Ben Burr-Kirven has caught some flack but he is playing well in run support and blitzing. His coverage skills are rounding into form as well. It takes some
  • UW’s offense is built around its run game right now and that run game is rolling. Including a zero-yard takedown of Browning: 39 carries, 247 yards and two scores. Everyone contributed, even Sean McGrew had some carries around the goal line.