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The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown: BYU Edition

Washington v BYU Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

The Good

Jacob Eason . The Huskies QB continues to light up the stat sheet and look like an elite player while doing so. Eason went 24/28 and threw for 290 yards, three touchdowns and one pick. He has completed 73.1% of his passes this season and is on a roll. Let’s see if he can continue his hot streak against a superior (relative to BYU) USC secondary.

The running game. The running game didn’t appear to miss a beat with Salvon Ahmed out last weekend. Sean McGrew and Richard Newton stepped up in a big way and delivered a great performance. We’ll talk about Newton’s two fumbles later, but for now, let’s focus on the good. McGrew had 18 carries for 110 yard and one catch for 18 yards. Newton ran the ball 16 times for 80 yards and one touchdown, while also catching two passes for 16 yards and another touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Both backs excelled at lowering their shoulder, spinning, and running through tackles, proving that the Huskies have real, reliable talent behind Ahmed.

The third quarter! After slow starts in multiple third quarters this season, the Dawgs came out firing in the second half. 21 points in this quarter matched the 21 points scored in the first quarter and helped to quickly bury BYU.

Scoring in the other two phases of the game! Brandon Wellington’s scoop and score and Aaron Fuller’s punt return were both things of beauty. Even if you don’t consider the image of 300 lbs bodies flailing for a bouncing, awkwardly shaped ball to be beautiful, focus more on the idea of just how sweet it is to see this defense put up points. Fuller’s punt return might have been even sweeter. As Coach Pete pointed out after the game, he’d been very close to breaking one several times in the past, so this time around he finally got the blocks he needed to seal the deal and house a punt.

Speaking of Aaron Fuller, what a game!

The Bad

Eason’s pick. This definitely could have been worse given the ultimate outcome of the game, but it was an ill advised throw. A positive spin on this is to chalk it up to a learning moment for Eason. Just how tight of a window can he throw a ball through? Well, hopefully that answered his question.

The red zone. It was first and goal from the BYU 2-yard line. The following series went like this: False start called on Jaxson Kirkland, loss of 5 yards. Newton fumbles on a hand off (wildcat), loss of 3 yards. Eason pass incomplete to Hunter Bryant. Eason pass complete to Andre Bacellia for 5 yards to the BYU 5. Fake field goal, Race Porter one yard run to the BYU 4.

This was a painful series to watch. Jacob Eason was clearly frustrated as he walked off the field after his completion to Bacellia. Why wouldn’t you target the endzone on third and goal!? He likely did not appreciate the play call.

The fake field goal. It apparently wasn’t supposed to happen. As many of pointed out, the numbers actually matched up well for that play call, and Washington was one missed block (by Devin Culp) away from scoring on that play. However, according to Coach Pete, it was a miscommunication and should have never happened.

Newton’s two fumbles. Newton fumbled twice in this game. First, he fumbled on the previously mentioned hand off in the red zone as the wildcat QB. The second fumble came late in the game after the outcome was inevitable. Washington recovered the first fumble (albeit that drive amounted to nothing), while BYU recovered the second. He’s young and will hopefully learn from these two mistakes. No doubt he and the coaching staff will talk about it and get him back on track this week.

Joe Tryon’s targeting penalty. So yeah, it probably wasn’t worthy of a targeting penalty and looked like a legit hit to most of us. But, it happened and now Tryon will miss the first half of the USC game.

Keith Taylor had a tough game. He was flagged twice for P.I. and dropped what looked like a sure-thing interception in the end zone that found its way into the hands of BYU tight end Matt Bushman.

The Unknown

What is Salvon Ahmed’s status for the USC game? As we all know, Coach Pete doesn’t like to talk about injuries unless he has to. He’s been pretty consistent on this one with multiple responses of “he’s week to week”. Although when last asked about it, he seemed optimistic that Ahmed could be back soon and didn’t rule out that he could play against USC... that doesn’t mean much though.

By the way, if you’re wondering, Ahmed apparently had a lower leg injury prior to the Hawaii game that has gotten worse over time. That’s why he did not play against BYU.

Which USC QB will the Huskies face this weekend? Ryan Abraham of said on this week’s episode of the Podcast of Champions that he believes Matt Fink will be USC’s starting QB against the Huskies. If it’s not Fink, that means that Kedon Slovis has recovered from his concussion and will go up against the Huskies.