They didn’t get out-muscled, out-toughed, or out-smarted and because of that, the Washington Huskies were able to secure their first road win against the Stanford Cardinal since 2007 - defeating them 20-13.
Dylan Morris only went 17/25 and threw 146 yards, there were times when the ball was thrown behind his receiver or he just didn’t do a great job scanning the field; but when it mattered most the redshirt freshmen lofted a pass 20 yards into the air and into the hands of Jalen McMillan to gift the Huskies a 20-13 lead with just 21 seconds left in the final quarter.
Throughout his two years under center for UW, Morris has shown comeback capabilities and while this season hasn’t been pretty for him (or anyone else), he again showed off his clutch factor.
For a while it felt as if UW wouldn’t need a go-ahead touchdown drive, they spent a majority of the game in the driver seat thanks to a rushing attack that totaled 229 yards on 42 attempts with a majority of those coming from Sean McGrew who carried the ball 19 times for 114 yards and Cam Davis who picked up 99 yards on 18 attempts.
But due to the clash of field goals that were being exchanged, UW was never able to make the game feel out-of-reach and because of that they almost fell victim to a come-from-behind heartbreaker.
The game's first points came from Stanford who was able to net a 35-yard field goal which gave them a 3-0 lead and the lone opening quarter score.
The Huskies eventually nailed a field goal of their own off the leg of Peyton Henry who nailed it from 24 yards out. On the ensuing Stanford drive, Jackson Sirmon plucked a deflected pass out the air and the Husky offense showed their appreciation by driving 50 yards down the field in 8 plays, and Henry this time drilled a 37-yarder.
The Washington defense forced Stanford to punt and UW rattled off a 13 play, 81-yard drive that was almost disrupted by a Cade Otton fumble but he was able to send the ball flying out of bounds as a Cardinal defender attempted to scoop it off the turf but was hit by Otton. The drive was capped off by another Henry field goal as he gave the Huskies a 9-3 lead from 32 yards out as the opening half expired.
The second half started as a snoozer, seeing punts from both UW and Stanford before UW continued to tilt momentum by way of a sack from Carson Bruener which also forced a fumble that was recovered by Sav’ell Smalls.
As a result of the turnover, Morris and Co. only had to pick up 18 yards to add more points to the board as Henry nailed his 4th field goal of the night to give Washington a 12-3 lead.
Then things got a bit hectic.
On the following Cardinal possession, they marched 75 yards down the field in 16 plays that took 7:25 off the clock and resulted in a touchdown that trimmed the score to 12-10.
Washington then turned the ball over on downs after a failed Morris keeper and Stanford scored on their next drive to take a 13-12 lead.
With hope beginning to leak bleak, the Huskies again turned the ball over on downs and suddenly it began to feel as if Stanford would hand Washinton yet another loss on the farm.
But when they were needed most, the UW defense again dug deep and came up with a stop and gave their offense another shot at taking the lead back.
On an 8 play, 67 yard drive that consisted of a heavy dosage of McGrew and Davis, Morris placed a perfectly thrown pass into the hands of Jalen McMillan who had the nearest defender beat by a couple of steps after the Washington offense had lured them to sleep.
The Huskies led 20-13 at this point with just 21 seconds left and with desperation in the air, Stanford launched the ball deep downfield on the opening play of their drive saw their comeback hopes snatched away by Brendan Radley-Hiles who sealed the victory with an interception.
UW has played in a handful of ugly games this season but they’ve now won their last two and what better time to find at least an ounce of momentum than now with seventh-ranked Oregon coming into Husky Stadium next Saturday?
That clash between the (4-4, 3-2) Huskies and the (7-1, 4-1) Ducks will kickoff at 4:30 P.M. PT on ABC.