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Grading the Game: Arizona State

Offense okay, defense...not so much.

Washington v Arizona State Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Passing Offense - C+

Michael Penix’s 311 yards meant his streak of throwing for 300+ per game remains alive, but taking 53 passes to get there meant he averaged a less-than-stellar than 6 yards an attempt. Despite not throwing for a touchdown, it was explosive passes to Rome Odunze and Devin Culp that got UW to the goal line, allowing them to score 5 rushing touchdowns. Odunze has now made it three straight games of 100+ yards receiving. It could have been more efficient, but the passing game moved the ball and enabled Washington to score 38 points on the road.

Washington v Arizona State Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Rushing Offense - B

Strangely, the run game might have been the best part of Washington’s effort on Saturday. The primary trio of Cam Davis, Wayne Taulapapa, and Richard Newton combined for 26 carries for 170 yards and 4 touchdowns, headlined by Davis’ three. Even if you take out Davis’ 42-yard run, he still put up good numbers, being about as effective as we’ve seen him in a Husky uniform. As much as Washington still has red zone issues on offense, it was encouraging to see that Cam Davis might be the answer when the team is close to the goal line. That said, Wayne Taulapapa’s trip on 3rd-and-1 when he had an easy first down conversion led to a failed fourth down attempt and then gut punch of a Sun Devil touchdown a few plays later.

Passing Defense - D-

Davon Banks getting an interception keeps this from being an F. I don’t need to go into detail, because we all saw it. Washington’s secondary got torn apart by two different quarterbacks, one not particularly known for his throwing, and another a walk-on with 12 career passing attempts entering this game. Against an ASU team who had surrendered 14 sacks in its prior five games, Washington registered exactly zero. Third downs continued to be a problem, with the Husky defense letting the Sun Devils convert 9/13. The Huskies let a pretty bad offense have its way with them.

Washington v Arizona State Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Rushing Defense - C-

Not as bad as the pass defense, but not a performance to be proud of either. They registered just three tackles for loss and allowed ASU running backs Xazavian Valladay and Daniyel Ngata to rush 27 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns. The front seven wasn’t making plays behind the line of scrimmage nor were they stuffing many runs.

Special Teams - B

Jack McCallister boomed his one punt attempt 58 yards and Peyton Henry nailed his one field goal attempt. Giles Jackson keeps trying to break long kick off returns and so far it’s...not working. His long kickoff return was 17 yards.

Coaching - C-

There is something broken on the defensive side of the ball, and the coaches need to adjust the scheme to help this team out. Compared to last season, the corners are asked to play on an island more, with less safety help. There’s also more blitzing which naturally can lead to surrendering more big plays. But, that can’t be the sole reason for such a precipitous drop off.

Arizona State was a team that was bleeding and was at risk of its season going completely off the rails. Instead of taking advantage of a struggling program and bouncing back after a tough loss to UCLA, they got exposed by a 1-4 team with an interim coach. Washington suddenly has to face an Arizona team that does not appear to be the W it was penciled in to be in the pre-season. The coaching staff literally has until Saturday afternoon to figure something out, or else Jayden de Laura will throw all over this defense.