So our Gekko had a little bit of pride riding on this game. He was able to walk away proud, with the Washington Huskies taking a 31-7 victory on the road against the California Golden Bears.
After each team beginning the game with three-and-outs, Cal opened marched their way down the field before an odd thing happened that resulted in a Shaq touchdown because what else would it result in?
If you are looking for a play-by-play recap of the game, go scroll through these.
- Danny Shelton went back to being more of an unsung hero because he wasn't getting the raw numbers in terms of tackles for loss and sacks, but 2013 Danny Shelton was still one of the best players on the Huskies last season. He played better than 2013 Shelton, which means he was very very good. He clogged up the running lanes after Cal's second drive, but more importantly he squeezed the life out of Jared Goff. He didn't allow any room for the Cal QB to step up in the pocket, and it affected his accuracy on almost every throw.
- Hau'oli Kikaha is a really good pass rusher. It does seem like he gets free runs at the quarterback more often than he should. This is undoubtedly a byproduct of Shelton, but when Kikaha comes into the game tied for third nationally he shouldn't get to rush free at Goff ever. Two sacks in the first half and another in the second gave him 10 on the season. He now has sole possession of the national lead in sacks.
- After underthrowing John Ross early (who can blame him) Cyler Miles looked on-point. His protection held really well, and he delivered the ball with accuracy to his receivers, even if they were 10-20 yards down the field. Even more impressive was Miles throwing over the middle for what seemed like the first time all season. It resulted in the first time that Miles has thrown for over 200 yards in his Washington career. 22-28, 271 yards and three TDs. 9.7 YPA. That's really good.
Miles did a lot less running with the football in his hands. After sacks he had eight rushing attempts
- Cal had one good offensive drive in the entirety of the first half, and it culminated in one of the weirdest plays you will see. On a QB sneak at the goal line, Goff never had full control of the ball, and in his effort to pull it up over the line of scrimmage, fumbled the ball right into the arms of Shaq Thompson. His penchant for getting his mitts on the ball is becoming Honey Badger-esque. And he scores lots and lots of touchdowns. I am advocating Shaq Thompson the nickname of "Anteater" because he has such a talent for finding the football in a scrum. I will now promptly show myself the door.
Cal's first scoring drive came with both Thompson and Shelton on the bench. Cal runs a lot of plays and everybody earns a break, especially guys carrying around as much weight as Shelton, and players who move around a large amount of weight very, very quickly like Thompson.
- Obligatory John Ross is super fast and good at scoring touchdowns Dot. He can only be tackled by his teammates, and even then it takes them two tries.
- The offensive line looked good in pass protection. The offensive line looked good in pass protection. The offensive line looked good in pass protection. Nope. Still hasn't sank in yet. Also looked good blocking the run as well. Dwayne Washington and Lavon Coleman both were able to find lanes, and combined for 106 yards on 27 carries (4.3 YPC)
- The real reason Washington won this game was turnovers. Cal lost fumbles and Washington didn't, and it was the biggest difference. The Huskies came into the game at plus-11 in turnover differential, and at +2.2 per game, the Huskies were second in the country behind Temple, it will be really close after today.
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