Huskies Fast Start Leaves Beavers Behind

Washington got off to a fast start on Senior Day, and did what numerous teams have done this season; dump Oregon State into such a deep hole it was impossible to climb out. Despite out-scoring the Huskies over the final 3 quarters of the game, the Beavers fell 42-23.

The Huskies stormed 79 yards in 4 plays to start the game, the key play being a 64 yard run up the north sideline that set up Salvon Ahmed for an easy 4 yard run to start the scoring just over 2 minutes into the game.

Gaskin’s cut and run wasn’t the proverbial ankle breaker, but it was an ankle sprainer for Hamilcar Rashed Jr., who limped off, and despite a heavy tape job, spent the rest of the game pacing the Beavers’ sideline.

Oregon State responded with a solid drive, keyed by back to back runs for 23 and 14 yards by Jemar Jefferson, below.

But the drive would stall, and the Beavers had to settle for a Jordan Choukair field goal that made it 7-3.

That was as close as the Beavers would get though, as the Huskies ran off 3 more touchdowns in short order.

Gaskin’s 23 yard run jump started a 75 yard drive, and pushed him over 100 yards rushing in the second series of the game. Huskie quarterback Jake Browning also got loose for a 25 yard run, setting up another 4 yard Ahmed score.

Trevon Bradford fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and 3 plays later, Browning dropped a perfectly placed pass to Aaron Fuller for a 17 yard touchdown in the back of the end zone, below.

Washington’s next possession ended with a 21 yard Browning to Cade Otton pass for another score, and the first quarter ended with the Huskies ahead 28-3.

In 15 minutes, the Huskies had run for 151 yards, and thrown for 101 more, a total of 252.

The Beavers battled back, as Jake Luton engineered a 75 yard scoring drive, completing all 6 of his 6 passes in the series, including the 3 yarder to Isaiah Hodgins for the drive capping score, below,

The onside kick caromed off a Huskie player, and David Morris, seeing his first action of the season, recovered it. The Beavers parlayed the resulting excellent field position into another Ckoukair field goal, which remarkably made it a 2 possession game.

Washington reopened the lead to 35-13 on a 10 yard pass from Browning to Gaskin, on a rollout play when Oregon State inexplicably turned Gaskin loose undefended.

Another Choukair field goal made it 35-16 at the half, but Choukair, who had banked one of his first half field goals in off the right upright, hooked a 44 yarder that was long enough to be good from 54 wide left.

Any remaining chance for another Oregon State comeback evaporated shortly after the Beavers stopped Washington on the ensuing drive, the rarest of accomplishments for a beginning of the half drive for Defensive Coordinator Tim Tibesar’s group.

The punt clearly caromed off someone’s head, and the officials on the field determined it was off of Kaleb Hayes, and not the Husky he was tied up with when the shanked punt came down on top of them. Replay was inconclusive, so the call stood, and on the next play, Gaskin took the direct snap and sprinted 6 yards into the endzone for the score that put the Huskies ahead 42-16, below.

Oregon State got their own 1 play score shortly before the midway mark in the final period, after Andre Bodden blocked Race Porter’s punt and recovered it at the Washington 3 yard line. The Beavers then again turned to the Jack Colletto keeper play for the score that made it 42-23.

But it was far too little, far too late, and both squads got a lot of players some minutes before the afternoon turned into evening.

Luton completed 18 of 32 passes, for 190 yards, and Jefferson finished with 19 carries for yet another 100 yard day, this time for 115 yards. It was Jefferson’s 7th 100 yard outing of the season, and he now has 1,316 yards rushing, breaking Jacquizz Rodgers’ Oregon State team rushing record of 1,253 in a season by a freshman,

Luton spread the ball around well, with Bradford, Timmy Hernandez, and Noah Togiai all grabbing 4 balls. Bradford had a game high 62 yards receiving, and added 35 more on a pair of carries.

Browning was masterful for Washington, completing 17 of 23 throws for 242 yards, and the 3 scores, to 9 different Huskies.

The good news is Oregon State fought to the finish. There were again dropped passes, blown coverages, huge rushing lanes at times, especially on the right side of the Washington offense, behind massive senior right guard Kaleb McGary, who obliterated one Beaver defender after another. And the missed field goal.

But there was also a 12 yard completion by punter Daniel Rodriguez, an effective reverse, and as many sacks of Browning (2) as there were Luton.

There was a very real concern among even the most hopeful Oregon State faithful after last week’s debacle at Stanford that the team might check out of the back to back road trip game if things didn’t go well. And they certainly didn’t to start with. That didn’t eventuate though.

The massive discrepancy in player personnel between the Beavers and Huskies was evident all night though, and Washington rolled to their 7th consecutive win over Oregon State, and 8th win in the last 9 meetings, the last 6 all by blowout margins.

The persistent Pac-12 scheduling problem of scheduling a team in back to back road games, the second against a team coming off a bye didn’t help the Beavers either.

The Huskies improved to 8-3, and 6-2 in the Pac-12, and will play Washington State next week in the Apple Cup in Pullman for the North Division Championship, and a berth in the Pac-12 Title game.

The Beavers fell to 2-9, and 1-7 in conference, and will have to come out of the Valley Football Center ready to actually play defense if they hope to have any chance in next week’s Civil War against Oregon.

The beleaguered Beaver defense again gave up over 500 yards, including 275 on the ground, though that was a drastic improvement over their start, which was on pace to give up over 1,000 yards, and over 600 rushing, in the game.

Cue the Battle of the Bands!

(Photos by Andy Wooldridge)

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