John Ross

Washington loses WR John Ross to injury, CB Jermaine Kelly to transfer

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Washington wide receiver John Ross will miss the 2015 season after suffering a leg injury during spring practice, head coach Chris Petersen announced Thursday evening.

Ross played in 13 games in 2014, snaring 17 receptions for 371 yards and four touchdowns in three starts as a wide receiver while also garnering four starts at cornerback. He also logged three kickoff returns for touchdowns as the Huskies’ top return man; his seven scores came from an average of 75 yards out.

The Long Beach, Calif., native will redshirt in 2015 and have two seasons of eligibility waiting upon his return.

U-Dub also announced cornerback Jermaine Kelly will leave the program and explore his options elsewhere.

Washington’s John Ross undergoes knee surgery, should be ready for spring

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The Washington Huskies’ John Ross III was already one of the most dynamic all-around athletes in college football. He will be even more dangerous in 2015.

Ross required surgery on a nagging knee injury that bothered him throughout the season. The talented sophomore underwent the procedure Thursday and tweeted that all is well afterwards.

The surgery was required to repair two meniscus tears in his right knee, according to The Seattle Times. Jude, citing sources, reported that Ross should be ready to go by the start of spring practice.

Ross is absolutely vital to the Huskies’ success next season. He finished second on the team with 371 receiving yards before making the switch to cornerback during the final four games of the season. Ross also served as Washington’s primary kick returner.

The upcoming junior expects to play both ways this fall and continue to contribute on special teams.

“I’m going to need to have a big offseason,” Ross told The Seattle Times‘ Adam Jude. “I just have to work hard. You never know: I might wake up one morning and say, ‘I want to be a DB. Or I want to be a receiver.’ So you never know. I’m going to work very hard to get bigger, faster, stronger and watch more film.”

No. 9 Ducks prove to be too much, build 28-6 halftime lead over Huskies

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When the Oregon Ducks’ electric offense met the Washington Huskies’ aggressive defense, Oregon was clearly winner after two quarters of play. The No. 9 Ducks lead the Huskies 28-6 at halftime.

Washington was thought to have an advantage with its defensive line against Oregon’s patchwork offensive line. The Huskies entered Saturday’s game in Autzen Stadium tied as the nation’s second most prolific team in sacks. However, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota hasn’t been harassed, because the Ducks have been able to establish the run which set up a strong passing effort.

While it’s been a struggle at points this season for the Ducks’ offense, it hasn’t been Saturday. Oregon already accumulated a whopping 380 total yards.

The Ducks were particularly effective running the ball despite Washington’s stout defensive front. Freshman Royce Freeman and junior Byron Marshall combined for 111 rushing yards on only 18 carries. Freeman took full advantage of his opportunities with three first-half touchdowns.

A strong running game allowed Mariota to get comfortable in the pocket. The junior quarterback is 16-of-23 passing for 239 yards and a touchdown.

On the flip side, the Huskies struggled to move the ball, while Oregon’s defense stood tall.

Washington’s sophomore quarterback, Cyler Miles, was 12-of-19 passing for only 98 yards. The young signal-caller also made a poor mistake throwing a pass into coverage over the middle of the field, which eventually resulted in another touchdown by the Ducks.

The Huskies also found Oregon’s defense difficult to run against. The Ducks only allowed 27 rushing yards in the first half. Washington’s leading rusher is actually sophomore wide receiver John Ross, who had one carry for 12 yards.

As the second half approaches, Washington needs its defense to step up and make a few plays. The unit disappointed through two quarters and allowed Oregon to do too much on offense. If the Huskies can make the Ducks one-dimensional, Washington could mount a second-half comeback (although, it’s unlikely).

Chris Petersen’s Washington debut was no vacation in Hawaii

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As a head coach at Boise State, Chris Petersen won four straight games against Hawaii by a combined score of 172-37. The margin of victory in his debut as head coach of the No. 25 Washington Huskies (1-0) was significantly closer. Washington won their 2014 season opener on the road in Hawaii by a final score of 17-16.

This game proved to be more of a gut check than anticipated. Hawaii jumped out to a 10-0 lead on the visiting Huskies in the first quarter. Washington got in the end zone before the quarter came to a close when John Ross dashed 20 yards on a reverse for the score. Ross struck again on the receiving end of a 91-yard pass play from Jeff Lindquist, who got the start at quarterback for Washington. Washington took a 17-10 lead to the half. Washington’s offense was unable to score in the second half against the Rainbow Warriors, allowing the home team to chip away.

Hawaii had chances to grab a win but failed to capitalize on a couple of opportunities throughout the game. A trick play inside the Washington 10-yard line resulted in a turnover on downs, when a field goal could have been the difference. One play later came the 91-yard touchdown play for Washington. Hawaii also missed a field goal at the end of the first half from 40 yards out after two incomplete passes. A fumbled punt by Washington in the third quarter was also recovered by the Huskies at the Washington 33-yard line.

Where Washington goes from here should be interesting to watch unfold. Cyler Miles was suspended from the season opener but should slide into the starting lineup soon enough. His skills at the position should help boost the offense a bit. Lindquist was mostly unreliable with 10 completions on 26 attempts, mostly capitalizing on the 91-yard play for his stats. Washington should be better than the performance against Hawaii would suggest.

Washington closes Sarkisian era with a bowl win over BYU in Fight Hunger Bowl

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The Huskies closed the book on the Steve Sarkisian era with a bowl victory, but it was interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo who will go down in the books getting credit for the win. Sarkisian left the program to accept a job with USC, leaving the Huskies before the bowl game. Bishop Sankey rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns to earn Fight Hunger Bowl MVP honors as the Huskies pulled away for a 31-16 victory over BYU.

Washington’s running back fueled the offensive coring but the Huskies also had John Ross return a kickoff 100-yards after BYU tied the game in the first half and Keith Price, despite being banged up at times, added 123 passing yards and a touchdown. The Huskies defense also came through with a big stop deep in their own territory following a Price interception to set up BYU. Robertson Daniel picked off an errant throw by Price and returned it to the Washington 29-yard line with the Huskies leading 28-16 in the third quarter.BYU could do nothing with the opportunity as Washington forced a tree-and-out, highlighted by a critical sack by Cody Hoffman, which set up a 44-yard field goal attempt by Justin Sorensen. Sorensen kicked three of his four field goal attempts successfully, but his miss following the three-and-out seemed to change the momentum of the game. BYU was shutout in the second half while Washington tacked on ten more points for the victory.

Now all eyes are set on what happens next for Washington. Former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is now in complete control of the football program and the future looks very bright for the Huskies with him at the helm. Given the talent on the team Petersen will be inheriting and the facilities and resources available the optimism is high for Washington to start feeding off of the success of the last few seasons under Sarkisian and build more of a legitimate Pac 12 North contender under Petersen. Oregon’s and Stanford’s place at the top of the division may be threatened by Washington if Petersen can build the kind of winning program he was able to do at Boise State.

Washington will open the Petersen era with a favorable schedule in 2014. The Huskies open the year at Hawaii and three straight home games in non-conference play against Eastern Washington, Illinois and Georgia State. A 4-0 start should absolutely be expected out of the gate. The Huskies will also get Arizona State, Stanford and UCLA at home but must travel to Oregon in Pac 12 play.

As for BYU, the schedule will be a little easier in 2014 after a challenging 2013 season. The 2014 season will include a trip to Texas in week two, which will be quite a revenge game for the Longhorns after getting tanked in Provo this season. The schedule also includes road games at UCF and Boise State. The Cougars should be able to pull together another winning season with what will be in front of them in 2014, and the formula will remain familiar with a heavy dose of the running game and a strong defense.