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Jake Browning dazzles as No. 11 Washington crushes No. 20 BYU

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Jake Browning set Washington’s all-time passing mark and the Huskies’ defense continued to dominate, allowing No. 11 Washington to cruise to a 35-7 win over No. 20 BYU in Seattle.

The senior quarterback was nearly perfect on the night, completing 23-of-25 passes for 277 yards with a touchdown while scampering for another

After trading punts to open the game, Washington got on the board with an 8-play, 68-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 5-yard Salvon Ahmed rush at the 7:19 mark of the third quarter.

BYU (3-2) answered with its only consequential drive of the first half — a 13-play, 56-yard march — but the Cougars got behind the chains after penetrating the Washington red zone, and Skyler Southam‘s 45-yard field goal was no good.

Washington (4-1) capitalized on that miss with a 72-yard, 6-play push punctuated by a 6-yard Myles Gaskin rush, handing the Huskies complete control of the game with 11:05 to play in the first half.

Another long Husky march, 58 yards over 13 plays, ended in a missed 40-yard Peyton Henry field goal with 1:28 left in the opening half. That missed field goal seemed to signal a 14-0 score heading into halftime, but Ben Burr-Kiven popped the ball loose from BYU running back Lopini Katoa at the BYU 24 with 22 seconds left before halftime, and Browning fired two complete passes, then rushed nine yards for a touchdown with five seconds left before the break.

The trend continued in the second half, when Browning found Drew Sample for a 15-yard score, the quarterback’s 100th career score as a Husky. Washington completed the scoring with a 6-yard Ahmed score at the 1:24 mark of the third quarter.

BYU’s score came with the help of Washington, as Chico McClatcher fumbled a punt at his own 21, and the Cougars still needed seven plays to score, as Katoa punched in a 4th-and-goal from the 1 with 41 ticks left in the game.

Tanner Mangum completed 18 of his 21 passes, but for just 160 yards. Washington dominated the rushing battle, 187-34. Ahmed and Gaskin combined to rush 24 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns.

Since dropping their opener to No. 9 Auburn in Seattle, Washington has allowed a total of 37 points over its four consecutive wins.

No. 10 Washington rides defense to win over slumping Arizona State

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Take one of the Pac-12’s best rushing attacks, mix in the league’s best receiver on the other sideline and stir after dark to get some wild, offensive-laden craziness in Seattle, right? Uh, not even close.

No. 10 Washington rode their incredible defense and used a handful of big plays from their offensive veterans to secure a bruising 27-20 win on Saturday night and drop the fighting Herm Edwards’ of Arizona State to a slumping .500 on the season.

Huskies QB Jake Browning crossed the 10,000 yard passing plateau for his college career and continued closing in on several school records with an efficient 202 yard game. That included three excellent throws into the end zone for touchdowns, one to Aaron Fulleranother to Ty Jones and the best of the bunch in the fourth quarter to help salt the game away to a tip-toeing Cade Otton.

The signal-caller’s play balanced out another solid (if not quite the usual spectacular) effort from Washington’s one-two punch in the backfield as Myles Gaskin recorded 86 yards on the ground and Salvon Ahmed chipped in with 71 more on limited carries. The team punted just three times all game and probably could have gotten off to a better start had their signature Chris Petersen trick play on the first play of the game — in this case, a double-pass — not been picked off.

The real star of the show might have been the defense though. Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven looks like a budding All-American and finished with 20 tackles and two forced fumbles while the entire front seven was a load for the Sun Devils to handle. Eno Benjamin had just one long run on his way to 104 yards plus a TD and otherwise had to fight for running room on every carry.

He was still a bright spot for ASU all things considered… namely how rough of an outing it was for QB Manny Wilkins (104 yards passing) and star receiver N'Keal Harry (five catches, 20 yards). The entire group seemingly continued their struggles from last week’s loss against San Diego State and will now need to find some way to regroup with the heart of their Pac-12 slate coming up next month. After grabbing the nation’s attention with a victory over Michigan State, now will really be the time we’ll find out what Edwards can do as a college coach as he tries to rebound from a losing streak for the first time.

The Huskies, meanwhile, can rest easy knowing they didn’t get swept up in the wild nature of the day in college football with so many ranked teams falling to unranked squads. It was by no means a crisp outing for Petersen’s group but it is a precious win nevertheless and does set up a very intriguing game next Saturday night against a ranked BYU squad. At this point late into the night on Saturday, surviving and advancing is nothing to overlook and, thanks mostly to their defense, Washington did just that against Arizona State.

Auburn kicks their way to halftime lead on Washington in Atlanta

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You want some defensive football? You are getting it in Atlanta this afternoon. No. 9 Auburn holds a 15-13 lead on No. 6 Washington at halftime. Auburn kicker Anders Carlson has converted three field goals to help put points on the board for the Tigers.

Auburn’s defense set the tone on the first series of the game, forcing Washington to go three-and-out without picking up any yards, and the Tigers offense got to work on a short field thanks to a 32-yard punt return by Ryan Davis. Jarrett Stidham connected with Sal Cannella from 10 yards out for a touchdown thanks to an incredible effort by Canella to leap into the air to bring the ball down in the end zone.

Auburn’s Jamel Dean picked off a pass from Jake Browning on the next offensive series for the Huskies, which led to an Auburn field goal to take a 9-0 lead. It was a rough start for Washington, but it could have been worse. Washington got on the board on their next drive with a field goal.

Washington hopes to capitalize on a late momentum swing courtesy of a quick offensive touchdown drive, highlighted by a wonderful sideline catch by Ty Jones on the right sideline and followed immediately by a beautiful pass from Browning to Quinten Pounds for a touchdown.

This is still anyone’s game, and this should be a fun finish.

Alabama tops preseason Super 16 poll from FWAA and National Football Foundation

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Another day, another hour, and another top spot in a preseason poll for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Alabama was the most popular pick for the top spot in the preseason Super 16 Poll from the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. Alabama received 36 first-place votes to stay comfortably ahead of No. 2 Clemson. The Tigers received 14 first-place votes and Georgia and Michigan State each picked up one first-place vote.

The voters certainly are leaning toward Wisconsin as the top Big Ten team. The Badgers ranked fourth overall, two spots ahead of Ohio State. If the playoff were determined by this preseason poll, Alabama would play Wisconsin and Clemson would face Georgia. Washington would be the first team out. The Huskies coming in at No. 5 likely means a good number of voters believe Washington will open the season with a win against Auburn in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game as well, and that would certainly create a playoff-or-bust season for Washington out of the gates.

One team that has received some good offseason buzz that failed to crack the Super 16 was West Virginia. A trendy pick in the Big 12 for some, the Mountaineers were the first team out of this particular preseason poll.

No Group of Five programs made the Super 16 cut, although UCF, Boise State, and San Diego State all received at least one point in the voting.

Here is how the preseason Super 16 poll breaks down:

  1. Alabama (36 first-place votes)
  2. Clemson (14)
  3. Georgia
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Washington
  6. Ohio State
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Miami
  9. Auburn
  10. Penn State
  11. Michigan State (1)
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Michigan
  14. Stanford
  15. USC
  16. TCU

In the interest of full disclosure, three College Football Talk contributors are voting members in the Super 16 Poll; myself, Bryan Fischer and Zach Barnett). The poll is made up of members of the FWAA and College Football Hall of Famers with an emphasis on geographic balance. New polls will be updated every Monday this season, with the exception of the post-Week 1 poll, which will be released on Tuesday, September 4.

Washington’s leading returning receiver could miss all of 2018

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Washington, the overwhelming favorite to claim the Pac-12 crown, already knew it was coming into the 2018 season having to replace significant lost production in the passing game.  As it stands now, they could very well have to replace even more.

Speculation has been bouncing around social media of late that Hunter Bryant was dealing with what was potentially a significant injury issue.  At the Pac-12 Media Days Wednesday, Chris Petersen confirmed that the Huskies tight end had undergone knee surgery earlier this offseason.

As a result, the head coach further confirmed that Bryant will miss at least the start of the 2018 regular season.  Not only that, but Petersen indicated that Bryant missing the entire year is not out of the question.

From al.com:

He’s not going to be ready at the start of the season,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said at Pac-12 media day. “May end up being his redshirt year, especially with the four games that we can play. But he will not be ready at the start of the season. It will be a month or two before we can even kind of really see where he’s at. The surgery went really, really well.

Last season as a true freshman, Bryant’s 331 yards receiving were second on the team while his 22 receptions were third.  With Dante Pettis and his 761 yards off to the NFL, Bryant was the Huskies’ leading returning receiver in receiving yards.

Aaron Fuller, with 26 and 291, will now be UW’s leading returning receiver in catches and yards to open the upcoming season.