Final | UCLA 24, UW Huskies 17
5:30 p.m. | Husky Stadium | Seattle
TV: FOX | Radio: SportsRadio 950 KJR
Even with throwback uniforms, Huskies don’t resemble ’91 national champs in 24-17 loss to UCLA
The Washington Huskies looked like the 1991 national champions on Saturday night.
The white block numerals, the dark purple tops, the bright gold pants …
But enough about the uniforms.
In a 24-17 homecoming loss to UCLA, the Huskies looked like champions, but played like chumps.
Three decades after the 1991 Huskies allowed just 1.9 yards per carry in an undefeated 12-0 season, Jimmy Lake’s crew surrendered 246 rushing yards and 6.6 yards per rush on Saturday night. The Bruins recorded three runs of 20-plus yards in the first half alone — one apiece by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running backs Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown.
Dylan Morris throws another ill-timed INT
The drive: Seven plays, 27 yards, 3:29.
The story: Dylan Morris came up short on a pass intended for Rome Odunze that was intercepted by UCLA's Devin Kirkwood at the UCLA 4-yard line.
Next possession: UCLA starts on own 4.
Time left: 4:50 in 4Q.
UCLA retakes lead with long TD drive
The scoring play: Dorian Thompson-Robinson hit Greg Dulcich for a 9-yard touchdown as UCLA retakes the lead nearly midway through the fourth quarter.
The drive: 13 plays, 90 yards, 5:47.
The score: UCLA 24, Huskies 17; 8:19 in 4Q.
UW forced to punt back to UCLA
The drive: 10 plays, 32 yards, 5:27.
Next possession: UCLA starts on own 10.
Time left: 14:06 in 4Q.
Where have these Huskies been?
In the third quarter, UW rushed for 73 yards and 4.9 yards per carry … after mustering four rushing yards in the first two quarters. And equally importantly, they forced a pair of UCLA punts (after the Bruins had scored on four consecutive drives).
It feels like the next score will win this game. Let’s see who gets it.
Huskies force UCLA to punt again
The drive: Five plays, 23 yards, 2:23.
Next possession: UW starts at own 20.
Time left: 4:32 in 3Q.
Morris plunges in on fourth-and-goal to tie this one up
The scoring play: Dylan Morris plunges in on a sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1 for a huge touchdown.
The drive: Nine plays, 75 yards, 4:52.
The score: Huskies 17, UCLA 17; 6:55 in 3Q.
UW defense comes up with big stop to start third quarter
The drive: Eight plays, 24 yards, 3:13
Next possession: UW starts on own 25.
Time left: 11:47 in 3Q.
Here’s the rushing comparison through one half inside Husky Stadium:
UCLA: 133 rushing yards, 7.4 yards per carry, 1 rush TD
UW: four yards, 0.3 yards per carry, 0 rush TD
The statistics speak volumes. But if that’s not enough, how about this? UCLA recorded three rushes of at least 20 yards in the first half. UW has one in five-plus games this season (ranking tied for last nationally).
A 26-yard touchdown from Dylan Morris to wide receiver Rome Odunze delivered UW some much-needed momentum to close the half. But if the Huskies can’t stop the run, they won’t stop the Bruins.
UCLA misses FG before half
The drive: Seven plays, 39 yards, 0:52.
The story: UCLA put a bit of a drive together before halftime, but missed a 54-yarder before halftime.
Time left: Halftime.
Huskies come up with much-needed TD before halftime
The scoring play: Dylan Morris hit Rome Odunze for a much-needed 26-yard touchdown to keep UW in this one.
The drive: Eight plays, 69 yards, 2:35.
The score: UCLA 17, Huskies 10; 0:52 left in 2Q.
DTR punches it in for another UCLA TD on fourth-and-goal
The scoring play: UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson converted a sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1 for a touchdown.
The drive: Six plays, 56 yards, 2:19.
The score: UCLA 17, Huskies 3; 3:33 in 2Q.
UW goes three-and-out on ensuing possession
The drive: Three plays, 6 yards, 1:06.
Next possession: UCLA starts on own 44.
Time left: 5:52 in 2Q.
UCLA tacks on FG
The scoring play: Nicholas Barr-Mira hits a 39-yard field goal.
The drive: 8 plays, 51 yards, 4:19.
The score: UCLA 10, Huskies 3; 7:04 in 2Q.
Headlined by snap over Morris' head, UW punts back to UCLA
The drive: Six plays, minus-3 yards, 4:00.
Next possession: UCLA starts at own 28.
Time left: 11:23 in 2Q.
UW entered Saturday’s game ranked 22nd nationally in red zone touchdown rate, cashing in 71.43% of its drives inside the 20.
But the Huskies sputtered on the goal line against UCLA.
After wide receiver Rome Odunze took a pitch and bounded for 17 yards to the Bruin 2-yard line – only narrowly missing a touchdown – UW lost four yards on its next two plays, both Sean McGrew runs between the tackles. After Dylan Morris missed tight end Cade Otton on third down, the Huskies were forced to settle for a 25-yard field goal.
It was a score that felt like an empty opportunity.
On the other side, UCLA – which leads the Pac-12 in rushing offense – has unsurprisingly had its way on the ground, as running back Zach Charbonnet has tallied 45 rushing yards and 7.5 yards per carry. If the Huskies can’t slow the Bruins on the ground, they won’t win the game.
UCLA rushes all over UW en route to first TD
The scoring play: UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson found Kam Brown for a 17-yard touchdown.
The drive: 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:54.
The score: UCLA 7, Huskies 3; 0:29 in 1Q.
UW gets on the board with a FG
The scoring play: UW kicker Peyton Henry hits a 25-yard field goal.
The drive: 12 plays, 74 yards, 5:31.
The score: Huskies 3, UCLA 0.
UCLA can't take advantage of INT
The drive: Six plays, 19 yards, 2:44.
The story: UCLA attempted some trickery, including a play with only one lineman (??), but ultimately failed to take advantage of the interception and punted back to the Huskies.
Next possession: UW starts at own 20.
Time left: 8:54 in 1Q.
UW QB Dylan Morris hit and intercepted on first possession
The drive: Seven plays, 22 yards, 3:17.
The story: UW was methodically driving on its first possession of the game, but QB Dylan Morris was hit while releasing the ball on first-and-10 at UW's 41 and was intercepted by UCLA's Quentin Lake.
Next possession: UCLA starts at own 30.
Time left: 11:38 in 1Q.
What to watch for in UW Huskies’ home test against UCLA, plus Mike Vorel’s prediction
What does Washington’s offense do well? We asked that question in a story last week, and we’re still waiting on an answer. Through five games, the Huskies rank 10th in the Pac-12 in rushing offense (116.6 yards per game), 11th in rushing yards per carry (3.58), eighth in yards per pass attempt (7.0), ninth in pass efficiency rating (123.09), ninth in interceptions (6) and 10th in completion percentage (58.4%). UW may have found something on the ground in the second half against Oregon State, as a pair of sixth-year seniors in Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant ran for 104 yards and 84 yards, respectively.
Read more here on UW's keys to the game.
‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes’: Can UW (finally) stop the run against UCLA?
While its exact origin is disputed, American humorist and writer Mark Twain is frequently credited with the aphorism: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”
Which means, while details change, circumstances change, settings change, names change, similar events will essentially recycle.
UW’s defense knew it needed to stop the run to beat Michigan. Instead, it surrendered 343 rushing yards, 6.1 yards per carry and four rushing scores in a 31-10 loss.
Three weeks later, UW’s defense knew it needed to stop the run to beat Oregon State. Instead, it surrendered 242 rushing yards, 4.8 yards per carry and three rushing scores in a 27-24 loss.
UW’s defense knew it needed to stop the run to beat Cal in 2019, and Stanford in 2019, and Oregon in 2019, and Colorado in 2019, and Stanford in 2020. Instead … well, you probably know the rest.
Now, UW’s defense knows it needs to stop the run to beat UCLA.
If it doesn’t, the place and time won’t change the rhyme.
UW football mailbag: Possible transfer portal departures, Sam Huard’s future and whether life is cruel by design
To quote Newman, Jerry Seinfeld’s fictionalized neighbor and United States postal worker:
“The mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. There’s never a let-up. It’s relentless!”
Even after a bye week.
So, before 2-3 Washington returns to Husky Stadium to host UCLA in its Homecoming game on Saturday night, let’s open our mailbag and see what we find.
Jimmy Lake has vowed to get the ball to UW’s best players. Can the Huskies spotlight their young receivers against UCLA?
Regardless of scheme or delivery service, offenses have long thrived by adhering to some obvious advice:
Get the football to your best football players.
If he’s a running back, hand it to him. If he’s a wide receiver, pass it to him.
It’s really pretty simple.
Or at least, it should be.
In a 27-24 loss to Oregon State on Oct. 2, Jalen McMillan — one of Washington’s best football players — was targeted a total of three times, turning in two catches for 18 yards.
Taj Davis — whom UW head coach Jimmy Lake called “one of our top guys” — converted two targets into one catch for five yards.
Rome Odunze — one of Washington’s best football players — caught three passes (for 20 yards) on four targets, five days after Lake said he was “going to have even more opportunities to go make some big splash plays.”
Granted, defenses game plan to minimize an opponent’s playmakers.
But how can Washington (2-3) more consistently follow the aforementioned advice?
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