Personal-foul penalties on Washington’s defense set up all three of Utah’s touchdowns Saturday in the Huskies’ 31-24 victory.
SALT LAKE CITY — Personal-foul penalties on Washington’s defense set up all three of Utah’s touchdowns Saturday in the Huskies’ 31-24 victory.
UW linebacker Azeem Victor was briefly pulled from the game after he was hit with an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty in the second quarter. That negated a third-down stop at the Huskies’ 3-yard line and led to Utah’s first touchdown.
Victor was flagged for another personal foul in the third quarter when he grabbed the face mask of Utah running back Joe Williams, who was stopped short of the goal line on a third-down run. That gave Utah another automatic first-and-goal and set up another touchdown — Troy Williams’ 6-yard pass to Siaosi Wilson.
“Disappointing,” UW coach Chris Petersen said. “I thought we’d have a little more poise than that.”
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After what would have been another third-down hold, UW’s Psalm Wooching was called for a roughing-the-passer personal foul early in the fourth quarter, giving Utah a first down at the UW 49. Three plays later, Troy Williams threw a 24-yard TD pass to tie the score at 24-24.
“That’s obviously a good team, but we shot ourselves in the foot the majority of the time,” UW defensive tackle Elijah Qualls said. “It’s high emotions, and everybody’s trying to do too much.”
Victor had a season-high 16 tackles. He’s probably looking at 1,000 pushups this week — Petersen’s standard punishment for personal-foul penalties is 500 pushups. UW did not make Victor available for interviews after the game.
The Huskies finished with a season-low one sack (by Keishawn Bierria in the final minute) and often rushed only three defenders at Troy Williams.
Senior outside linebacker Joe Mathis, UW’s sack leader, missed his second straight game with a foot injury. There’s no definitive timetable for his return.
“He’s an explosive pass rusher and we miss him, for sure,” Petersen said.
Browning’s punt proves key
Jake Browning’s golden right arm has vaulted him in the Heisman Trophy discussion.
His left foot helped save the Huskies on Saturday.
Browning’s pooch punt in the fourth quarter was downed by UW receivers at the Utah 1-yard line midway through the fourth quarter.
“I don’t think I could do any better than that,” Browning said.
It was Browning’s second punt of the season. Both have been downed inside the 20.
UW’s defense got a quick three-and-out, forcing Utah to punt from its end zone — which allowed Dante Pettis room to break free for his game-winning punt return.
True freshman starts at left guard
True freshman Nick Harris got his first start for UW, at left guard in place of injured senior Jake Eldrenkamp.
“I thought Nick did a great job — a true freshman coming into a hostile environment and a really good defense and playing well,” Browning said.
Petersen said he expects to have Eldrenkamp back at some point.
“It’s hard when you lose a senior offensive lineman who has played a lot of football for us and is kind of one of the pillars in there. … But we’ll get Jake back. It’s nothing super serious,” Petersen said.