The No. 23 Huskies exorcised any lingering demons from last week’s upset loss to California with a dominating performance Saturday evening that resulted in a blowout 52-20 victory over Hawaii.
Against an opponent that was 2-0 against the Pac-12 with wins over Arizona and Oregon State, Washington started fast and led 38-0 just before halftime.
The Huskies were less than perfect in the second half, but good enough to improve to 2-1. UW heads to BYU next week for its final non-conference game.
Here are three impressions from the Hawaii win.
Five for five
The Huskies scored five touchdowns on its first six possessions, which included five different UW players finding the end zone. Quarterback Jacob Eason got things rolling on the opening drive and connected with tight end Hunter Bryant for a 47-yard TD reception. On UW’s next drive, backup running back Sean McGrew scurried out of a pack of defenders for a 22-yard TD run. Eason tossed two more TD passes and found true freshman Puka Nacua and Aaron Fuller in the end zone for scores. Redshirt freshman running back Richard ‘Scootin’’ Newton tallied the fifth touchdown and ran for a 5-yard score out of the wildcat formation.
Finally, some turnovers
The UW defense had played well in the first two games while allowing an average of 17 points and 288.5 yards. But the Huskies hadn’t created a turnover, which had been a sore spot with defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake. Against Hawaii, which led the nation with eight turnovers, Washington snapped its takeaway drought early on Saturday. On Hawaii’s second play, safety Myles Bryant jumped in front of a receiver for an interception that set up UW’s second TD. In the second quarter, Bryant ripped a pass away from JoJo Ward for his second interception. The turnover resulted in a 23-yard field goal from Peyton Henry for UW’s final points before halftime. In the second half, linebacker Kyler Manu deflected a pass across the middle and free safety Cameron Williams collected the high-arcing rebound for UW’s third interception.
Red zone issues abated
Thanks to Newton, the Huskies may have found an answer to their red-zone issues. Last week, UW made 11 trips into enemy territory but settled for just one touchdown and four field goals during a 20-19 defeat to Cal. On Saturday, the Huskies made four trips into the red zone and scored three touchdowns and one field goal. Newton, a 6-foot and 210-pound bulldozer, plowed through defenders for short TD runs of 1 and 8 yards. He finished with (eight) carries and 29 yards, but proved to be invaluable in short-yard situations.