UW returns both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns for the first time since 2001.
A familiar figure returned to return kickoff for the Huskies.
John Ross III had been eagerly awaiting this opportunity.
A year and a half after tearing an ACL in his knee, keeping him out for the entire 2015 season, Ross returned a second-quarter kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown in Washington’s 48-13 victory over Rutgers on Saturday at Husky Stadium.
“I have been looking forward to this day forever,” he said.
It was the fourth kick-return TD of Ross’ career, giving him the all-time UW record. He had shared the record, of three, with Jim Krieg (1970-71).
“I actually did not know that,” Ross said. “I was just so happy for the group of guys that were blocking for me. They do such a good job and I really couldn’t do it without them.”
His previous kick-return TDs, in 2013 and ’14, went for 100, 100 and 96 yards.
Ross also scored two receiving touchdowns Saturday — on passes of 38 and 50 yards from Jake Browning — and his five career touchdown plays of 90 yards or longer, also a UW record.
Ross wasn’t the only special-teams star Saturday. Junior receiver Dante Pettis returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown — the fourth punt-return TD of his career, which ties the UW career record with Beno Bryant.
“Everyone else was scoring. I was feeling a little left out,” Pettis said. “I couldn’t let Ross be the only one to get a return on special teams. I had to get one too.”
It’s the first time UW has had both a kickoff and a punt returned for touchdowns in the same game since 2001 against Idaho, when Roc Alexander (95-yard kick return and Charles Frederick (87-yard punt return) did so. The only other time that’s happened in UW history was in the 1940 Apple Cup, when Ernie Steele had an 87-yard kick and an 83-yard punt return for touchdowns.
Elsewhere, senior Cameron Van Winkle converted two of his three field-goal attempts, from 45 and 42 yards. (He missed from 47.) That gives him 38 made field goals in his UW career, sixth-most in school history. He needs two more to tie Travis Hanson (1990-93) for fifth.
UW coach Chris Petersen also singled out junior kickoff specialist/punter Tristan Vizcaino, who had five touchbacks on his eight kickoffs.