The Washington Huskies dropped the ball in Saturday’s 33-28 loss to Utah.

Literally.

On fourth-and-1 from the Utah 45-yard line with 1:09 left in the first half, UW coach Chris Petersen decided to take a chance. Against the best statistical run defense in college football, quarterback Jacob Eason faked a hand off, scanned the field and floated the football behind the defense to wide-open redshirt freshman tight end Devin Culp.

Culp simply dropped it.

Action from the Huskies’ 33-28 defeat to the Utah Utes on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Husky Stadium. (Dean Rutz, Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)
Utah 33, Washington 28

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“I think we wanted to be aggressive with that call,” Hamdan said. “We felt good about it. Man coverage. Bad eyes (for the UW defense). I think that’s exactly what we wanted.”

Instead of getting what it wanted, Washington turned the ball over on downs, and Utah responded with an eight-play, 41-yard drive that resulted in a 32-yard field goal. It was the Huskies’ only misfire in five fourth-down attempts on the day.

Jones dresses, then sits

Ty Jones dressed for the first time this season Saturday.

Washington’s junior wide receiver — who has sat out every game this season with a dislocated lunate bone and torn ligaments in his right wrist — was the first Husky on the field before the game, catching passes in the end zone. It appeared he was ready to make an overdue debut.

Then the game came and went, and Jones didn’t play.

“Ty’s ready to go,” Petersen confirmed after the game. “We’ve got to get him going. There’s no question about it. It’s kind of the next man up. We’ve got to get him going.”

It would certainly help if they did. In 14 games last season, the 6-foot-4, 213-pound junior led the Huskies with six receiving touchdowns and added 31 catches for 491 yards. Jones can play in the next four games, assuming UW qualifies for a bowl game, and still maintain his redshirt and preserve an extra season of eligibility.

Notes

  • Washington forced and recovered two third-quarter fumbles on Saturday. The first ended a Utah drive at the UW 23-yard line, as running back Jordan Wilmore simply dropped the ball and nickelback Elijah Molden fell on it. And on the Utes’ next possession, Husky linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio punched the ball away from wide receiver Derrick Vickers, and freshman corner Trent McDuffie recovered. Still, the two turnovers weren’t enough. “It was huge,” UW defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake said. “But (the Utah defense) had three turnovers and a score. We kept talking about that throughout the game. We’re trying to get more turnovers than them. They ratcheted it up and got another turnover on top of ours. They had three. We had two. They had a score. We didn’t score on defense. They won the turnover battle. In a tight game like that, you could see how the outcome was going to be.”
  • Redshirt sophomore outside linebacker Joe Tryon, who produced two sacks in his first eight games, had two more in the first half on Saturday. The 6-5, 262-pounder finished with six tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks in the loss.
  • A significant streak was snapped for Petersen. Heading into the game, he was 18-0 when his team had 10-plus days to prepare in between games during the regular season, and 5-0 immediately after a bye at UW.