In all, 71 players made an appearance for UW against Rutgers — 35 on defense, 33 on offense and three specialists.

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Washington’s near-flawless start in its season-opening 48-13 rout of Rutgers opened the door for 17 Huskies to make their collegiate debuts Saturday.

It should be just the beginning of a busy stretch for UW’s backups.

Rutgers, on paper, is supposed to be the Huskies’ most challenging nonconference opponent. Next up is Idaho (1-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium (Pac-12 Network).

The Huskies have opened as 35-point favorites over the Vandals — the second-highest spread in which UW has been favored over the past 20 years. (The Huskies were favored by 50.5 points against Idaho State, a lower-division FCS program, in 2013.)

UW then wraps up its nonconference schedule against Portland State, an FCS program, on Sept. 17.

All of which could mean more playing time for the Huskies’ reserves, who got significant snaps in Saturday’s opener.

In all, 71 players made an appearance for UW against Rutgers — 35 on defense, 33 on offense and three specialists.

Leading 24-0 in the first quarter was certainly a factor, but the Huskies had planned to take advantage of their excellent defensive depth even in the first half.

Notably, backup senior safety Brandon Beaver, in his first game since tearing an ACL last October, had an interception and nearly returned it for his first career touchdown.

By the end of the third quarter, UW was using mostly second- and third-stringers, giving those backups valuable experience in the fourth quarter.

Redshirt freshman Benning Potoa’e, UW’s third-string Buck linebacker, impressed in his debut, posting four tackles and forcing a late fumble that was recovered by another third-string linebacker, Bryce Sterk, who was also making his UW debut.

“Benning got a lot of good reps out there,” UW co-defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. “Bryce Sterk got in, made a play there toward the end. Any time you can get your backups and your young guys reps during a real game, that’s extremely important for their development down the road.”

Both of UW’s backup quarterbacks played in the second half. Sophomore K.J. Carta-Samuels relieved Jake Browning late in the third quarter and his first play of the season was a 4-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman Andre Baccellia.

Third-string QB Tony Rodriguez made his UW debut in the fourth quarter and took a knee on the game’s final play.

Baccellia, in his debut, also had a 36-yard reception from Browning in the third quarter. Junior K.J. Young, the former Oklahoma receiver, also saw his first action for the Huskies but didn’t register any stats.

Four true freshmen played for UW: safety Taylor Rapp, right guard Nick Harris, wide receiver Aaron Fuller and linebacker Brandon Wellington.

Fuller had one catch for five yards, Rapp was credited with four tackles, and Wellington had two tackles and returned one pooch kick 25 yards.

Several other true freshman suited up for the game but didn’t play, including CB Byron Murphy, RB Sean McGrew and LB Amandre Williams.

Among those freshmen who didn’t suit up (and thus are in line to redshirt): LB Camilo Eifler, CB Isaiah Gilchrist, CB Kentrell Love, WR Jordan Chin and P/K Van Soderberg.