Sep 20, 2018
Fresno state redshirt freshman long snapper Jacob Westberry (53) chases Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis (8) at Husky Stadium on Sept. 16, 2017. Washington beat Fresno State 48-16. (Conor Courtney/The Daily of the University of Washington)

First quarter blitz sinks Bulldogs

The University of Washington football team upended the Fresno State Bulldogs 48-16 after the Huskies scored 27 points in the first quarter on Saturday.

“Obviously, we played a great football team, and they executed very well,” Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford said. “We fell behind early and, you know, it’s hard to come back against a team like that. They are coached very well, and they execute very well.”

Although the ‘Dogs recorded over 300 total yards, they were unable to keep up with the Huskies’ high-powered offense led by quarterback Jake Browning, who finished with 255 yards passing along with four touchdown passes.

“They just do a great job of executing,” Tedford said. “They have a great quarterback who is very efficient and finds matchups and works the field very, very well. And they have very good guys around him, and they protected him well. When he gets protection like that, he can contend with pretty much any defense.”

The ‘Dogs, on the other hand, split time between starter Chason Virgil and former PAC-12 quarterback Marcus McMaryion who came on in the second half.

Virgil finished with 98 yards passing and a touchdown. His only blemish came in the first quarter when he threw an interception to Huskies’ lineman Tevis Bartlett.

McMaryion completed 10 passes for 96 yards.

“We wanted to give him a chance to get into the game and get more game experience,” Tedford said. “As he progresses through the playbook and game planning, we thought he had a handle on what we were doing and wanted to see what he could do.”

The ‘Dogs lone touchdown of the night came on an eight-play 50-yard drive that ended with Da’Mari Scott’s first touchdown of the season.

Virgil used both his legs and his arm to get the ‘Dogs into scoring position before Scott caught a 6-yard touchdown.

For Fresno State, by the time the ‘Dogs were able to put points on the board, the Huskies had already put up 34 points of their own.

Washington wide receiver Dustin Pettis had three touchdowns in the first half and four total for the game.

“He’s an awesome player, he really is,” Tedford said. “We punted the ball into the boundary and tried to pin him in, and he still got out of there. He is so slippery and has great balance and great speed, and, you know, everything he does as a receiver as well.”

Although kicker Jimmy Camacho hit three of four field goals for the ‘Dogs, touchdowns and capitalizing on their opportunities were an issue.

“It is definitely hard to settle for fields goals,” senior offensive lineman Aaron Mitchell said. “We have to learn how to take advantage of the short fields. Our defense played their butts off, they put us in great situations. We just needed to finish better – bottom line.”

Sophomore Mike Bell led the ‘Dogs’ defense with a career-high nine tackles along with a tackle for loss. Jeffrey Allison and James Bailey chipped in five tackles each.

Penalties were a thorn in the ‘Dogs’ side all night. The team committed six in total.

“We got a couple penalties tonight that hurt us pretty bad,” Tedford said. “Stopped them down inside there and had a horse-collar penalty that kept the drive alive.”

Crowd noise might’ve been an issue for the ‘Dogs last week against Alabama, but senior receiver KeeSean Johnson said it really wasn’t that bad in Seattle.

“They were both loud, but it wasn’t anything that I feel like we couldn’t handle,” Johnson said. “You can’t think about the crowd when you are playing. You just have to focus in on your assignment and what is going on the field.”

The ‘Dogs have a bye next week before they open Mountain West play against Nevada at home Sept. 30.

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