Let’s take a look at the Huskies’ season-opening, 48-13 victory over Rutgers on Saturday with a quick game recap.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Not a bad season debut for John Ross III, eh? Ross, playing in his first game since missing all of last season due to a torn anterior-cruciate ligament, caught five passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns -- on plays of 38 and 50 yards -- and took his only kick return 92 yards for a touchdown, the fourth of his career. He benefited from two great throws by quarterback Jake Browning. One of them came on a run call, but with a safety matched up on Ross, Browning checked out of it and threw it deep against 1-on-1 coverage. Amid questions about UW’s receiving corps, Ross immediately reminded everyone of what he can do when healthy. Browning gets honorable mention here with a stat line of 18-for-27 for 287 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Junior linebacker Keishawn Bierria was all over the place. He finished with 12 tackles -- 11 of them solo -- and forced a fumble when he drilled Rutgers quarterback Chris Laviano in the first quarter. The Huskies recovered the fumble and turned it into a field goal to take a 10-0 lead. Azeem Victor also impressed, finishing with 11 tackles, and senior cornerback Kevin King had seven tackles, two of them for loss.
PLAY OF THE GAME -- Hard to pick just one in a blowout, but we’ll go with Browning’s 43-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Chico McClatcher. It was the first score of the game, and it set the tone for a day full of big plays for the Huskies.
STAT OF THE GAME -- Washington held Rutgers to minus-6 yards rushing in the first quarter, a big reason why the Huskies were able to control field position and race to a 24-0 lead.
QUOTABLE -- “It meant about 21, 28 points. John is as fast and explosive as they come, so that’s a nice weapon for our offense to have. Give the other guys a chance to develop, because it can’t just be the John Ross show. People will figure out how to slow that down fast. But I think it’s really nice to come out of the gate and make some plays there so people have to pay attention to that closely. We do have some other firepower, and that should help balance things out, I think.” -- UW coach Chris Petersen on what it meant to have Ross back
NEXT UP -- Washington vs. Idaho, 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at Husky Stadium. Pac-12 Networks has the broadcast again.