Washington left Autzen Stadium on Saturday with a 30-27 loss to Oregon and dashed College Football Playoff hopes.
And the Huskies couldn’t even say they were otherwise unscathed.
Injuries wreaked havoc on UW all afternoon. In the second quarter, starting running back Myles Gaskin exited with an apparent shoulder injury. He spent several minutes in the injury tent before emerging without his pads and heading to the locker room.
Gaskin came back to the sideline late in the third quarter and put his pads back on, but remained on the sideline. He did return to the field with the Huskies for their first offensive series of the second half and played sporadically after that, but never consistently.
Running back Salvon Ahmed also spent much of the second half on the. sideline. He limped off the field after his knee appeared to buckle with no contact.
After the game, UW coach Chris Petersen didn’t offer much of an update on Gaskin or Ahmed.
“They’re banged up,” he said. “It’s football here in Game 7.”
Gaskin finished the game with 15 carries for 69 yards, while Ahmed had 11 carries for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Sean McGrew and Kamari Plesant took the majority of the snaps at running back in the second half and overtime.
Cornerback Jordan Miller also limped off in the second quarter and went to the injury tent. While he stayed on UW’s sideline in pads, he never returned to the field. Sophomore Keith Taylor, who finished with two tackles, played in his place.
Miller recorded one tackle before leaving the game.
Both UW and Oregon had players ejected for targeting.
Ducks defensive lineman Drayton Carlberg was called for targeting after he sacked Jake Browning in the first quarter. Then, in the fourth quarter, UW defensive lineman Jaylen Johnson was ejected after sacking an already wrapped-up Justin Herbert.
“It’s a tough one,” Petersen said of Johnson’s penalty. “He’s coming off the edge and the guy turns right back into him. But it is what it is. Those are the rules. Unfortunate.”
Tight end impact
Tight ends Drew Sample and Cade Otton were key pieces for UW’s offense against that Ducks. Sample led the Huskies in receiving, finishing with four catches for 79 yards. Otton had two catches for 36 yards.
During the drive that put UW ahead 17-10 in the second quarter, Sample had an impressive 33-yard reception off a double-reverse play.
Sample also had a big catch during UW’s final offensive series of regulation. The Huskies started deep in their own territory. On 2nd-and-3, Sample caught a 22-yard pass from Jake Browning that ignited the promising drive. It ended, of course, with Peyton Henry’s game-winning field goal attempt sailing wide right.
Otton caught a 20-yard pass to open the Huskies’ second offensive series of the game. He also had a 16-yard reception that set up Browning’s 43-yard touchdown pass to Ty Jones in the third quarter.
“We did a good job running the ball,” Sample said, “and I think that opens things up a little bit so we were able to make big time plays.”