University of Washington

Huskies’ safety Budda Baker sustains apparent concussion in first quarter

Washington Huskies safeties Budda Baker and Jojo McIntosh each clobbered Utah receiver Britain Covey, in that order, on a first-down completion midway through the first quarter of Saturday’s 34-23 Utes victory.

McIntosh and Covey popped right up. Baker stayed down.

The star sophomore eventually rose to his feet and walked slowly off the field under the eye of several UW trainers, then went to the locker room for further evaluation with an apparent concussion. He did not return.

UW coach Chris Petersen said afterward that Baker obviously “got dinged in the head,” but had no update beyond that.

“We will just see,” he said.

It’s the second time this season that Baker has left a game because of injury. He sprained his ankle in UW’s Sept. 19 win over Utah State, missed the following week’s game against California, then returned for the Huskies’ Oct. 8 victory over USC.

Washington also played without starting nose tackle Elijah Qualls, who injured his ankle during last week’s game against Arizona. He didn’t suit up Saturday.

Redshirt freshman Greg Gaines started in his place and led the team with 10 tackles. Fellow freshman Vita Vea also saw more playing time and had three tackles.

“Greg’s really come along and he’s playing really consistent, solid, physical,” UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. “Vita played a lot tonight, and he’s only going to get better. So that was good to get him out there.”

Junior cornerback Kevin King, who injured his right knee two weeks ago against Stanford and sat out last week’s game against Arizona, returned and played with a hefty brace on his right knee.

Gaskin in Wildcat

The Huskies debuted a different look for freshman tailback Myles Gaskin on Saturday, as a few of his carries came on direct snaps from center.

Petersen said the design was simply to find different ways to get the ball in Gaskin’s hands.

UW also continued its bizarre use of third-string quarterback Jeff Lindquist in a now-and-then package that again yielded minimal yardage.

“We need to figure that out,” Petersen said. “We’ve got to look at that — is it being productive? If we get in the Wildcat and not get anything done, we need to look at that. … I don’t necessarily think it’s on Jeff or anything like that. … We’ve got to figure something out to be able to get a yard or two on a pretty highly consistent basis.”

EXTRA POINTS

UW’s first-quarter field goal marked the first time this season that the Huskies have scored on their opening possession. … The Huskies have forced 17 turnovers this season, and have scored after only six of them, including Cameron Van Winkle’s second-quarter, 39-yard field goal following a Utah fumble. The other five scores were touchdowns. … Tight end Joshua Perkins caught one pass for 53 yards and ranks ninth in career receiving yards by a tight end in UW history with 747.

christian.caple@thenewstribune.com

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