University of Washington

When you make Huskies QB Jake Browning ‘look pretty good,’ you deserve a shot

Days later, people are still bubbling over Quinten Pounds’ biggest career catch.

After a largely lethargic first half of offense in Boulder, Colorado, the Washington Huskies decided to take a shot near midfield on their first series of the third quarter.

Very similar to the post-pattern call that sprung Dante Pettis loose for a 73-yard score one week prior against Fresno State, Pounds got his chance on a long pass in the middle of the field.

Pounds split Colorado defenders Trey Udoffia and Evan Worthington and had a crease. But Jake Browning’s pass was a split-second late, which gave the Buffaloes’ defensive backs a chance to make up ground.

At the goal line, Pounds went up over both of them to haul in a 43-yard touchdown, giving the Huskies a 17-7 lead.

“Made me look pretty good,” Browning said.

So it came as no surprise Tuesday when the Huskies released their weekly depth chart, Pounds was listed as the new starter at slot receiver in place of injured Chico McClatcher.

“We will continue to get him the ball,” UW coach Chris Petersen said.

In this UW receiver group, Pounds is unique in both his wiry body frame (5-foot-11, 177 pounds) and his thirst to do all the little things in run blocking.

That is also not surprising, given that Pounds was both the leading receiver (29 catches, 570 yards, eight touchdowns) and rusher (788 yards, 11 TDs) as a senior at Cypress (Calif.) High School in 2014.

“I don’t mind at all to go in there and block. It helps the team, I think, more than catching the ball,” Pounds said. “If we don’t have blocking receivers ... Myles (Gaskin) is great, but it would be hard for him to get more yards.”

Pounds’ emergence could not have come at a better time.

With McClatcher done for the year with a broken ankle, and Andre Baccellia’s uncertain week-to-week status, Pounds suddenly looks like the best bet to inheirt the No. 2 receiving role behind senior Dante Pettis.

“Dante has kind of been the guy ... a little bit, and to be able to get another guy going like Quinten would be huge for us,” Browning said. “For him to go up and make a big play in a big game at a pretty clutch time, hopefully that continues to carry on into him improving every day and showing, ‘I have big play ability,’ now let’s be consistent.”

Petersen echoed that sentiment after the game.

“He can go up and get the ball. He does it many times in practice, so this is not the first time that has showed up like that,” Petersen said. “He just has more to him.”

Which Pounds will likely get a chance to showcase with more playing time.

“It’s just carry the flag — next man up,” Pounds said. “Whatever coach asks of us, let’s do what he asks.”