Huskies Insider Blog

Tale of the tape: Washington 45, Georgia State 14

This postgame tale of the tape is brought to you by consternation, which visited Husky Stadium for more of the Huskies' 45-14 victory over Georgia State than coach Chris Petersen would have liked. Let's get to it.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Uhh ... well ... maybe Jeff Lindquist? He rushed three times for 35 yards, and two of those were touchdowns (14 and nine yards each). And on a day in which the Huskies managed just 73 yards of total offense in the first half and never really sustained a long scoring drive -- their second-half scores were set up by great punt returns by Dante Pettis -- Lindquist's contributions do tend to stand out. Cyler Miles struggled to throw the ball downfield, partially because the Huskies couldn't protect him, and finished with a decent-but-not-terrific stat line of 19-for-27, 154 yards and three short touchdowns (with no interceptions). No Huskies running back totaled more than 56 yards.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- For as honest as Danny Shelton was afterward about not expecting much of a fight from Georgia State, he played as well as anybody on the field. Shelton recorded another 13 tackles, two of them for loss, plus his seventh sack of the season. Marcus Peters also deserves consideration here for intercepting two passes, and John Timu's interception return for a touchdown puts him in the conversation too. But we'll go with Shelton, if only because, again, those numbers aren't easy to produce for a nose tackle. And he had seven of those tackles on GSU's first two possessions, when the Huskies were struggling to stop them.

PLAY OF THE GAME -- Hard to single one out when the Huskies ultimately won by 31 points, but Pettis' 35-yard punt return in the third quarter that set up the Huskies' first touchdown was pretty big, if only because it put UW at Georgia State's 18-yard line and helped shorten the field. Lindquist followed with a 9-yard touchdown run two plays later.

STAT OF THE GAME -- 45. As in, the number of unanswered points the Huskies scored in the final 30 minutes. As bad as the first half was, UW dominated the second half about as thoroughly as possible, and managed to pull away with the blowout everyone expected.

QUOTABLE -- "We’ll pick out the positive things and go from there. But there’s a lot to learn on the other side. Our whole thing is are we playing as well as we can? And I think everybody in this room knows the answer to that. So that’s when you get truly frustrated. Hey, if we get beat, and we play well, and they’re just better than us, you know, you don’t like it, but you can live with it. But when you’re not living up to your potential for whatever reason, that’s just really, really sad and irritating to a coach.” -- UW coach Chris Petersen

WHAT IT MEANS -- The Huskies surely aren't as bad as they played in the first half, and as they said afterward, there was a definite sense that they overlooked Georgia State and didn't regard them as an much to worry about. You can look at that two ways. One, it's probably better to know that the first-half performance was a product of the Huskies overlooking Georgia State instead of them giving their best effort and still being completely outplayed by an inferior team. The other side of that, of course, is just how mentally prepared the Huskies are going to be against Pac-12 opponents if, after two close calls in their first three games, they weren't capable of not looking past a Georgia State team they should have manhandled from beginning to end. The victory itself is essentially meaningless, aside from the fact that it means they didn't lose. GSU should not have offered as much resistance as it did. But, again, it's probably easier to accept the fact that UW mostly hurt itself than it would be to believe that, skill-wise, Washington lacks the talent to blow past this kind of team. Clearly, it doesn't. The second half was evidence of that. The first half, though, might have been evidence of a larger issue, one that could make the difference between winning and losing in a game against a better opponent.

UP NEXT -- The Huskies host No. 16 Stanford at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday at Husky Stadium. The game will be televised by FOX, and UW is running a blackout promotion for fans who plan to attend.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple