Huskies Insider Blog

Tale of the tape: UCLA 44, Washington 30

Here we go.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Easy call here. Brett Hundley benefited greatly from a young, thin Huskies secondary, and a defensive front missing national sacks leader Hau'oli Kikaha for nearly the entire game. Also, Hundley is simply a really good quarterback, and he showed it by completing 29 of 36 passes for 302 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and another two rushing touchdowns on top of it. He threw where he wanted, when he wanted, and the Huskies did little to stop him. And Kikaha's sack in the first quarter -- the play in which he suffered the stinger -- was the only time UW got to Hundley in the backfield on a passing play.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks, as usual, was all over the place. He entered the game with 101 tackles, and added another 13 against the Huskies, 12 of them solo.

PLAY OF THE GAME -- UCLA dominated the first half so thoroughly that it's difficult to pick out a turning point. But the most impressive individual effort came from Bruins linebacker Myles Jack, who burned the Huskies again as a running back by running and spinning his way to a 28-yard touchdown run in the first half. The Bellevue High product now has five rushing touchdowns in two career games against the Huskies.

STAT OF THE GAME -- The Huskies had only 215 yards of total offense in the final three quarters.

QUOTABLE -- "“It’s painful. There’s no doubt about it. It’s not any one guy. It’s really not. It’s got to start with us as coaches and everybody’s involved. It’s hard. Run the ball fairly effectively, but we’ve got to be able to throw the ball more effectively to give him some balance and take some pressure off that run game.” -- coach Chris Petersen on the Huskies' passing game

WHAT IT MEANS -- You really saw today just how essential Kikaha is to Washington's defense, and there's no doubt his absence -- and UW's subsequent lack of a pass rush -- was a factor in Hundley's big day. But it was only one factor. The Huskies' defense was weak all the way around, allowing Paul Perkins to rush for 98 yards on 19 carries, and giving up big, easy passing plays. Some of that was surely due to the youth in UWs secondary, which lost its best player, Marcus Peters, when Petersen dismissed him earlier this week. You don't replace a guy like that in three days. Naijiel Hale started in his place with mixed results. He was in coverage on Hundley's 57-yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Walker III, and was called for a pass interference penalty. Hale finished with two tackles. And Washington's offense didn't do nearly enough to bail its defense out. Shaq Thompson was again effective at running back, but Petersen's desire to use him on both sides of the ball -- and the defense really did need him -- prevented Thompson from really getting the Huskies' offense into a rhythm with his running ability. And, as Petersen put it, the Huskies' passing game is truly "painful" to watch right now. Cyler Miles, who completed 14-of-24 for 155 yards, is only part of the problem. He was sacked three times and hurried a few others, and wound up completing only seven passes to wide receivers. UW's top receiver, yardage-wise, is John Ross III, and he played cornerback almost exclusively. You can't beat a quality Pac-12 team without any threat at all of a vertical passing game. It simply cannot be done. And the Huskies have yet to summon the necessary production in that phase of the game to really threaten one of these ranked opponents.

UP NEXT -- Washington at Arizona, 12:30 p.m. PT, Saturday, Nov. 15 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. TV: FOX.

Christian Caple can be reached at christian.caple@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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