PROVO, Utah — In its first road test of the year, the No. 22 Washington football team passed, putting together perhaps its best game of the season in a 45-19 victory over BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
“I think we came here to handle business, and we did that,” Myles Bryant said.
Jacob Eason led the way in a 290-yard passing performance, also adding three touchdowns in a near-perfect day on the road with an 85% completion percentage.
The Huskies (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) again soared to a good start, where at one point early in the second quarter they led the Cougars (2-2) by three touchdowns. Eason’s first quarter included two touchdown passes with just one incompletion, with his scoring tosses going to tailback Richard Newton and wideout Aaron Fuller.
Then after a scoop and score by senior linebacker Brandon Wellington, Washington lost its momentum a bit late in the first half. A five-play, 75-yard scoring drive from BYU capped off by a one-yard plunge from Emmanuel Esukpa pulled the Cougars within two scores, and then a failed fake field goal attempt gave BYU a chance to score before halftime with four minutes to work with.
The Cougars marched their way down the field and managed a 54-yard field goal from Jake Oldroyd and were set to receive the second half kick after deferring to start.
After Joe Tryon was ejected for targeting to open the first hit when he led with his helmet a little too high, true freshman Trent McDuffie swung the momentum right back to the Huskies with a forced fumble and recovery at midfield.
“At that time they had the momentum,” Bryant said. “That was a big play, that was one of the biggest plays today. It was a big momentum-shifter.”
After getting outscored 27-3 in its last two games in the third quarter, the Huskies had a decidedly different third quarter. After the forced turnover, the UW easily drove down the field in three plays, capped by an Eason strike to wideout Andre Baccellia for a 35-yard touchdown.
“It was nice to come out fast and not slow down from the first half,” McGrew said.
Then the barrage started.
BYU went three-and-out on its second possession of the game, and punted the ball deep to UW’s 12-yard line, where Fuller took it 88 yards to the house for his first career punt return touchdown.
“I can’t tell you how frustrated I’ve been for Aaron,” head coach Chris Petersen said. “I think he’s really good, he’s super courageous, he’s very sure-handed, he’s like everything you want in a punt returner. We just have to give him a little room.”
The Huskies tacked on another touchdown in their ensuing possession to give UW a commanding 45-12 lead late in the third quarter. Though an Eason interception — perhaps the only black mark on an otherwise dominant performance — gave the Cougars an easy touchdown to close out the third frame, BYU just didn’t have enough in the tank.
“It was a good performance, really in all phases,” Petersen said. “I was proud of them of what they did, the game, like it never is, far from perfect… I like how they practice, and I like how they competed out here.”
Reach Sports Editor Alec Dietz at email@example.com. Twitter: @AlecDietz
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