The University of Washington Huskies defeated a ranked squad from Boise State on Saturday, notching a huge early-season victory that could help propel them out of mediocrity.
The Broncos offense didn't play up to expectations, as senior QB Taylor Tharp made too many mistakes and superstar RB Ian Johnson only managed 81 yards on 20 carries.
The worst day for the Broncos may have belonged to tackle Ryan Clady, who was mentioned as a preseason All-American but was beaten on several occasions and was repeatedly flagged throughout the day.
The Broncos defense didn’t play particularly well in the first half, but stepped up in the second to shut down the Husky offense. It will continue to be difficult for Boise State to compete with BCS conferences as long as they're undersized in the trenches.
The Broncos have yet to beat a BCS conference team on the road in the regular season.
Jake Locker, meanwhile, looks like a star in the making for the Huskies. The QB showed big-play ability and strong leadership skills on Saturday, passing for 193 yards and picking up 84 more—plus two touchdowns—on the ground.
Wide receiver Marcel Reece also had a big day, averaging 25.5 yards per catch and hauling in a 58-yard touchdown. Tailback Louis Rankin struggled throughout the afternoon, but did contribute by throwing a touchdown pass to Quentin Daniels on a trick play.
On defense, the Huskies contained the Broncos running attack and created turnovers—both hallmarks of winning teams. Defensive end Greyson Gunhiem had a solid day, spending a great deal of time in the Broncos backfield and picking off a Tharp pass.
All told, this was a matchup of two teams that both seem to be on the right track. For the first time in years, the Huskies looked like they belonged on the same field with elite competition.
The win should give Washington a great deal of confidence and momentum as they host Ohio State next week. The Huskies are currently in a stretch of their schedule that is as tough as that of any team in the country—and so far they've come through undefeated.