Washington Huskies Football: Grading Week 3 Game Against Nebraska Cornhuskers
This was a very tough game for Husky fans to swallow.
It was a winnable game in the first half, but in the end the Dawgs made too many mistakes and were dealt too many penalties, which ended up costing them the victory.
Overall, the Huskies receive a B grade in my book.
Here is a breakdown of the game at each position and why.
Any doubts that people had about quarterback Keith Price during the season should be completely gone after this game.
Price, while under duress all game, threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns.
He also cemented his stature as a team leader by courageously hobbling through a knee injury the entire fourth quarter.
The only blemishes on his day were the two interceptions he threw.
Running Backs: A
After running back Chris Polk ran all over Nebraska in last year's Holiday Bowl, the Cornhuskers made it their primary goal to game plan against him. Well, it didn't work.
With power and purpose, Polk rushed 22 times for 130 yards and one touchdown.
This was a game of very high highs coupled with heartbreaking lows.
Receivers James Johnson and Jermaine Kearse worked hard to get open and had two touchdowns apiece.
What hurt the Huskies in particular were a couple key drops from normally sure-handed Devin Aguilar in key situations.
Special teams: C
As per usual place kicker Erik Folk did a solid job against the Huskers, nailing his only field goal of the game, while punter Kiel Rasp was erratic at best.
What brings down this grade are two plays.
Nebraska return man Ameer Abdullah returned three kickoffs for a 43-yard average, including a long of 66.
Perhaps the turning point of the game, however, was Bishop Sankey's back-breaking fumble of a kickoff at the one-yard line, which led immediately to a 'Huskers touchdown.
The O-line did well run blocking for Polk, but had some issues providing consistent pass blocking to protect Price.
He was hit far too often for Coach Steve Sarkisian's liking—or Price's for that matter.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez hurt the Huskies with his throwing and running.
In the second half, the Cornhuskers' offensive line took it to the Huskies' defensive linemen—Nebraska rushed for more than 300 yards.
The linebacking corps might have been exposed during this game.
The lack of assignment football coupled with an apparent lack of playmakers, could be problematic as the Huskies move forward into the Pac-12 season.
Washington allowed quarterback Martinez to throw the ball down the field without coming away with an interception.
Quinton Richardson often looks out of position, and the safeties had to make far too many tackles than they should.
My reasoning behind this grade being so high is because the Huskies never quit. Faced with a raucous home crowd, a fired-up Cornhusker team bent on revenge and injuries to several players, the Dawgs could have easily packed it in.
Instead, they showed great heart and determination in battling until the end.
This attitude should help them as the season progresses.
This game was a tale of two coaches—head coach Steve Sarkisian, who called the plays for the offense, and defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who was in charge of the defense.
Sarkisian called a brilliant game, and the UW offense repeatedly drove down the field and scored.
Unfortunately they had to because of the defensive shortcomings displayed.
Holt had no answers for what Nebraska's offense was doing, and at this point has to take responsibility for the Huskies' woeful defensive performances this year.