Washington is heading to the Pac-12 championship game. And Washington State is wondering just how it all went wrong so close to Washington’s end zone.
The No. 5 Huskies jumped out to a 28-3 first quarter lead and held on for
Had Washington State scored touchdowns — or at least gotten 17 points out of the three possessions, there’s no telling how the de facto Pac-12 North championship would have unfolded. Instead, Washington State didn’t get a single field goal out of those three possessions, and Washington never felt any serious pressure in the second half.
After trailing 35-10 at halftime, Washington State scored to open the third quarter and got a quick stop of Washington. The Cougars then drove 13 plays to the Washington 4 for a first and goal. Three runs and an incomplete pass later, Washington had the ball on its own 2 with an 18-point lead instead of a potential 11 or even 10-point advantage.
What happened next was crippling for the Cougars. Washington drove 98 yards in 10 plays as the fourth quarter began. The drive was capped off by a 15-yard run by UW RB Lavon Coleman, who gave the Huskies a 42-17 lead.
The Cougars also had four turnovers; two interceptions and a fumble. If you count the fourth-down stops as turnovers too, the count rises to seven.
The win also means Washington is a win away from a College Football Playoff berth. Given that Michigan or Ohio State will lose Saturday, Washington will almost assuredly be in the top four of the CFP rankings Tuesday. And a win over either Colorado or USC will keep the Huskies in the top four.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning was fantastic Friday after not-so-stellar outings over the last two weeks. Browning tossed two interceptions each against USC and Arizona, his first multiple-interception games of the season. Friday, he was 21-29 passing for 292 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Two of those touchdowns went to Dante Pettis, who hauled in one on a 61-yard catch. Pettis was also 1-2 passing for 50 yards as Washington and coach Chris Petersen had a little fun with the playbook.
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