Week four action continues to roll with the Huskies taking a trip to Happy Valley to fight the Penn State Nittany Lions. One team is coming off a win in which they put up 52. The other is coming off a loss where they gave up 51. This is what you need to know about each team.
This offense kept pace with, what could be argued as, a player of the week performance by three Florida State players on offense. Washington quarterback Doug Ohle returned to rare form, posting four touchdowns and 307 passing yards. And, it’s not like the Huskies had to solely lean on his arm either. Ohle added a touchdown on the ground with another 84 yards rushing. Staying with the ground game was halfback Ron Dayne Jr. who posted 144 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. The Huskies will likely continue to thrive so long as Ohle and Dayne continue to dominate.
Defense is another area where the Huskies looked fairly impressive. Now, I’m aware they allowed a couple records to be broken via the passing game, but in spite of that they only gave up 49 points and still managed to stay ahead. Safety Mason Ryan led the team in tackles with 10 while adding two in the backfield. Linebacker Dejounte Wilson and corner Maurice White both snagged an interception which proved to be a pivotal role. The way this defense is playing, now that the offense is back on track, Washington is ready to run the table in the Big Ten.
Well, not quite the performance the Nittany Lions would have hoped for, but they did show promise. Two fumbles in the first quarter spotted Auburn some extra cushion, but the Nittany Lions were able to flash. Quarterback Aidric Berry looked solid, posting 359 passing yards for two touchdowns and a pick. He added another touchdown on the ground with 37 rushing yards on seven carries. Wide receivers DeMarcus Rodgers and Tre Woods came up with some big plays, each hauling in a touchdown. Rodgers had over 150 yards receiving and Woods nearly reached the 100 yard threshold. If this offense can continue to click, then Penn State will maintain a competitive spirit.
Defense, on the other hand, is where things get a bit tricky. This secondary got shredded to the tune of 373 yards passing, including a receiver in Alex A Cook who almost had a 200 yard receiving game. Linebacker TJ White had seven tackles and a tackle for a loss. But, maybe the even brighter spot was defensive end Joey Myers who racked up four tackles, three for a loss, and two sacks. This defense will have to step up though, and they’ve got a big task tonight having to face the combined forces of Doug Ohle and Ron Dayne Jr.
WHAT TO WATCH
Expect Penn State to try and attack this Washington secondary considering the success Berry had with his pair of receivers. They’ll likely try to build the running game off that success, getting halfback Jasper Johnson going later. If Penn State does that, then they have a fighting chance at pulling off the upset tonight.
HB Ron Dayne Jr. v. SS Baker Brooks Jr. & LB TJ White
Dayne is a workhorse, you know it and I know it. We also know, TJ White is going to have his work cut out in trying to bring him down. What you may not know is that safety Baker Brooks Jr. led this defense in tackles a week ago. He racked up 13 with an interception to boot. While he didn’t make plays in the backfield, he was involved around the line of scrimmage and will be counted on to do so again. Brooks has to, or Dayne is going to spend a good deal of the night prancing like a lion.
So, Washington is looking on fire and Penn State is struggling, and I’m sorry to say that Washington is only getting started. If Penn State can’t play mistake free tonight, then I doubt they cover the 13.5 point spread. I’m not saying the Nittany Lions won’t be able to make things interesting, I just don’t think they’ll make the Huskies get too worried. Huskies in a win.
Washington 42, Penn State 28