Lack of a running game could spell trouble down the road

The following grades the Huskies' positional effort for the game against Boise State.

Click on this link for the statistics: Stats BSU Game

Quarterback; Grade B -- Coach Chris Peterson gave true freshman Jake Browning the keys to his brand new 2015 Dawgmobile, and, unfortunately, it  sputtered and coughed for just 29 yards rushing. Call it a Lemonmobile.

Browning completed 20 of 34 passes for 150 yards and one pick, his efficiency rating being a less-than-stellar, 90.0.

The lack of a running game has to be cruel and unusual punishment for a true freshman making his first start at the collegiate level, and this on the road -- for instance, like not being able to use play action to buy more time.

But young Browning didn't give the game away, and that was an important consideration in handing out my grade.

Offensive Line; Grade D: The Huskies Offensive Line Efficiency rating was 99.17 compared to BSU's 183.44. Whoever wins this stat usually wins the game. The OL is the most important positional unit on the team, which is why this stat correlates so nicely with wins and losses.

Pass Receivers: Grade C: Only 150 yards passing doesn't cut the mustard. .

Ball Carriers; Grade D: : 22 carries, netting 29 yards (1.3 YPC) stinks up the joint.

Special Teams: Grade A - minus: Budda Baker blocked Tyler Rausa's try-for-point after BSU's first touchdown. Dante Pettis returned a short punt 17 yards to set up Cameron Van Winkle's first field goal from 40 yards in the third quarter. Pettis returned the next punt for a 76-yard touchdown run. Jaydon Mickens blocked Sean Wale's punt in the fourth quarter that led to Van Winkle's 28-yard field goal, which cut Bronco's lead to 16-13 with 7:29 remaining.

Defense; Grade C: The defense gave up 254 yards of offense in the first half but held the Broncos to 83 total yards in the second half. BSU QB Ryan Finley was held to a mediocre pass efficiency rating of 95.52.

Coaching; Grade C plus: The Dawgs beat the point spread, didn't they?


Richard Linde can be reached at

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