By Khalid Bennett
The Seattle Medium
After starting the season 1-0 with a win on the road over Rutgers, the University of Washington welcomed the hometown crowd of to Alaska Airlines field as they took on the Montana Grizzlies out of the Big Sky conference. The Huskies couldn’t escape New Jersey without a bit of criticism even in the victory. After making it into the college football playoff last year, a lot is expected of a team who returned the Pac-12 offensive player of the year, Jake Browning, and preseason All-American linebacker Azeem Victor.
Washington looked determined to make a statement this week and were well on their way as they took the opening drive 69 yards in 7 plays capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run on the zone read keeper by Browning.
Montana was able to tie the game late in the first quarter when a Jake Browning pass deflected off Dante Pettis and into the hands of Montana defensive back Josh Sandry, who returned it 36 yards for the touchdown.
After that, it was all Huskies for the remainder of the first half as Washington scored four unanswered touchdowns. The Huskies spread around the love as junior running back Myles Gaskin scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, Lavon Coleman scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. Senior tight end Will Dissly scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jake Browning. Washington even tried to get junior offensive tackle Trey Adams in the end zone on a throwback play but he was stopped 4 yards shy of pay dirt.
The play of the half came when Dante Pettis broke a Pac-12 record with his 7th career punt return for a touchdown, going 67 yards for the score. Washington looked very similar to how they looked in 2016 early in the season when they put their opponents away in the first half with an explosive offensive output. The Huskies had 326 total offensive yards, plus the 67-yard punt return versus Montana’s 105 total yards in the first half.
Washington added to their lead in the second half. After an interception by senior linebacker Sean Constantine, the Huskies went 34 yards on six plays with Dissly scoring again on a 3-yard pass from Browning. On the ensuing drive, Washington’s defense picked off Montana quarterback Reese Phillips for the second time. This time Jomon Dotson zigged, then zagged across the field for a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown. With a 49-7 lead and the game well in hand, head coach Chris Petersen decided to call off the dawgs and get the younger kids some experience. Freshman tailback Salvon Ahmed and redshirt freshman tailback Sean McGrew were able to score late in the game as well as the Huskies come away with the big victory 63-7. Washington will host Fresno State next Saturday before they start the Pac-12 schedule on the road at Colorado.
Pictorial Highlights from UW – Montana Game. Photos by Aaron Allen.