The Huskies had little need for their passing game against UCLA’s feeble run defense, rushing for 333 yards and five touchdowns in an easy 44-23 victory Saturday.
Abandoning the pass almost entirely (58 runs vs. 12 throws), Washington rushed for 333 yards and all five touchdowns Saturday and throttled UCLA 44-23 at Husky Stadium. No. 12-ranked UW, which held heralded Bruins QB Josh Rosen to 93 passing yards before knocking him out of the game in the third quarter, improved to 7-1, 4-1 (box) with Oregon due up next week.
RB Myles Gaskin ran for 169 yards and a six-yard TD, RB Lavon Coleman added 94 and three TDs (1, 33 yards and 13 yards) and QB Jake Browning tallied on a one-yard run as the Huskies rebounded from their only loss of the season, at Arizona State two weeks ago. Washington had a 37-9 lead before UCLA scored a pair of late TDs, including a fumble recovery return, as UW substituted freely.
Browning completed eight of 11 passes for 98 yards and no touchdowns with one interception. He had never before attempted fewer than 19 passes in a game. Not only were Browning’s 11 attempts a career low, so were his 98 passing yards.
The Huskies accumulated 442 yards of total offense to UCLA’s 232 and dominated the rushing numbers 333-62. UW averaged 5.7 yards per rushing play againt the Pac-12’s worst rushing defense.
Gaskin’s brought his career yardage total to 3,470. Bishop Sankey is No. 3 on the Washington’s all-time list with 3,496. Gaskin has 33 career touchdowns, one behind Napoleon Kaufman’s 34, No. 2 all-time behind Sankey’s 37.
In addition to rushing for 94 yards, Coleman had two catches for 46 yards, with a long of 35. That made him UW’s leading receiver.
Washington became the fourth team this season to rush for more than 300 yards against the overmatched Bruins. Much of the offense’s success came as a result of five punt returns by Dante Pettis, whose 55 net yards placed UW in favorable field position.
Erratic kicker Tristan Vizcaino had a 3-for-3 day on field goals, connecting from 31, 26 and 24 yards, and all five PATs. That marked his first 3-for-3 since the season opener at Rutgers.
UW freshman RB Salvon Ahmed starred on kickoffs. He had an 82-yard return early in the second quarter after UCLA scored to pull within 10-9. That return set up Coleman’s two for a 17-9 lead. Ahmed added a 40-yard return in the fourth quarter and a 34-yard run on a reverse.
UCLA (4-4, 2-3) entered with the worst run defense in the country, giving up an average 38.3 points and 510.1 yards per game. The Bruins came nowhere close to that as the Huskies recorded four sacks, four pass breakups and recovered a fumble.
Rosen, who departed with a finger injury, was averaging 374.3 yards per game before completing 12 of 21 for 93 yards.
After pulling within 10-9, the Bruins ran only one play in Washington territory — from the 49 — over the next seven drives and gained a total of 41 yards.
Washington’s sacks against Rosen were recorded by LB Ben Burr-Kirven (2 yards), DE Benning Potoa’e (7) and DLs Vita Vea (9) and Greg Gaines (7). Vea also had a nine-yard tackle for loss.
Washington is 22-3 in its past 25 games . . The Bruins lead the all-time series 40-31-2. UCLA has won 13 of the past 17 against UW . . . UW hasn’t allowed 30 points since the 2015 Heart of Dallas Bowl . . . Although he didn’t have a TD pass, Browning has 73 for his career, two shy of the UW record by Keith Price . . . This marked the first meeting between the Huskies and Bruins since 2014, when UCLA won 44-30 . . . Due to all of Washington’s running plays, the game lasted three hours, eight minutes . . . After losing starting LT Trey Adams and CB Jordan Miller in the loss to Arizona State, the Huskies saw freshman TE Hunter Bryant limp off the field after a 17-yard reception in the first half. Bryant appeared to be hit directly on his left knee. He did not return . . . The first College Football Playoff rankings will be announced Tuesday night.
Washington remains at Husky Stadium Saturday against Oregon Ducks, time and TV network to be announced Monday.