Defense is strong, but thin
Against Stanford, the problem of abandoning the run continued. The time of possession battle was completely lopsided in Stanford’s favor. That translated into 15 more offensive plays for the Cardinals, and that meant 60 percent of the game fell upon the weakened Huskies defense.
There is no shame upon the Washington defense. That defense remains the best in the Pac-12, and the ranks have been decimated by injuries to key cornerbacks. So knowing this, the team did not alter their plans at all.
Why not run Gaskin?
And there is the rub. Coach Petersen’s staff, in two games this season, did not have the answers. In both games, running back Myles Gaskin rushed for over 5.0 yards per carry. While Stanford handed the ball to a noticeably limping Bryce Love 30 times, Gaskin carried the ball 18 times against Stanford, and merely 14 times against Arizona State.
After each game, Coach Petersen admits that the team needs to find a way to get running back Salvon Ahmed the ball more. While I completely agree, I saw numerous occasions for the team to do exactly that.
Of course, the offense play caller did not see the same thing.