Todd Milles tmilles@thenewstribune.com
Todd Milles tmilles@thenewstribune.com

Sports

Browning’s fourth-and-10 audible a Huskies’ game-changer

September 30, 2017 10:07 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore.

Some college quarterbacks look for assistance from the sideline for an audible signal.

Others use the aid of a wristband.

University of Washington junior Jake Browning just waves a magic wand.

Or that is just how it seemed Saturday night in the No. 6 Huskies’ 42-7 victory over Oregon State at Reser Stadium.

“I’ve said all along ... Jake has a lot on his plate,” UW coach Chris Petersen said. “He doesn’t miss much.”

And the junior from Folsom, California, took a calculated gamble at the game’s most pivotal point in the third quarter.

Up 7-0, the Huskies had just been stopped on third down at the Beavers’ 25.

Petersen usually calls for a field goal, except that struggling kicker Tristan Vizcaino had clanked a 42-yard attempt late in the first half.

So, the offense stayed on the field for a fourth-and-10 play.

The call from the sideline was a pass, but Browning saw that the Oregon State defense was overloading the left side.

“It was a built-in check,” Browning said. “There's no one to the boundary because they're trying to basically get a good pass rush on that side and mess with our rules and pass protection, so (we) just ran away from it.”

Running back Lavon Coleman took the delayed handoff, and rumbled 20 yards for a first down.

When I saw the check happening, I am like, ‘Oh yes, oh yes,’” Coleman said. “It was about to be nice.”

On the next play, Browning threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis, and the Huskies went up 14-0 — and were off and running on a three-touchdown third quarter.

VIZCAINO STRUGGLING

Even after Vizcaino missed his third field goal in the past two games, Petersen said he still have plenty of confidence in his big-footed senior.

“Tristan has a big leg, he really does,” Petersen said. “He is just barely off. He’s gotten to straighten that thing over about 12 inches and get his confidence back.”

But Petersen said Van Soderberg, the Capital High School product who made all five PAT kicks in the second half after replacing Vizcaino, has certainly done his job.

“I have confidence in those two guys,” Petersen said.

EXTRA POINTS

With three more touchdown passes, Browning now has 71 for his career — and trails UW career leader Keith Price (75) by four. ... Pettis now has six touchdown catches this season — and 21 in his past 19 games. ... For the fourth time this season, linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven has led the Huskies in tackles for a game. His six paced the team Saturday. ... The first Browning-to-Pettis score in the second half marked the fourth time in five games the UW has scored a touchdown on its opening series of the second half.

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