By Jesse Sowa
Oregon St. at No. 5 Southern Cal
When: 1 p.m. Oct. 7 TV: Pac-12
CORVALLIS — The defensive wall that Oregon State secured well in the first half was suddenly showing some wear.
After largely being held in check for two quarters, Washington popped four big plays that broke open what had been a tight game and demoralized a Beavers defense hungry to play better.
The No. 6 Huskies scored 14 quick points to open the third quarter on their way to a 42-7 win Saturday evening.
It was night and day between the two halves, as it has been so many times for the Beavers this season.
“It felt like we made huge progress from the first few games,” said linebacker Manase Hungalu. “It felt like we handled situations, whether it was a run or pass. We could have been better on third downs, but we did a pretty good job holding them to seven points in the first half. We’ve just got to keep getting better.”
The Huskies wasted no time getting on track offensively in the second half.
Two pass interference penalties sandwiched a 32-yard pass from Jake Browning to Hunter Bryant. Five plays later, after a 20-yard run by Lavon Coleman on fourth-and-10, Browning found Dante Pettis for a 5-yard touchdown after a miscommunication in the Beavers’ secondary.
Washington got the ball back quickly after Oregon State went three-and-out, and the Huskies drove 64 yards in six plays, ending with Pettis speeding past Isaiah Dunn to haul in a 34-yard score.
Washington produced a third touchdown in the third quarter — a 32-yard Gaskin run — to create a sizable cushion against an Oregon State team that finished with 184 just yards of offense and as many punts (eight) as first downs.
“There was nothing in the second half that I didn’t expect. Their offense came out and made some plays down the field,” Beavers coach Gary Andersen said, adding that he believed part of Washington’s game plan was to get his defensive players “running sideways” by spreading the field.
The Huskies, averaging 44.5 points coming in, had 194 offensive yards in the first half and 315 in the second.
Hungalu said it was frustrating to have two halves that were so drastically different on the scoreboard. Replicating the first-half effort is the goal.
“That’s the kind of defense we practice. We come in day in and day out and we work. We attack all the little things, the tackling drills …” Hungalu said.
Added fellow linebacker Jonathan Willis: “Everything’s correctable. It depends on the person, if he’s going to put his mind to it.”
After Browning scored on an 11-yard run on the Huskies, opening drive, Oregon State held Washington to just three plays of 10 yards in its next four possessions.
Beavers quarterback Darrel Garretson, making his first start of the season in place of the injured Jake Luton, was 11-for-22 for 74 yards.