PROVO, Utah – Washington bounced back from a rare home loss to thrash Hawaii this past weekend. Now the 21st-ranked Huskies close out non-conference play with their first road test of the season in Saturday afternoon's game at BYU.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Washington -5.5
The Cougars are coming off back-to-back thrilling wins over Tennessee and USC and will kick off a challenging stretch for Washington, which also faces four foes who are ranked or have been ranked over their next six games. Much of the Huskies' success will depend on 6-foot-6 junior quarterback Jacob Eason, a transfer from Georgia. Eason had a tough go two weeks ago in a 20-19 home upset loss to California, throwing for 162 scoreless yards while committing two turnovers, but he rebounded efficiently in the 52-20 rout of Hawaii, throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns without an interception or lost fumble. Huskies coach Chris Petersen said Eason has shown the most progress with his "command of the (offensive) system" ... and "just understanding exactly what we're trying do."
ABOUT WASHINGTON (2-1)
Eason's favorite targets have been tight end Hunter Bryant (15 receptions-236 yards-1 TD) and wide receiver Aaron Fuller (13-168-3). The Huskies' ground game has featured a potent 1-2 punch in Salvon Ahmed and redshirt-freshman Richard Newton, who have combined for 408 yards and six TDs while each averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Safety Myles Bryant has 15 total tackles, including two for losses, and a pair of interceptions for a defense that is allowing 18 points and 324 yards per game and is trying to pace the Pac-12 in scoring defense and total defense for the fifth straight season.
ABOUT BYU (2-1)
The Cougars opened the season with a 30-12 home loss to rival Utah but have followed that up with thrilling overtime wins at Tennessee (29-26) and at home versus USC (30-27). Sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson threw for 512 yards and two TDs while rushing for another in the two wins without a turnover. The BYU defense, led by linebacker Kavika Fonua's 30 total tackles on the season, surrendered 870 combined yards to the Volunteers and Trojans but came up with four takeaways, including cornerback Dayan Ghanwoloku's win-sealing interception in overtime versus USC.
1. Washington leads the series 6-4 after a 35-7 home win last season in a meeting of ranked teams.
2. BYU was held to 194 yards of total offense in the contest and didn't score until the game's final 41 seconds.
3. Senior RB Ty'Son Williams leads the Cougars in rushing with 236 yards and three TDs, and 191 of those yards and two of those TDs came against Tennessee and USC.
PREDICTION: Washington 30, BYU 23