Colorado-Washington grades: Huskies RBs carry the way to conference title

The top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Washington’s big win over Colorado in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

| 6 months ago
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Colorado-Washington grades: Huskies RBs carry the way to conference title

Washington Huskies 41, Colorado Buffaloes 10

Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Washington’s 41-10 win over Colorado in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Colorado Buffaloes

Quarterback Grade: Sefo Liufau, 46.8

Liufau struggles after returning from injury

Colorado QB Sefo Liufau missed some time due to injury in the first half, and threw three interceptions after returning in the second half. With his team trailing just 14-7 at halftime, Liufau threw a pick-six on his first throw of the second half, and then threw another interception on the following drive, allowing Washington to build a 24-7 lead. Liufau was also a complete non-factor in the running game, totaling just 13 yards on 6 attempts.

Top offensive grades:

HB Phillip Lindsay, 66.9
LT Jeromy Irwin, 66.4
WR Shay Fields, 55.5
WR Devin Ross, 51.4
C Alex Kelley, 50.6

Colorado offense completely overwhelmed

The Buffaloes’ offense managed just 163 total yards in a lethargic performance. Guards Tim Lynott and Jonathan Huckins and tackle Aaron Haigler earned below-average grades, as they decisively lost the battle against Washington’s talented defensive line. HB Phillip Lindsay totaled just 62 rushing yards on his 20 carries, forcing just a pair of missed tackles. Colorado’s receivers did not give much help to their quarterback, with 4 dropped passes and just 7 receptions.

Top defensive grades:

S Ryan Moeller, 81.6
CB Isaiah Oliver, 81.2
OLB Jimmie Gilbert, 80.4
NT Josh Tupou, 77.2
DE Samson Kafovalu, 75.1

Buffaloes cannot contain Huskies’ run game

Colorado’s inability to slow down Washington’s rushing attack ended up being the story of the game. The team combined to miss a whopping 18 tackles, consistently allowing the Huskies to gain extra yardage. DL Josh Tupou and Samson Kafovalu actually earned above-average run defense grades, but the defense was ineffective as a unit. The Buffaloes were also unable to pressure Browning, finishing with just 1 sack and 0 hits.

Washington Huskies

Quarterback Grade: Jake Browning, 47.0

Browning earns lowest grade of career

Washington QB Jake Browning struggled against an excellent Colorado secondary. Browning’s accuracy was poor throughout the game, and he was fortunate that Colorado defenders dropped a pair of would-be interceptions, one of which looked like it could have been returned for a touchdown. WR John Ross bailed Browning out in the third quarter with an incredible one-handed catch of an overthrown screen pass that went for a touchdown.


Top offensive grades:

LG Jake Eldrenkamp, 81.1
LT Trey Adams, 79.3
HB Myles Gaskin, 74.0
HB Lavon Coleman, 73.7
TE Will Dissly, 59.0

Dominant run game powers Huskies to conference title

Washington running backs Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman each topped 100 yards rushing in an overpowering performance from the Huskies offense. The duo combined to force 13 missed tackles, and 159 of their yards came after contact. Left guard Jake Eldrenkamp and left tackle Trey Adams led the way with run-blocking grades of 82.0 and 79.4, respectively, and Washington gained 156 yards on runs left of center.

Top defensive grades:

CB Sidney Jones, 83.9
CB Kevin King, 82.5
DT Elijah Qualls, 82.3
CB Taylor Rapp, 78.5
LB Ben Bur-Kirven, 78.1

Washington defense stifles Colorado

The Huskies earned above-average grades for run defense, pass rushing and pass coverage as a team in a convincing defensive display. DT Elijah Qualls led the team with a run-defense grade, and also added 3 hurries. Fellow defensive tackles Vita Vea and Greg Gaines also earned above-average run-defense grades, and LB Tevis Bartett led the team with five run stops. Cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Kevin King continued their excellent seasons, combining to be targeted 7 times and allowing just 1 catch for 21 yards. CB Taylor Rapp added a pair of interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.

  • S. Rice

    Curious what you graded UW Center Coleman Shelton? Surely he was in the top of the offensive grades – the left side, which got high grades, only does well if the center Is involved.

    • S. Rice

      Just curious because he was just named “lineman of the week” by UW – given to the best lineman (offense and defense) as judged by the coaches? So — did you overlook him or misjudge him? Or did your analysts nor understand the plays? Either way, he deserved a very high grade.