Washington-Washington State grades: Baker dominates on defense

The highest-graded players and top storylines from Washington’s big win over Washington State.

| 7 months ago
(William Mancebo/Getty Images)

(William Mancebo/Getty Images)

Washington-Washington State grades: Baker dominates on defense

Washington 45, Washington State 17

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Washington’s 45-17 win over Washington State.

Washington Huskies

Quarterback grade: Jake Browning, 73.4

Accurate and efficient day for Browning

Browning’s numbers got inflated a tad by Dante Pettis winning a 61-yard jump ball touchdown early in the game, but Browning was on point from start to finish. His adjusted completion percentage for the day was 84.0 percent and he wasn’t just racking up yards on screens. 69.0 percent of Browning’s yards came before the catch as he had one of his most impressive outings of the season throwing the ball downfield.

Top offensive grades:

RB Lavon Coleman, 85.9
WR Chico McClatcher, 81.1
WR Dante Pettis, 78.0
C Coleman Shelton, 75.6
QB Jake Browning, 73.4

A wealth of playmakers

It must be nice to have one of the best running backs in the nation and then have his backup completely outplay him in one of the biggest games of the year. Lavon Coleman only had 10 carries, but he managed two touchdowns, four broken tackles, and 82 yards on them. Then at receiver John Ross and Dante Pettis were their normally superb selves and Chico McClatcher — who had played fewer than 200 snaps on the season heading into the game — ripped off six catches for 80 yards, breaking three tackles in the process.

Top defensive grades:

LB D.J. Beavers, 89.2
S Budda Baker, 86.5
S JoJo McIntosh, 76.7
CB Sidney Jones, 75.1
LB Ben Burr-Kirven, 74.2

Budda Baker puts on a show

The junior safety was seemingly everywhere on the field Friday. Luke Falk didn’t shy away from Baker as he was targeted 10 times, allowing six catches for only 45 yards to go along with an interception. That’s a passer rating of 31.25. He also led the Huskies defense with five stops in a magnificent performance.

Washington State Cougars

Quarterback grade: Luke Falk, 63.3

Too many dangerous throws

Falk didn’t get a ton of help from his receivers with five drops on 38 catchable passes, but the offensive struggles fall squarely on the quarterback’s shoulder. His egregious interception at the end of the half was the figurative nail in the coffin for Washington State’s chances. Falk simply didn’t have enough success throwing the ball downfield to offset those turnovers. He completed 8-of-20 throws targeted 10-plus yards downfield when his completion percentage on such throws heading into this game was 53.2 percent.

Top offensive grades:

RT Cole Madison, 81.3
LT Andre Dillard, 79.7
WR Gabe Marks, 76.5
RB James Williams, 66.8
LG Cody O’Connell, 65.8

Running lanes few and far between

Much of Washington State’s success on the year can be attributed to the offensive line that’s graded out among the best in the country. Against Washington though, their lack of physicality got exposed. The Huskies defensive line consistently moved the line of scrimmage resulting in Cougars backs gaining an average of 1.4 yards before contact per attempt. That’s poor for an NFL line, and abysmal for a college one. The running game was a lost cause for much of the game and in retrospect should have been abandoned much sooner.

Top defensive grades:

S Jalen Thompson, 81.6
DE Hercules Mata’afa, 81.5
LB Isaac Dotson, 75.2
LB Peyton Pelluer, 73.8
DT Daniel Ekuale, 70.6

Corners get torched

You’re not going to win many games when your two starting cornerbacks combine for a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when targeted and that was precisely the case for the Cougars Friday. Darrien Molton allowed 6-of-7 targets for 109 yards and two touchdowns while Marcellus Pippins ceded receptions on all five of his targets for 52 yards. They weren’t the only ones having issues on the Washington State defense, but they were certainly the most egregious.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Washington S Budda Baker

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

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