The University of Washington coughed up a 21-point first-quarter lead, weathered a record seven touchdown passes from Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams, and barely held on to defeat the rambunctious FCS Eagles 59-52 Saturday at Husky Stadium. Although new UW head coach Chris Petersen recorded his first win in the facility, his penalty-prone Huskies nearly handed him a stunning defeat.
Washington needed two short touchdown runs from quarterback Cyler Miles and a key turnover in the fourth quarter to lift the Huskies from a 45-44 deficit to their second win of the season.
“I hope the fans liked it,” said Petersen. “My hat is off to Eastern. They aren’t a fluke. They’re good and they played good. I’m really proud of our offense; we made a lot of strides and improvement (from last week) But we’ve got to play better than that. Last week, we played good defense and this week we flipped it. Hopefully, we can put two good sides together.”
“I’m just happy we got away with the win,” said Miles, making his first start of the season after serving a suspension. “We just keep need to believing in each other. I give a ton of credit to them (Eastern). That’s a great team and they play hard. Now, we just need to stick together.”
Miles, who started in place of Jeff Lindquist, who started the opener at Hawaii, ran for three touchdowns (58 rushing yards) and threw for another as the Huskies rolled up 356 rushing yards, including 118 and a touchdown by Lavon Coleman. But Miles threw for only 180 yards, 55 of which came on one TD play to John Ross.
Ultimately, in a game that featured 1,190 yards of track-meet type total offense, the Huskies were able to wear down the Eagles with their running game, but not before Adams torched them with an opponent record seven touchdown passes, including three to Cooper Kupp.
The game started off looking like Washington would rout the Eagles. The Huskies tallied three touchdowns in the game’s first seven minutes, the last of which came via a 57-yard burst from scrimmage by two-way star Shaq Thompson.
But then Adams, who finished with 475 yards, went to work. He threw touchdown passes of 41 (Kupp) and 33 yards (Kendrick Bourne) to close out the first quarter, slicing Washington’s lead to 24-14. Adams threw two more touchdowns by halftime, which ended with Washington leading 37-31.
Adams fired two more TDs in the third quarter, his sixth of the game at the 2:46 mark giving Eastern a 45-44 lead. With Washington ahead 52-45 after Miles’ first rushing TD of the fourth quarter, the Eagles were driving for the tying touchdown when, in a game of many big plays, the biggest occurred.
With Eastern facing a second and 10 at the UW 32, Adams completed a 16-yard pass to Terence Grady at the Washington 15-yard line. But Washington’s John Timu stripped the ball loose, Travis Feeney recovered it and returned it 19 yards — a play that put an end of EWU’s hopes, athough Adams still had one more TD pass in him with four minutes left.
The Huskies were penalized 10 times for 100 yards, several of the flags extending EWU drives. An unsportsmanlike conduct flag on DB Marcus Peters helped set up Adams’ 22-yard TD to Cory Mitchell in the third quarter that gave EWU a 45-44 lead. Petersen exiled Peters to the bench, and Peters did not return.
“No game should be taken lightly,” Coleman said.
NOTES: Adams, who threw two touchdown passes on fourth-down plays, not only became the first Husky opponent with seven TDs in a game, but the first with six. The previous record of five was shared by Tom O’Connell, Illinois, 1952; Jack Thompson, Washington State, 1976; Kyle Boller, California, 2002; and Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, 2008 . . . Washington scored 24 points in the first quarter, four shy of the school-record 28 against Idaho in 1969 . . . Miles became the first UW quarterback to rush for three touchdown in a game since Keith Price in the 2011 Alamo Bowl against Baylor . . . Eastern featured two 100-yard receivers, Kupp with 145 yards and Bourne with 114.
NEXT: The Huskies play the second of three consecutive home games next Saturday, hosting Illinois at 1 p.m.
1st Qtr, UW (7-0). Cyler Miles 1-yard run (Cameron Van Winkle kick), 11:34; Drive: 10 plays, 65 yards in 3:24. Key Plays: Kasen Williams 19-yard reception from Miles to the EWU 48; Miles 12-yard run on 3rd and 14 to EWU 3.
1st Qtr, UW (14-0): Lavon Coleman 9-yard run (Van Winkle kick), 10:35. Drive: 3 plays, 22 yards in 1:02; Key Play: Trevor Walker fumble recovery on kickoff at EWU 22-yard line.
1st Qtr, UW (21-0): Shaq Thompson 57-yard run (Van Winkle kick), 7:49. Drive: 3 plays, 66 yards in 0:52.
1st Qtr, EWU (21-7): Kupp 41-yard pass from Vernon Adams, (Roldan Alcobendas kick); Drive: 7 plays, 89 yards in 2:22; Key Play: 15-yard personal foul on UW’s Keishawn Bierria.
1st Qtr, UW (24-7): Van Winkle 37-yard field goal, 2:13; Drive: 9 plays, 59 yards in 2:52; Key Play: Miles 25-yard pass to Deontae Cooper to the EWU 26.
1st Qtr, EWU (24-14): Kendrick Bourne 33-yard pass from Adams (Alcobendas kick), 0:39; Drive: 5 plays, 73 yards in 1:25; Key Plays: 15-yard pass from Adams to Bourne; personal foul on UW.
2nd Qtr, EWU (24-21): Kupp 26-yard pass from Adams (Alcobendas kick), 12:06. Drive: 65 yards in 2:54. Key Plays: Adams pass to Quincy Forte for 18 yards to UW 44.
2nd Qtr, UW (31-21): John Ross 55-yard pass from Miles (Van Winkle kick), 11:21; Drive: 3 plays, 65 yards in 0:45.
2nd Qtr, EWU (31-28): Cory Mitchell 28-yard pass from Adams (Alcobendas kick), 7:37. Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards in 3:44; Key Play: Adams 15-yard pass to Mario Brown to UW 28-yard line.
2nd Qtr, UW (37-28): Dwayne Washington 4-yard run (kick failed), 6:11; Drive: 5 plays, 63 yards in 1:18. Key Play: Coleman 54-yard run to the UW 4-yard line.
2nd Qtr, EWU (37-31): Alcobendas 22-yard field goal, 1:28. Drive: 12 plays, 65 yards in 4:43. Key Plays: Forte runs of of 11 and 17 yards to the UW 28; 5-yard offsides penalty on UW.
3rd Qtr, EWU (38-37): Kupp 13-yard pass from Adams ((Alcobendas kick), 12:18; Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards in 2:42; Key Plays: 24-yard pass from Adams to Kupp to the UW 40; Adams to Blair Bomber 20 yards to the UW 14.
3rd Qtr, UW (44-38): Washington 4-yard run (Van Winkle kick), 8:05; Drive: 13 plays, 70 yards in 4:04; Key Plays: Coleman 5-yard run on 3rd down to EWU 23; Washington 9-yard run to EWU 14.
3rd Qtr, EWU (45-44): Mitchell 22-yard pass from Adams (Alcobendas kick), 2:46; Drive: 12 plays, 75 yards in 5:19; Key Plays: Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Marcus Peters; offsides on Travis Feeney.
4th Qtr, UW (52-45): Miles 5-yard run (Miles to Kasen Williams 2-point PAT), 14:54; Drive: 9 plays, 48 yards in 2:47; Key Plays: UW recovered onside kick; Jaydon Mickens 10-yard pass from Miles; Miles 9-yard run on 4th down.
4th Qtr UW (59-45): Miles 3-yard run (Van Winkle kick), 7:45; Drive: 13 plays, 65 yards in 5:05; Key Plays: Miles 13-yard pass to Mickens on 3rd & 5; Cooper 9-yard run to EWU 24; Coleman 12-yard run to EWU 2 for first down.
4th Qtr EWU (59-52): Zach Wimberly 11-yard pass from Adams (Alcobendas kick), 3:14; Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards in 4:22; Key Plays: Adams 21-yard pass to Bourne to the UW 44; personal foul on Danny Shelton gave EWU a first down at UW 11.