Jake Browning matched Washington’s school record with five touchdown passes – two each to Dante Pettis and John Ross – and finished with 294 yards in the No. 8 Huskies’ 59-14 victory over Idaho on Saturday.
Browning has helped Washington (2-0) to its highest ranking since 2001. After throwing for 287 yards and three touchdowns last week against Rutgers, Browning was nearly flawless against Idaho.
“He’s done a real nice job,” coach Chris Petersen said. “He’s completing a lot of passes. He’s keeping his eyes downfield. He’s buying time, all those things that good quarterbacks do.”
Following a fumble on the opening kickoff by Lloyd Hightower that was recovered by Washington, Browning threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Pettis on his first attempt of the game. He completed 13 consecutive passes at one point as the Huskies marched through the Vandals en route to a 35-0 halftime advantage.
“We didn’t really do anything crazy,” Browning said. “Just go in, run our stuff and execute well.”
Browning deferred to backup K.J. Carta-Samuels after the opening drive of the third quarter following his fifth touchdown pass, an eight-yard strike to Ross that gave Washington a 42-0 lead.
Browning joined Keith Price (2012), Jake Locker (2010) and Chris Rowland (1973) as Huskies to throw five touchdown passes in a game.
The Vandals (1-1) kept it in reach in the first quarter. Kaden Elliss forced a fumble on a sack of Browning to give Idaho the ball in Washington territory. But after driving into the red zone, Jacob Sannon fumbled at the 1 after a hit by Jojo McIntosh, and Azeem Victor recovered to keep Idaho out of the end zone.
“We got whooped,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “We got whooped, but I thought our guys stayed fighting in the second half.”
Washington scored 35 straight points afterward before the Vandals finally got on the board with a 20-yard pass from Matt Linehan to Trent Cowan in the third quarter.
Idaho: Idaho lost its road opener against Pacific-12 Conference foe USC 59-9 in 2015. Against Washington, the Vandals forced just six incompletions in 33 pass attempts by the Huskies. They’ll face an even more pass-happy opponent in Washington State next week.
Washington: The Huskies’ defense and passing attack are every bit that of a top-10 team. However, the rushing attack has struggled in the first two weeks. Myles Gaskin has rushed for just 124 yards total after being thought of as a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate before the season. Idaho did not score against Washington’s starting defense as backups took over in the third quarter.
Idaho: The Vandals will face a second straight Pac-12 foe in Washington State. They will make the short eight-mile trip to Martin Stadium for their first meeting in three years.
Washington: The Huskies host FCS Portland State in their final test before the start of Pac-12 play.