Kalen DeBoer gives his immediate thoughts on Washington's win over Utah
Kalen DeBoer won his 100th game as a head coach Saturday when No. 5 Washington outlasted No. 18 Utah, 35-28, at Husky Stadium.
The game featured five first-half lead changes, a near pick-six that was fumbled just before crossing the goal line, a safety, and a scoreless fourth quarter. UW got all it could handle from the visiting Utes, but it made enough plays late to ice the game and remain unbeaten on the season.
“You get that many wins because guys make plays,” DeBoer said on the field immediately after the game. “This year, that’s what our guys are doing. I’m excited to be along for the ride on this one. Just keep coaching them, keep staying the course, and let these guys have some fun.”
On a wind-whipped day, Michael Penix Jr. was productive, though a notch below his usually exceptional play. Dillon Johnson showed up once again, recording his second consecutive 100-yard day.
Johnson had 104 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, giving UW hard runs in key spots to help the UW offense control most of the fourth.
“The run game’s been building every single week,” DeBoer said. “We just keep focusing on it and working on it. DJ’s had the hot hand. Couple other backs did a nice job too just breaking tackles. It’s kind of a mindset.”
And the defense made just enough plays. UW almost had a pick-six, then rallied and forced a safety on the very next play. After Grady Gross missed a 32-yard field goal attempt that would have iced the game and Utah took over with 1:38 to play, Washington didn’t budge.
Utah fired incomplete on its first two passes, gained nothing on third down, and then threw a pick on fourth down to effectively end the game.
After it went into the break trailing 28-24, UW outscored Utah 11-0 in the second half.
“Defense did a nice job in the second half making some adjustments, getting guys on the ground, making plays when they needed to,” DeBoer said.
DeBoer moves to 21-2 as the Husky head coach. The Huskies will look to move to 11-0 next week when they meet Oregon State in Corvallis.