Washington secondary relishes return of Mishael Powell in win over Cal
For the first time since the season opener against Kent State, Washington had Mishael Powell, Jordan Perryman, Dominique Hampton, Alex Cook, and Asa Turner all on the field at the same time.
Powell returned from a lengthy absence. The Huskies’ starting cornerback in their first two games, he hadn’t played since the Michigan State game. Hampton starts at UW’s Husky position, but missed last week with an injury. With Perryman at the other corner spot, and then Cook and Turner partnering at safety, UW had its full secondary.
The result? They held Cal to just three scores in a 28-21 road win. The 21 points were the fewest by a Power 5 UW opponent since Colorado scored 20 on Nov. 20 last season.
“Every rep that we play together, we’re going to keep improving,” coach Kalen DeBoer said after the game. “We had more guys (in the secondary) that we played with at the beginning of the year than we’ve had.
“Meesh had a great week, as far as just his recovery throughout. It was fun to see him out there playing, knocking the rust off a little bit.”
And now UW gets its bye week to try and really rest up after the first eight weeks of the season beat up the secondary.
But they go in with some good tape to build on.
Cal didn’t reach scoring position on any of its first four drives. On its last two possessions, needing only one score to tie the game in both instances, it went three-and-out and then turned it over on downs.
The three-and-out featured two sacks by the UW defense. The Bears’ final drive of the game saw a first-play interception by Cook wiped away by a holding penalty.
UW got to Cal’s Jack Plummer five times for sacks, which brought its season total to 25.
That’s sixth nationally and the most in the Pac-12.
As that pass-rush really hits its stride, getting healthier in the secondary will only help this Washington defense. Powell finished with five tackles and was the top-graded Husky defender in coverage (per PFF).
“Meesh is a leader,” Cook said, via The Athletic’s Christian Caple. “He’s a leader on the team. He’s a leader on the defense. He’s a leader in the secondary. He’s such a high IQ guy. We do such a good job communicating. We’re anticipating stuff. We’re calling out stuff before it happens. For a veteran guy like Meesh to be on the field with me, it just makes life so much easier.”