Jake Browning threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns, Myles Gaskin added 100 yards and two scores, and No. 10 Washington was dominant on both sides, overwhelming No. 7 Stanford, 44-6, on Friday night.
After months of hype that Washington (5-0, 2-0 in Pac-12 play) was on the verge of a breakout, the Huskies showed they were ready for their return to the national stage.
And they did it emphatically, handing Stanford (3-1, 2-1) its worst loss since a 41-3 setback against Arizona State in 2007.
The Huskies raced to a 23-0 halftime lead, scored early in the second half to go up 30-0 and coasted to their biggest victory over an AP Top 10 team since beating No. 5 Southern California 31-0 in 1990. That game 26 years ago announced Washington as a national contender and the Huskies went on to share the national title a year later with Miami — taking the coaches’ version while Miami topped the AP media poll.
Browning was the leader of an efficient offense that scored on six of its eight drives. He threw touchdowns of 3 yards to Dante Pettis, 19 yards to John Ross and capped the night with a 3-yarder to Aaron Fuller with 5:30 remaining. Browning was 15 of 21 and did not commit a turnover.
Equally important was Washington’s ability to establish a running game. The Huskies rushed for 214 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.
Meanwhile, Stanford star Christian McCaffrey saw his Heisman Trophy aspirations hit a major speed bump. McCaffrey was held to 49 yards rushing on 12 carries, five catches for 30 yards and continued his streak of never scoring an offensive touchdown in a road game.
It was McCaffrey’s fewest yards rushing since 2014 at California when he had 19 yards on three carries.
Stanford’s only TD came late in the third quarter on a 19-yard pass from Ryan Burns to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Burns was 15 of 22 for 151 yards, but Washington controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides. Stanford quarterbacks were sacked eight times, six in the first half. Stanford had allowed only four total sacks in the first three games combined.
Stanford was playing short-handed without starting cornerbacks Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder, starting wide receiver Francis Owusu and starting fullback Daniel Marx. Starting right tackle Casey Tucker limped off with an apparent leg injury late in the fourth quarter.
Two prominent Oklahoma boosters who support Sooners Coach Bob Stoops say the team’s early struggles have made some other boosters restless.
Jim Ross, a boxing announcer for CBS Sports best known for his work in professional wrestling, and Wallis Marsh, founder and CEO of the Extex Companies in Houston, say they have gotten many calls about this the past few weeks.
Losses to Houston and Ohio State already have knocked the Sooners out of the national championship picture. Oklahoma plays No. 21 Texas Christian on Saturday and No. 22 Texas the following week — both possible defeats.
“If we lose a couple more games, this unorganized tropical depression could become a named storm,” Marsh said of a coaching change.
“The people that are close to the program, the people that support the program, the people that love the program the most aren’t in that camp right now — yet,” Marsh said. “It’s starting to fester.”
The leading passer in major college football has a pretty strong connection with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.
California’s Davis Webb regularly exchanges text messages with Jared Goff, the former Golden Bears quarterback now with the Rams, with the topics covering a wide range. The two have known each other since they were seniors in high school and remain close, even though one is still in college and the other is in the pros.
“I try to give Jared a little space because he’s a little busy doing the NFL thing,” said Webb, who leads the nation in passing yardage (1,387), touchdowns (18) and completions (138). “It’s always fun to talk to the No. 1 overall draft pick and a former Cal great. We probably text once or twice a week to see how each other are doing, how the game plans are going. He’s a great friend to have.”
One subject Webb has declined to bring up is Cal’s 30-24 loss to Utah in Salt Lake City last season when Goff was intercepted a career-high five times and had a fourth-down pass batted down on the Bears’ final drive. Cal hosts No. 18 Utah on Saturday.