Washington's strong run game helps shut out Sacramento State

After gaining just 5 yards on five carries in Week 1, Myles Gaskin rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries -- with three touchdowns -- against Sacramento State. Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports

A week after the Washington Huskies rushed for just 29 total yards in their loss to Boise State, the Huskies found their ground game in a 49-0 win over Sacramento State.

Freshman running back Myles Gaskin, who toted the ball five times for 5 yards against the Broncos, found his feet. He finished the game with three touchdowns and 146 yards on 14 carries. Dwayne Washington added two rushing touchdowns on four touches.

Freshman quarterback Jake Browning picked up his second career start and looked poised as he completed 17 of 24 passes (including a perfect 14-of-14 in the second quarter) for 326 yards and his first two career touchdowns. His 326 yards was the most ever for a Washington true freshman quarterback.

Defensively, the Huskies held Sacramento State to just 11 rushing yards on 26 carries (an abysmal 0.4 yards per carry). In the air they gave up 201 yards, but zero passing touchdowns, and Kevin King even snagged an interception. The most impressive feat of the defense, however, might’ve been the Huskies’ fourth-quarter red zone stop.

What the win means for Washington: A lot of young talent played well in the Huskies’ win. And yes, it’s important to keep it all in perspective -- a win (even a big one) over Sacramento State is nothing for Washington to hang its hat on, but it did give those young players an idea of what it feels like to put together a productive offense. And in what could be a very long season for the Huskies, this game could lay a foundation for this young group over the next few seasons. Freshmen Browning and Gaskin as well as sophomore wide receivers Dante Pettis and Brayden Lenius all got the idea of what it feels like to get an offense moving.

What the loss means for Sacramento State: It was a good wake-up call for the kind of competition the Hornets will face in two weeks. Next weekend Sacramento State can regroup as it travels to Weber State and shore up a few things fundamentally, but the following weekend the Hornets host Eastern Washington, which showed they can put up some major points and major offensive yardage against Oregon in Week 1. Sacramento State will need to be fine tuned both offensively and defensively if it wants to pick up a huge Big Sky win early in the season.

Player of the game: Gaskin. A week ago his longest rush was three yards and the other four combined for a total of 2 yards -- not exactly the recipe for success. But Gaskin certainly gained some confidence in the second performance of his career.

Stat of the game: Four first-half rushing touchdowns. Considering how terrible the run game looked a week ago, one or two would’ve been a vast improvement. But four in the first half (and five total) was a staggering total.