Eason throws 3 TDs, No. 23 Washington beats Hawaii 52-20
SEATTLE, Wash. — Jacob Eason threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Bryant on the third play of the game and added two more and No. 23 Washington rebounded from a loss with a 52-20 romp over Hawaii on Saturday night.
Eason and the Huskies (2-1) overwhelmed the Rainbow Warriors, taking a 21-0 lead in less than 9 minutes. Eason was 18 of 25 for 262 yards, Richard Newton had three short TD runs, and Washington quickly bounced back from last week’s 20-19 home loss to California in its Pac-12 opener.
“It always feels good to be in the end zone quick,” Eason said. “Last week we struggled with some things and this week we got to jump on it early. That just shows how well we can bounce back and respond to adversity.”
While the final numbers look impressive, Washington did what was expected. Other than showing it could respond to last week’s setback, answers about how good the Huskies are will come the next three weeks with games at BYU, vs. USC and at Stanford.
Hawaii (2-1) was looking to beat three Pac-12 opponents in a season for the first time in school history. The Warriors opened with wins over Arizona and Oregon State at home, but the first trip away from the island was a quick slap of reality.
Cole McDonald was 22 of 35 for 218 yards and a touchdown, but was also intercepted three times.
“Coach Pete had his guys ready. We knew it was going to be a challenge. I would liked to have seen us get to the fourth quarter and make it a game but it got out of hand pretty early,” Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich said.
Hunter Bryant’s TD catch was the beginning of Washington’s early onslaught. Myles Bryant came up with Washington’s first forced turnovers on Hawaii’s second offensive play, stepping in front of McDonald’s pass for the first of his two interceptions in the first half. Washington made it 14-0 moments later on Sean McGrew‘s 22-yard TD run, and it was 21-0 when Puka Nacua‘s first career catch was a 28-yard TD on a perfectly placed throw from Eason.
Eason’s best TD throw was his last one, hitting Aaron Fuller on a 37-yard TD early in the second quarter, placing the deep post ball just out of the reach of the defensive back.
“It’s just really nice to be able to build a lead,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said. “I don’t think that happens most every game and I think that was really important for this game because Hawaii can score.”
LATE WAKEUP CALL
It wasn’t until nearly halftime before Hawaii’s offensive finally woke up. After going scoreless on their first six possessions, the Warriors scored on back-to-back series on either side of halftime. Miles Reed recovered his own fumble in the end zone shortly before half for Hawaii’s first points. Reed scored on a 7-yard TD run on the opening drive of the second half.
McDonald hit Cedric Byrd II on a 4-yard TD pass late in the third quarter to pull Hawaii within 38-20 but that was as close as the Warriors would get. Newton’s second TD run early in the fourth quarter pushed the Huskies lead back to 25.
Hawaii: The Warriors will lament their sluggish start on offense. Hawaii’s first six drives led to just 100 yards of offensive, zero points and two missed field goal attempts. The three drives that followed led to 20 points and 228 yards.
Washington: Hunter Bryant has quickly developed into Eason’s favorite target. The tight end had five catches for 115 yards. His most important may have been a 20-yard reception on third-down late in the third quarter after Hawaii had scored 20 straight points.
Hawaii: The Warriors return home to host Central Arkansas next Saturday.
Washington: The Huskies hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to BYU next Saturday.
COPYRIGHT 2020 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.