Gaskin runs for 2 TDs, No. 10 Washington beats UCLA 31-24
PASADENA, Calif. — Jake Browning is known for his arm, but the Washington quarterback showed that he can be elusive when on the run.
Browning threw for 265 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran for 49 yards and a score to lead the 10th-ranked Huskies to a 31-24 victory over UCLA on Saturday.
“I think that’s his game. As long as he is moving up into the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield, we want him to run,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said. “He has a feel for it. He’s crafty when he runs and we want it to be a part of his game.”
Browning, who was one yard off his rushing best of 50 against Montana in 2017, said none of the runs were designed plays. Even though there was immediate talk about next week’s game at No. 18 Oregon, Browning was happy that the Huskies were able to get their first win over the Bruins at the Rose Bowl since 1995.
“It feels pretty good to get the win down here. There’s always stuff we need to work on, but now we’re moving on,” said Browning, who completed 18 of 26 passes with one touchdown and one interception.
Browning wasn’t the only Huskies player to have success on the ground. Myles Gaskin rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns as Washington (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) held the ball for 38 minutes, 9 seconds.
Aaron Fuller had five receptions for 100 yards, including a 25-yard TD catch in the first quarter that opened the scoring.
The Huskies led 24-7 at halftime but saw the Bruins climb back within a touchdown twice in the fourth quarter. Washington took a 31-17 lead with a 12-play, 81-yard drive that took 6:45 off the clock and ended with Gaskin’s 1-yard TD on a direct snap with 3:42 remaining.
“When the game was on the line we made the plays when we needed,” Petersen said. “UCLA did a nice job of shortening the game as they got back into it.”
Joshua Kelley scored on a 2-yard run with 1:38 left, and the Bruins attempted an onside kick, but Washington recovered and ran out the clock.
UCLA freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson was 27 of 38 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Kelley finished with 116 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown, becoming the first Bruins running back to have two straight 100-yard games since Paul Perkins in 2015.
The Bruins, who are in their first year under coach Chip Kelly, fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1943. They are 0-2 in the Pac-12.
“We didn’t high-five in the locker room and say, `Hey, we got close against a really good team.’ And they are a really good team,” Kelly said. “Pete’s done a great job with that program, but I’m not a guy that gets solace in `We were close.’ That’s not us. Close isn’t good enough. Close is bad.”
UCLA got within 24-17 early in the further on a Caleb Wilson had a 9-yard TD catch to complete a 17-play, 90-yard drive. The last time the Bruins had a 17-play touchdown drive was in 2012 against Houston. They had a 17-play drive that resulted in a field goal against Washington State in 2015.
Gaskin’s touchdown in the fourth quarter was his 50th rushing score and made him the fifth player in Pac-12 history to have 50 or more TDs on the ground.
Oregon’s Royce Freeman has the record with 60, followed by Oregon State’s Ken Simonton (59), Oregon’s LaMichael James (53) and USC’s LenDale White (52).
Washington: The Huskies’ pass defense, which had been the team’s strength, struggled against a freshman quarterback. They had not allowed a passing TD since the Sept. 1 opener against Auburn.
UCLA: The Bruins had been outscored 83-31 in the second half in their first four games but showed some progress on Saturday by rallying. It is a sign that Kelly’s young team is beginning to show some growth.
Washington: Travels to No. 18 Oregon next Saturday. The Huskies have won the last two meetings against the Ducks.
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