SEATTLE — Myles Gaskin led Washington’s running onslaught with 169 yards and one touchdown, Lavon Coleman added 94 yards and three touchdown runs and the 12th-ranked Huskies routed UCLA 44-23 on Saturday.
The Huskies (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) bounced back from their first loss of the season two weeks ago at Arizona State by running through the worst run defense in the country. Quarterback Jake Browning was mostly a nonfactor because he didn’t need to throw; Gaskin and his friends had more than enough success on the ground.
“It felt good. Usually it’s the other way,” Gaskin said. “It was a good feeling. Kind of laugh at Jake a little bit handing the ball off to us. It just worked out like that today.”
Washington finished with 333 yards rushing as a team, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Gaskin finally found the end zone late in the third quarter on a 6-yard run. Coleman scored on runs of 1, 33 and 13 yards, and Browning added a 1-yard quarterback sneak early in the second quarter after it appeared Gaskin had scored on the previous play.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen was 12 of 21 passing for 93 yards and was sacked four times. Rosen was pulled midway through the third quarter and later was on the sideline in sweats. UCLA coach Jim Mora said it was multiple things that caused him to pull Rosen, who was limping after being sacked in the second quarter by Washington’s Austin Joyner. Rosen threw a 7-yard TD pass to Jordan Wilson in the second quarter, but Washington scored the next 27 points.
“He took some hits, he’s beat up, some multiple things going on,” Mora said.
The Bruins (4-4, 2-3) entered the day with the worst run defense in the country, and Washington did its part in making those numbers even worse. Washington was the fourth team this season to rush for at least 300 yards against the Bruins. It was the first time since beating Oregon last season the Huskies topped 300 yards rushing.
Browning finished just 8 of 11 passing for 98 yards, a career low in passing yards and attempts.
“We looked at their stats coming in and they hadn’t been great against the run, so we thought we would run the ball a little bit,” Browning said. “We started gashing them early and kept doing it.”
It was a fairly methodical performance by the Huskies, in which the passing game was muted and the most explosive plays came from freshman Salvon Ahmed on kickoff returns. Ahmed had an 82-yard kickoff return early in the second quarter after UCLA scored to pull within 10-9. Ahmed’s return gave the Huskies a short field and two plays later, Coleman scored for a 17-9 lead. Ahmed added a 40-yard return in the fourth quarter and had a 34-yard run on a reverse.
Even before Rosen left, UCLA’s offense was struggling. After pulling within 10-9, the Bruins ran just one play in Washington territory — from the 49 — over the next seven drives and gained a total of 41 yards. Backup QB Devon Modster threw a 4-yard TD pass to Darren Andrews in the fourth quarter.
Osa Odighizuwa returned a fumble 50 yards for a TD in the closing moments for UCLA.
UCLA: The Bruins have now lost eight straight away from the Rose Bowl and lately they’ve mostly been blowouts. The Bruins have lost by at least 17 points in four of their past five road defeats.
Washington: Key injuries continue to build for the Huskies. After losing starting left tackle Trey Adams and cornerback Jordan Miller in the loss to Arizona State, the Huskies watched freshman standout tight end Hunter Bryant limp off the field after a 17-yard reception in the first half. Bryant appeared to be hit directly on his left knee. He did not return.
The Huskies stay at home and will host rival Oregon next Saturday.