It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. And yet, wins are all the same at the end of the day. The Auburn Tigers earned their first of the season with a 21-16 victory over the Washington Huskies.
In doing so, Auburn adds a victory against a top-flight team in 2018, one that may very well contend for the Pac-12 Championship. Additionally, they also end their woes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a place where they previously fell in their last two tries against the Georgia Bulldogs and UCF Knights.
Although they were able to rack up 147 yards on the ground against the Huskies, they only averaged 3.3 yards per carry. Kam Martin led the charge with 80 yards on 22 carries, but no one else who ran the ball came even close to that mark. This is saying a decent bunch about a team that, last year, prided itself on running the ball.
Jarrett Stidham, meanwhile, statistically looked pretty good. He threw for 273 yards, had a passing touchdown to Sal Cannella (a dandy of a catch, by the way) but at times looked a little shaky. He’ll have to clean up those mistakes and do so pretty quickly, but he can take some solace in not committing any turnovers.
The Tigers defense, meanwhile, did strongly enough to help them earn the win. They sacked Jake Browning five times, with five different players recording a sack. Those players were Jeremiah Dinson, Dontavius Russell, Big Kat Bryant, Nick Coe and Smoke Monday. Jamel Dean also came away with an interception early on in the game, as well. They couldn’t quite stop Aaron Fuller, who whipped up 135 yards on just seven receptions, and Myles Gaskin (who became UW’s all-time leading rusher) picked up 75 yards on 17 carries. But in the end, they kept them out of the end zone enough times. Although some of that was by design, as Washington’s red zone play calling was, at best, questionable.
Nevertheless, a win’s a win, and Auburn can be happy tonight as they head back to The Plains.