SEATTLE (AP) – A bit of late-game mastery by Washington quarterback Jake Browning provided Tristan Vizcaino a chance at redemption for a season of shaky kicking and the capper to one crazy rally.
Pac-12 after dark, indeed.
Vizcaino hit a 38-yard field goal as time expired and No. 16 Washington scored 10 points in the final 58 seconds to stun Utah 33-30 on Saturday night.
Washington (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12, No. 18 CFP) pulled even at 30-all on Myles Gaskin’s 2-yard TD run with 58 seconds remaining. After Utah punted, Washington got the ball back with 29 seconds at its own 28. Browning hit Dante Pettis for 18 yards to near midfield, and then the big play was a 31-yard strike to Andre Baccellia to the Utah 22 with 8 seconds left. Washington took one shot at the end zone that was incomplete before Vizcaino jogged out.
There was no icing the kicker. Vizcaino’s kick was true, setting off a wild celebration on the Husky Stadium turf. Vizcaino missed from 30 yards in the third quarter and an extra point in the first half.
“I was exciting running out there, excited for the opportunity,” Vizcaino said. “It’s a huge deal. I’ve let my teammates down a couple games in the past and being able to bounce back and maybe make it up to them tonight, it meant a lot to me. … One of the best feelings you could have as a kicker, if not the best.”
Browning and Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley put on a show of quarterback play that was outstanding. Browning was 26-of-35 passing for 354 yards and two touchdowns while Gaskin had two TD runs and a 76-yard touchdown reception.
Huntley threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, ran for another 48 yards and a touchdown, and his big second half had the Utes (5-6, 2-6) in position for an upset and bowl eligibility.
Browning was even better in the closing minutes, the craziest finish to a game he could remember.
“I’ve had some bad ones when we lose in the last two minutes of a game so I try and forget about that,” Browning said. “But I don’t even know one specific thing. Just how it all went.”
Washington took possession with 2:03 left at its own 39. Browning misfired on his first three passes, but on fourth down he found Baccellia for 14 yards. Browning then hit his next four throws, including a 28-yard strike to Will Dissly to the Utah 2. Gaskin scored on the next play, and the extra point tied it.
After Utah went three-and-out, Utes coach Kyle Whittingham called timeout with 23 seconds left after Gaskin was stopped on a 2-yard run. Browning hit the next two throws, and Utah was left walking off with a shocking loss.
“We called timeout trying to get the ball back thinking they were going to be aggressive,” Whittingham said. “Maybe an incomplete pass, another timeout we had in our pocket. We had a great field goal kicker and that was the reason for that timeout was I was trying to aggressive and get ball back for our offense. Didn’t work out.”
Browning was 7 of 11 for 108 yards on Washington’s final two possessions.
Washington appeared lethargic knowing its chances at a Pac-12 North title rested with California needing to upset Stanford, a result that did not go the Huskies way.
Utah was the one playing as though a division title was at stake.
Whittingham called an onside kick in the first half that was successful, and even more daringly called a fake punt facing fourth-and-17 from his own 27 early in the fourth quarter. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky kept the ball and barely got the first down.
The fake punt proved to be a critical decision. Huntley hit Jake Jackson for 39 yards later in the drive to the Washington 5, and Huntley scored on the next play to give the Utes a 30-23 lead with 10:52 remaining.
“I thought we played very well for about 58 minutes,” Whittingham said.
Stanford’s 17-14 win over California knocked Washington them out of the division race. The best Washington can do now is complete a second straight 10-win season and more importantly end rival Washington State’s hopes for the Pac-12 North title.
If the Cougars beat the Huskies next Saturday, Washington State plays in the Pac-12 title game. If the Huskies win, then it’s Stanford.
Utah: Despite missing a pair of starters on defense due to injury, Utah managed to hold Washington’s run game in check. The Huskies finished with 123 yards rushing, but while Gaskin had a big night receiving, he managed just 52 yards rushing. … Utah became the first team to score 30 points on Washington at home since the Utes did it two years ago in a 34-23 win.
Washington: Despite only being juniors, Browning and Gaskin took over the top spots in Washington’s record book. Gaskin’s 9-yard TD run in the first quarter was the 38th of his career, moving him one ahead of Bishop Sankey for most in school history. Browning also took the top spot for career passing TDs when Lavon Coleman took his dump off pass and found his way into the end zone in the second quarter. It was Browning’s 76th career TD, passing Keith Price on the career list.
Utah: The Utes close out the regular season hosting Colorado next Saturday.
Washington: The Huskies face rival Washington State in the Apple Cup next Saturday.
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