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At end of wild game, Huskies simply couldn’t stop Cal’s offense

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 8, 2019, 10:02 p.m.

California kicker Greg Thomas, left, celebrates with holder Steven Coutts (37) and offensive lineman McKade Mettauer (72) after Thomas kicked the game-winning field goal in the early morning hours of Sunday. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
California kicker Greg Thomas, left, celebrates with holder Steven Coutts (37) and offensive lineman McKade Mettauer (72) after Thomas kicked the game-winning field goal in the early morning hours of Sunday. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
By Percy Allen Seattle Times

Five hours and 43 minutes after the kickoff and one hour and 23 minutes after midnight, one of the craziest games in Washington history ended.

This one had it all.

Thunder and lightning overhead, a two-hour, 39-minute weather delay, and late-game heroics on the field. However, the 14th-ranked Huskies came up short in a 20-19 defeat and lost for the second straight year to the California Golden Bears.

Washington, which had its 15-game win streak at Husky Stadium snapped, fell to 1-1 and its bid to win the Pac-12 North took a severe hit.

Here are three impressions of the defeat.

What a kick!

In a perfect UW Husky world, this game would have ended after sophomore kicker Peyton Henry drilled a 49-yard field goal that put the Huskies up 19-17.

Washington eschewed a fourth-and-11 attempt and gave Henry a chance to be the hero. He delivered with a career-long kick that just snuck inside the right upright, but would have been good from 55 yards.

Henry was 4 for 4 on field goal attempts, including kicks of 36 and 25 yards.

Poor tackling, penalties undermine defense

When it mattered most, Washington couldn’t stop Cal from driving 74 yards in the final 2:05.

The Huskies were nursing a 19-17 lead before the Golden Bears marched for the go-ahead score. On the drive, redshirt freshman cornerback Kyler Gordon was flagged for defensive pass interference resulting in a 15-yard penalty that gave Cal a first-and-10 at the UW 45.

On the next play, Cal quarterback Chase Garbers connected with Kekoa Crawford for a 27-yard gain.

Three plays later, Cal kicker Greg Thomas booted a game-winning 17-yard field goal.

Earlier, the Huskies had trouble most of the night containing Cal running backs Christopher Brown Jr. (80 yards) and Marcel Dancy (72 yards) who combined for 152 rushing yards.

Eason good, but not great

Even before the weather delay, it was going to be difficult for junior quarterback Jacob Eason to duplicate last week’s UW debut - in which he threw for 349 yards and 4 TDs - against a Cal secondary that’s considered one of the best in the nation.

Sure enough, Eason had difficulty with a Golden Bears defense that began the game with a 3-yard sack.

Unlike the previous outing, the Huskies didn’t connect on anything deep and Eason was forced to dink and dunk for most of the night with varying amounts of success. UW’s starting receivers Andre Baccellia, Aaron Fuller and Chico McClatcher combined for five catches and 39 yards through three quarters. Of course, UW receivers didn’t help the air attack and dropped five passes.

Eason finished without a touchdown and threw for a modest 162 yards on 18-for-30 passing, including an interception.

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