Husky transfer quarterback Jacob Eason dissects Cougars’ defense

BYU defensive back Austin Lee (2) tackles Washington running back Sean McGrew (25) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/George Frey)

Provo • Another season, another hot quarterback wearing a Washington uniform got the best of the BYU Cougars.

Washington quarterback Jacob Eason lit up the Cougars, completing 24-of-28 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s 45-19 rout at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Last year, Washington quarterback Jake Browning went 23-of-25 for 277 yards and a touchdown to lead the 11th-ranked Huskies to a 35-7 win over No. 20 BYU.

Eason, a junior transfer from Georgia who sat out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules, entered the game 27-for-36 for 349 yards and four touchdowns on the season, but padded those stats against some questionable competition in wins over Eastern Washington and Hawaii.

It was logical to think he would get at least a challenge from BYU’s defense, particularly after it played so well a week ago in the upset over USC.

Instead, Eason toyed with the Cougars, picking apart the secondary and having no shortage of targets, connecting with eight receivers.

Washington quarterback Jacob Eason (10) looks to pass the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/George Frey)

The Husky QB went 18-for-20 for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, including a stretch of 13 straight completions, to guide Washington to a 24-12 advantage at the break. His long string of completions ended on a drive that stalled on BYU’s 4-yard line, one of the few moments that the Huskies came away empty.

Most surprisingly, Eason didn’t face much pressure as the Cougars failed to get a sack after they harassed USC quarterback Kedon Slovis all game last week.

“We didn’t do anything to disrupt the timing with Eason and the way he threw the ball,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “He was really efficient.”

As if it was bad enough having Eason finding success so easily, the Huskies’ running game had its own moments.

Washington was without starting running back Salvon Ahmed due to health reasons, but they didn’t miss him as the Huskies still ran for 187 yards on 39 carries yards as a team, with starter Sean McGew rushing 18 times for 110 yards.

Seeing McGrew run straight up the heart of the defense for a 36-yard gain in the third quarter was indicative of the ineffectiveness of the Cougars’ defense on Saturday.

“They did whatever they wanted to and we didn’t do enough to stop them,” Sitake said.