Washington OC Ryan Grubb dissects what went wrong against Arizona State
Pressure, pressure, pressure.
SEATTLE — These were the most difficult questions Ryan Grubb has faced in 20 games as Washington’s offensive coordinator, and it speaks to the nature of his tenure that they still came after a victory.
The Huskies managed to beat Arizona State, 15-7, without the assistance of an offensive touchdown, their first such victory since beating Utah, 10-3, in the 2018 Pac-12 Championship Game. Prior to Saturday, UW had scored at least 24 points in each of its games under coach Kalen DeBoer. The Huskies also finished with fewer yards of total offense (288), rushing yards (13) and passing yards (275) on Saturday than any prior game with Grubb as playcaller.
While the offense properly celebrated the victory, Grubb said Monday, “there’s no way to come off the field without feeling disappointed.”
That feeling begins with Washington’s lacking pass protection, or at least with the unit’s inability to counter Arizona State’s frequent pressure. The Sun Devils blitzed Michael Penix Jr. on 18 of his 42 dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus. They also pressured him on 14 pass attempts, of which Penix completed only six, for 52 yards and one of his two interceptions. Grubb said he considered six or seven of Penix’s 42 attempts as throwaways.
“That’s way too many,” Grubb said. “I’m OK with a couple in the course of a game, but bad pockets shouldn’t force you to throw the ball away that much.”