Washington running back Sean McGrew (5) runs for a touchdown against Oregon State during the first half of a game Nov. 14, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington running back Sean McGrew (5) runs for a touchdown against Oregon State during the first half of a game Nov. 14, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington rides run game to opening win over Oregon State

The Huskies pile up 267 yards on the ground, Dylan Morris starts at quarterback in 27-21 victory.

By Tim Booth / Associated Press

SEATTLE — Sean McGrew rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown, Dylan Morris added a 1-yard TD plunge, and Washington opened the Jimmy Lake era as head coach with a 27-21 win over Oregon State on Saturday night.

McGrew was part of a multifaceted rushing attack by Washington (1-0 Pac-12) that rolled up 267 yards rushing. McGrew had just nine carries and scored on a 21-yard run. Kamari Pleasant added 61 yards and a 15-yard TD. Richard Newton ran for 15 carries for 41 yards.

Lake won his debut taking over for Chris Petersen, who stepped away from coaching after last season. The debut was delayed after last week’s game at California was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns with the Golden Bears.

Peyton Henry kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:45 left, the only points scored in the second half by either team.

Jermar Jefferson rushed for 133 yards and a TD for Oregon State, his 12th career 100-yard rushing game. But Jefferson was stopped twice needing less than a yard from the Washington 5 early in the fourth quarter and the Beavers (0-2 Pac-12) on the cusp of taking the lead. Jefferson was stuffed on third- and fourth-down runs, although the Beavers appeared to get unfriendly spots on both runs.

B.J. Baylor had a 3-yard TD run for Oregon State in the second quarter and Jefferson scored from the 4 just before halftime.

Tristan Gebbia was just 11-of-24 passing for 85 yards and was intercepted on a deflected fourth-down pass with 54 seconds left.

The question of who would be Washington’s starting quarterback was answered when Morris, a redshirt freshman, took the first snap. The expectation was either Morris or graduate transfer Kevin Thomson would be the starter. But Thomson was in street clothes on the sideline and Morris directed the Huskies.

Morris was 14 of 24 for 141 yards. He wasn’t helped early by his wide receivers, who dropped a few passes, including Ty Jones being unable to haul in a potential touchdown toss in the first quarter.

Block party

Oregon State jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a special teams blunder by Washington. Long snapper Jaden Green snapped a punt on Washington’s opening series well over the head of Race Porter. Porter ran back 20 yards and collected the loose ball, but his attempt to still punt was blocked. Jaydon Grant collected the block and ran 11 yards for the score.

It was the first blocked punt for a TD by Oregon State since 2011 against Arizona and the first allowed by Washington since 2012 against USC.

The takeaway

Oregon State: The Beavers run defense is their biggest issue early in the season. Oregon State allowed 229 yards rushing last week to Washington State and was gashed worse by the Huskies.

Washington: The Huskies had a mixed bag on special teams. Along with the blocked punt they gave up a pair of long kickoff returns. They caught a punt at the 5-yard line. And normally reliable kicker Peyton Henry missed a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter that would have given the Huskies a 27-2 lead. Porter did have a punt downed at the 1 in the fourth quarter.

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