‘How Good Do We Want To Be?’ Team Effort Sparks Second-Half Rally
By Mason Kelley
When asked to explain what went wrong in the first half, John Timu said it was an energy issue.
“We didn’t have the energy to match them,” the Washington linebacker said. “Those guys came out with a high intensity and just kind of shoved it in our throats.”
When the Huskies went into the locker room trailing by two touchdowns, there was a simple question that needed to be answered.
“How good do we want to be?” Timu said. “That’s what we’ve got to figure out.”
Faced with an uncomfortable deficit, Washington rallied for a 45-14 victory over Georgia State at Husky Stadium. For at least one half the Huskies provided an impressive answer to Timu’s question.
“It was tremendous,” said quarterback Cyler Miles, who completed 19 of 27 passes for 154 yards and three second-half touchdowns. “I thought we did a great job of staying together and responding in the second half. A lot of guys had a lot to do with it. It was a great team effort to respond in the second half.”
The rally started when backup quarterback Jeff Lindquist entered the game for a new “wrinkle” in Washington’s offense. He scored on a 9-yard run to get the Huskies on the board.
“We regrouped at halftime,” said Lindquist, who scored his first two touchdowns at Husky Stadium. “We cranked the energy up. I thought we did a good job of that and those are the plays you saw happen.”
The Huskies (4-0) scored 45 unanswered points – the most they’ve ever scored after halftime. They received contributions from familiar faces like Miles, Jaydon Mickens and Kasen Willians, while players like Lindquist, Kendyl Taylor and freshman punt returner Dante Pettis made the most of their opportunities.
Taylor delivered in the third quarter, tying the game after scoring his first touchdown on the Huskies’ home turf.
“It felt amazing, man,” Taylor said. At first, I knew I scored, but it didn’t hit me until I got to the sideline and I really thought about it. First one in Husky Stadium and I couldn’t be more excited.”
While the offense responded from a disappointing first half, Pettis helped energize the crowd with several impressive punt returns.
“He’s coming on strong for us,” Taylor said.
Timu put an exclamation point on the win in the fourth quarter with a 35-yard interception he ran into the end zone. Once he crossed the goal line, he kept running.
“I have no idea what I was doing,” Timu said with a laugh. “I was just running. I saw a kid and said, ‘Here you go, man.’”
“It feels good to be able to brag about something,” Timu said. “‘Hey guys, I scored.’”