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Washington 44, Illinois 19: Shaq Thompson, Cyler Miles, Huskies finally play complete game

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports




Who was your player of the game for the Huskies? What were the key stats and plays that defined the game?

Sam Barbee (follow on Twitter): The Shaq of all trades, Shaq Thompson. A pick six and a scoop-and-score touchdown gave Illinois an insurmountable deficit. But Illinois kept coming up with penalties in inopportune situations. Illinois still might've lost, but if they game themselves a chance by not committing so many penalties (10-80) it might've been a closer game.

Zach Pugh (follow on Twitter): Shaq Thompson was a beast for the Huskies, returning an INT and fumble recovery for TDs. It was an impressive showing for the ground game. With six different players taking handoffs at least four times and 4 yards a carry on 59 attempts. The offense has been best when able to run the ball. This will be key moving forward.

Zach Willman (follow on Twitter): Shaq Thompson was a beast- the first UW player in 20 years to get a Fumble TD and a pick-six in the same game, but it was more important for QB Cyler Miles to have a solid day and he did not disappoint: 15/20 191 passing yards(avg 9.6) with a passing TD and 55 rushing yards. He has things to improve, but as long as he follows Peterson's game plan he should develop quickly.

Chris Turner (follow on Twitter): The easy answer is Shaq Thompson, with a huge game on defense with the scoop-and-score and pick six against Illinois, but I really liked the game Cyler Miles had this week. He was a lot more accurate in his throws this week and still was a threat on the ground (246 total yards of offense). He's settling in as an offensive leader of this team this year.

James Crabtree-Hannigan (follow on Twitter): Nothing like 2 defensive touchdowns to make a "Player of the Game" discussion boring. Shaq Thompson wins and Cyler Miles is first runner-up.

What was the most impressive part of today's performance for Washington and why?

Sam Barbee: The defense was stout. Yes, they gave up some plays but that happens. The run defense was good. The pass defense was good for the most part. The pass three-man pass rush got pressure. Good confidence win for the Dawgs.

Zach Pugh: The Huskies needed to not only win, but earn the victory decisively. This team has been hard to figure out early in the season, and fans haven't necessarily known what their first two victories over an underwhelming Hawaii and FCS opponent Eastern Washington. It may not be against one of the better teams in the B1G, but winning by 25 should do wonders for the teams' confidence.

Zach Willman: Their first three drives went for a Touchdown, combining both big plays, and solid ground-and-pound gains. The defense was also solid, holding the Illini to just 1-for-11 3rd down efficiency and 2.8 yards per rush(78 total). The split between passing and rushing plays and yards was nice and balanced, which statistically indicates a well-operating offense.

Chris Turner: UW finally got that convincing win they needed. They escaped Hawaii with a win and outlasted Eastern Washington, but this game against U of I was UW all the way and I think that'll be a big boost for the team after getting by on the skin of their teeth the first two weeks.