Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


Washington's Dante Pettis sets NCAA record for punt return TDs

Tony Brooks-James #20 of the Oregon Ducks runs the ball against Donavan Thompson #3 of the Utah Utes at Autzen Stadium Washington's Dante Pettis sets NCAA record for punt return TDs
Noah Ferguson | 05 November, 2017, 10:22

His son, Washington receiver Dante Pettis, spent Wednesday night cooped up in his room by himself fighting off nerves.

Pettis became the NCAA's career leader in punt return touchdowns and had a 47-yard TD reception, leading No. 12 Washington past OR 38-3 on Saturday night.

The Ducks saw their streak of 130 straight games scoring a touchdown come to an end. Pettis recorded his ninth return for a touchdown against OR at Husky Stadium.

Pettis caught the line drive from Oregon's Adam Stack, made the initial defenders miss, hurdled an attempted tackle from Stack at the OR 40 and found open space as he sprinted to the end zone. It was Pettis' fourth punt return for a touchdown this season, tying a Pac-12 record.

Pettis had shared the NCAA career record of eight with Texas Tech's Wes Welker and Oklahoma's Antonio Perkins.

"We felt like we'd be able to run the ball, which we did".

Washington won the coin toss and deferred to the second half giving OR the ball first.

Pettis caught the punt on the run and split the initial wave of defenders before breaking to the sideline and outrunning the coverage team for a 64-yard score that put UW up 10-3 with 10 minutes, 5 seconds to play in the half. "I don't think there's anything special, he just looks the same to me", Washington coach Chris Petersen said. "He's a long strider that has tremendous suddenness to him". He has more yards and touchdowns than any other team in the nation.

OR again ran on their next Offensive series, but the third fumble of the night ended any chance of getting close to the end zone. Coleman popped up and raced the final 20 yards for the score. Ahmed later added a 58-yard touchdown run as part of Washington's 21-point third quarter.

Braxton Burmeister got the call at quarterback for OR, his fifth start in place of Justin Herbert, who is still recovering from his broken collarbone. Herbert has not played since being injured in late September. While Running Back Royce Freeman added to his season accomplishments, OR was unable to score a touchdown, ending a 110 game run dating back to 2007. After gaining 116 yards on their first two possessions, OR gained just 73 total yards on the next eight possessions. They also host Oregon State on November 25 needing one win to become bowl eligible. "It's good to see that our guys are able to run the football when everyone knows we're going to run". The last time OR failed to score a TD was against UCLA in 2007.

The hard rain and swarming Washington front seven kept OR from getting the passing game going, holding Burmeister to only 31 yards in the air.

It was a big week for the Pettis family.

Gary Pettis spent Wednesday night in Los Angeles as the Houston Astros' third base coach during Game 7 of the World Series.

"This week has just been insane".

NOTES: Washington beat OR at home for the first time since its 42-10 victory in 2003, which also the last time Washington beat OR for a second consecutive season.

Oregon: The Ducks didn't even bother trying to throw the ball against Washington's secondary that was missing two starters at cornerback. OR came into the game with a new coaching staff and a new mindset. While the Ducks finished with 247 yards on the ground, the Huskies did their job in not letting OR dictate the game with its rushing attack.

Oregon has a bye week coming up before facing Arizona and Oregon State at Autzen Stadium to close out the 2017 season.

Washington (8-1, 5-1) heads to Stanford on Friday night.

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