JOHNSON CARRIES THE LOAD FOR UW ON THE WAY TO A PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP

Every time the Washington Huskies needed a play to win the Pac-12 championship game, Dillon Johnson stepped up and did something timely.

He scored two touchdowns on short runs, was credited with a touchdown pass on a forward toss and broke loose on a 19-yard run on third-and-10 to seal a 34-31 victory over Oregon on Friday night at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Add to that, he rushed 28 times for 152 yards following up his 100-yard outing against the Ducks in Seattle — the only times this season anyone has hit the century mark on the ground against Dan Lanning's team.

"We knew it was going to come down to who had the most physical team," he said, "and we had the most physical team."

In Friday's Pac-12 championship matchup against the fifth-ranked Ducks, Johnson, who's just two weeks removed froma foot injury he suffered against the Oregon State Beavers, did a little bit of everything.

Lined up as a Wildcat quarterback, Johnson got credit for a touchdown throw on a pop pass, which involved pitching the ball forward to wide receiver Germie Bernard for a 4-yard touchdown that extended the Huskies' lead to 17-3 in the second quarter.

Even though the Mississippi State transfer appeared exhausted by the end of the game, he appreciated the coaching staff's trust in his abilities. 

"It feels amazing, it's a huge confidence booster for me," Johnson said of his heavy workloads. "Everybody trusting you, and believing that you will make the right play and you'll do whatever it takes to win, makes the game so much easier."

The game certainly has treated Johnson well since he joined the Huskies, with his Friday night output marking the fourth time he has rushed for over 100 yards this season. 

Over the first month of the season, Washington's run game struggled to find a rhythm but has gotten stronger as the season has gone along. 

Now Johnson looks like one of the toughest running backs in the country to tackle, which is necessary

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2023-12-02T08:25:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd