SEATTLE — “Hit and miss.”

Utah State coach Matt Wells used those three words to describe USU’s offense on the road at Washington Saturday afternoon.

They also perfectly described Utah State’s overall performance.

At times, the Aggies made huge plays. At times, they gave up huge plays. And overall, they couldn't do enough to beat the Huskies in the Emerald City.

Washington quarterback Jake Browning reeled off back-to-back touchdown passes during the decisive stretch of Saturday’s contest in the third quarter, and his team never looked back in a 31-17 win over Utah State.

Browning, Washington’s star true freshman, threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns against USU's defense in front of an announced crowd of 59,464 at Husky Stadium.

“It’s what it was,” Wells said of the Aggies’ defense. “When you get a team that scores 30-something points, it’s a mixed bag. … The highest of highs and the lowest of lows and you’ve got to be a lot more consistent on defense to play against a good team like that on the road.”

As it played out, Saturday’s game swung around a key sequence in the third quarter.

Trailing 17-10 at halftime, Utah State got exactly what it wanted when Aggie free safety Devin Centers picked off Browning on Washington’s first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

It was Utah State’s first takeaway of the 2015 season and gave the Aggies solid field position at their own 42-yard line.

Instead of scoring, however, USU turned the ball over three plays later when Washington’s Kevin King picked off senior Chuckie Keeton on a deep ball.

Wells downplayed the importance of Keeton's interception afterward, pointing out that the INT more or less served as a deep punt on a third-and-long play.

However, Washington effectively delivered Saturday’s knockout punches immediately afterward.

Browning, unfazed by his earlier pick, promptly picked apart the Aggies.

He quickly led Washington 78 yards down the field and threw a 33-yard TD pass to fellow freshman Dwayne Washington. Then, after Keeton and the Aggies went three-and-out on their ensuing possession — Keeton finished 17 of 33 for 171 yards and two interceptions — Browning led the Huskies on a 69-yard drive that ended on a 3-yard TD reception to Drew Sample with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

Washington led 31-10 at that point, and Utah State couldn’t recover.

“We had a lot of momentum,” Centers said of his interception to open the third quarter. “We had the offense come out (trying) to put some points on the board. … It just didn’t happen.”

To its credit, Utah State kept battling.

Senior wide receiver Hunter Sharp, playing in his first contest of the season after serving a two-game suspension for a “violation of team rules,” chased down Washington safety Brandon Beaver at the USU 3-yard line after Beaver returned a Keeton interception 96 yards midway through the fourth quarter.

Two plays later, USU’s Jontrell Rocquemore returned a UW fumble 97 yards for a touchdown with 9:47 remaining in the game.

“It’s something that you show on tape, and it’s a really unselfish play is what it is,” Wells said of Sharp’s effort to prevent Beaver from scoring a pick-six. “You’ve got to have more of it. That stuff’s got to permeate the team and the program. It just goes to show you a heart and a will sometimes can lead to big plays.”

Sharp finished with six receptions for 74 yards and had a 60-yard kickoff return that led to Utah State’s opening points in the first half.

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“Obviously you guys can see how much of a major impact he was,” said running back LaJuan Hunt. “We’re all glad that he’s back and we’re looking forward to some big things moving forward.”

The Aggies will undoubtedly hope those big things happen after they return from a bye week to face Colorado State on Oct. 3.

Wells said his program will do a lot of reflecting between now and the start of Mountain West play in two weeks.

“We have 14 days to internalize some of that, reflect and come up with a good game plan and be ready to go and play a Colorado State team at home,” he said.

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