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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

Washington stunningly benches struggling QB Jake Browning

Jake Browning Washington

The Washington Huskies pulled a stunner during Saturday’s game against Pac-12 opponent Cal.

With the team struggling to move the ball and put up points in Berkeley, the Huskies benched starting quarterback Jake Browning for backup Jake Haener.

Washington was up 7-6 late in the third quarter when Chris Petersen benched Browning for Haener. On his second pass attempt of the game, Haener was intercepted by Cal’s Evan Weaver, who returned the pass 37 yards for a touchdown to make it 12-7.

Washington stuck with Haener at QB after getting the ball back, though they ended up punting. Browning was put back into the game after that.

Browning, a senior, was 8/15 for 109 yards, a touchdown, and an interception at the time of his benching. After leading Washington on a touchdown in their first drive of the game, Browning was intercepted. The following four drives all failed to yield points. They had three punts — including a pair of 3-and-outs — and turned the ball over on downs in Cal territory.

Browning is one of the best quarterbacks in school history. He is Washington’s leader in career passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, and more. Seeing him get benched mid-game is stunning.

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