Myles Jack wins 'running backer' matchup as UCLA rolls


Jack tackled Shaq. Shaq ran by Jack.

If you think that is the start to a Dr. Seuss story, you wouldn't be wrong per se, but it's also an accurate way to describe UCLA's 44-30 win over Washington on Saturday night.

The contest was billed in advance as a matchup between "running backers" -- the Bruins' Myles Jack and the Huskies' Shaq Thompson -- and it more than lived up to expectations most of the night despite the rather lopsided score.

Jack was active most of the night on defense, chasing purple-clad players from sideline to sideline, but his biggest highlight was a 28-yard scamper as a tailback in which he spun out of a tackle and raced down the sideline for a touchdown. He left his hometown of Seattle with a number of tackles, 38 yards rushing on four carries and the win.

Thompson was unable to find the end zone but finished with a 16-carry, 100-yard night after earning the start at running back. He did not see as many snaps on defense as he's used to (he leads the nation in defensive touchdowns), but he did play on both sides of the ball and did what he could to carry the injury-plagued Huskies in the game.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley had one of his best performances of the season, going 29-of-36 for 302 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn't as prolific running the ball as he has been the past two games, but he did use his legs to create plays and scored two rushing touchdowns on the night.

Perhaps most concerning for new Washington coach Chris Petersen was not the final score, nor UCLA's prolific offense putting up so many points, but the numerous injuries the team suffered in the game. The biggest of those was undoubtedly the one suffered by linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha, who leads the country in sacks and tackles for loss. He left the game with a shoulder injury suffered while sacking Hundley on the first series of the game.

Washington radio reported Kikaha suffered a stinger, and his absence was notable as the Huskies' pass rush wasn't quite what it had been coming in, especially considering the offensive line woes that have hurt UCLA all year long.

In the end, it was the two "running backers" who had the spotlight on them, and they more than delivered for those looking on.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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