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Not to Get Too Picky, But UW Hasn't Had a Pick 6 Since 2018

Byron Murphy came up with the last one for the Huskies, in the Pac-12 title game.

During its recent downturn that brought about a coaching change, the University of Washington football program hasn't been able to brag about much.

Oh, there were claims once more of being "DBU" — of its ongoing defensive-back superiority — once Husky cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon were taken in the first and second rounds.of the recent NFL draft 

Yet even the secondary has lost some of its luster in recent seasons.

Consider that the Huskies scored 12 times on pass-interception returns from 2013 to 2017, which certainly is a badge of honor for any self-respecting defensive backfield.

However, the UW produced just a measly pick six over the past four seasons — and none after 2018. 

"Attacking and explosive is what I'd really like to think we're going to be," new Husky coach Kalen DeBoer said, speaking for both sides of the ball. 

DeBoer's secondary in Seattle will need to step it up then, maybe take a few more chances, to find the end zone again.

It's been 29 games since the Huskies stole a pass and instantly put points on the board. Cornerback Byron Murphy, now with the Arizona Cardinals, did the honors in the Pac-12 championship game with a meandering 66-yard return against Utah in a 10-3 victory.

Murphy, in fact, has come up with another interception return for a touchdown since then, pilfering a from Trevor Lawrence, now of the Jacksonville Jaguars and formerly of Clemson, and returning it 29 yards for a score. But no one at his old school has matched him.

Byron Murphy scores on a 66-yard interception return against Utah in the 2018 Pac-12 title game.

Byron Murphy has the Huskies' last pick six, coming in the 2018 Pac-12 title game.

And, in this time of the Husky draught, the offense, and specifically quarterbacks Jacob Eason, Dylan Morris and Sam Huard, have served up 4 pick sixes collectively.

Last fall, the UW defense intercepted 10 passes, but linebacker Carson Bruener was the only one able to get out and run, returning his pass theft 50 yards to the Oregon 6. 

Of the defensive backs on the Husky roster, none have scored on an interception return on the college level. 

If the Huskies played today, they would start Mishael Powell and UC Davis transfer Jordan Perryman at the cornerbacks, Alex Cook and Asa Turners at the safeties, and Dom Hampton at the hybrid Husky role. 

Powell and Hampton are awaiting their first UW interceptions, Cook has just a lone pass theft and Turner and Perryman have 4 each, with the latter getting all of his in Big Sky competition. Cook has the longest return among these guys, 36 yards last season against Arizona State.

Of the prospective back-ups, safety Cam Williams has 3 interceptions, but all came in 2019, while fellow safety Julius Irvin got his first and only one against Arkansas State last fall, returning it 34 yards.

The Huskies are way overdue for a pick six. With DeBoer upping the pressure mode, it would be a surprise if one of his pass defenders finds the end zone this season. 

Brandon Beaver has the Huskies' longest interception return in school history, 96 yards.

Brandon Beaver has the longest UW interception return, 96 yards, and he didn't score. 

Yet nothing is guaranteed on a pick 6, even after getting your hands on an enemy pass and seemingly having wide-open spaces. Just ask former UW safety Brandon Beaver, who holds the school record for the longest interception return at 96 yards, coming against Utah State in 2015. 

He ran out of gas on the runback and got tackled three yards short of the end zone. 

A year later, Beaver intercepted another ball against Rutgers, returned it 46 yards — and came up four yards shy of the goal line.


UW LONGEST TD INTERCEPTION RETURNS

93 — Al Burleson, 1975, Washington State

91 — Jermaine Smith, 1997, Arizona 

90 — Bob Pederson, 1968, Oregon State

90 — George Wilson, 1925, Washington State

87 — Le-Lo Lang, 1989, California

86 — Jim Katsenes, 1970, Stanford

86 — George Jugum, 1968, Stanford

84 — Tre Watson, 2014, Colorado

82 — George Guttormsen, 1925, Stanford

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80 — Shaq Thompson, 2013, Oregon State

79 — Reggie Reser, 1994, California

78 — Dashon Goldson, 2005, USC

72 — Chico Fraley, 1988, Army

69 — Sidney Jones, 2015, Washington State

69 — Roland Kirkby, 1950, USC

68 — Jomon Dotson, 2017, Montana

66 — Byron Murphy, 2018, Utah 

66 — Lester Towns, 1997, Michigan State

66 — Vestee Jackson, 1983, Arizona

66 — Calvin Jones, 1971, USC

65 — Roland Kirkby, 1948, California

63 — John Timu, 2014, Arizona State

61 — Jim Jones, 1955, UCLA

56 — Tony Parrish, 1997, Michigan State

55 — Lloyd Phelps, 1940, UCLA 

54 — Mesphin Forrester, 2007, USC

49 — Dick Ottele, 1949, St. Mary's

46 — Connor O'Brien, 2016, Idaho

45 — Tony Parrish, 1996, Arizona

44 — Anthony Vontoure, 1999, Oregon State

43 — Vince Newsome, 1982, San Diego State

42 — Derrick Johnson, 2002, Oregon State

42 — James Clifford, 1992, Stanford

41 — Al Burleson, 1975, Navy

40 — Joe Kelley, 1984, Stanford 

40 — John Meyers, 1959, Utah

40 — Gordon Berlin, 1947, Stanford


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