Jimmy Lake was almost apologetic when discussing University of Washington tight end Cade Otton this past week.
Against Oregon State, the Huskies threw the ball to him just once. He caught it for a 4-yard gain.
Lake still pointed out how the 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior from Tumwater, Washington, played one of the more dominant games of his career against the Beavers, knocking down anyone who got in his way.
Yet, the coach acknowledged that Otton had been greatly underutilized considering his talent level, which has All-American written all over it, and the Huskies needed to use him more.
Lake was good on his word against Arizona on Saturday night at Husky Stadium. The UW wasted no time in getting him greater involvement in the offense.
Otton equally caught balls and blocked defenders at a productive rate. He led all receivers with 7 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. The Huskies gave him their game ball, signifying him as the player of the game over many worthy candidates.
The veteran and modest tight end just shrugged at the newfound emphasis put on him in the passing game in the 44-27 victory over the visiting Wildcats.
“I wasn’t worried about that at all,” Otton said of his one-catch performance against Oregon State. “We’re just going to do what we can to be an efficient offense, to be an explosive offense.”
Against Arizona, the first Husky play of the game was a 6-yard pass from Dylan Morris that settled in the hands of Otton.
On the second UW series, the first play of the drive went to Otton again, a 12-yard Morris strike hauled in by the veteran tight end. The fourth and fifth plays of that possession went to Otton, as well, for healthy 18- and 29-yard gainers.
Now that’s more like it. Arizona was really back on its heels now, trying to cover the Husky wideouts and Otton. They couldn’t adequately defend both.
By halftime, Otton had five catches for 72 yards to lead all receivers at that point.
In the third quarter, the Huskies finally took full advantage of this guy, with Morris hitting Otton on a slant over the middle that became a 20-yard touchdown pass, good for a 37-0 UW advantage.
“Wait until you see film of his blocking tonight,” Lake said. “He was just mashing people all over the field. He’s had two big-time games.”
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