Dante Pettis had four touchdowns, including an NCAA record-tying eighth punt return touchdown for his career, and No. 6 Washington finished off the undercard of its schedule with a 48-16 rout of Fresno State on Saturday night.
Pettis had touchdown receptions of 4 and 7 yards in the first half, and a 73-yard TD pass from Jake Browning on the second play of the second half to give Washington (3-0) a 48-7 lead. But it was his 77-yard punt return late in the first quarter that left Husky Stadium buzzing and put Pettis’ name into another record book.
“It’s kind of crazy just because coming into college I never would have thought that was something I could do,” Pettis said. “I didn’t even know I was going to be a punt returner to be honest. Now that it’s here it’s kind of crazy.”
Pettis caught the kick from Blake Cusick near the Washington sideline, shook one defender, hurdled another in the open field and finally stepped through a last tackle attempt. Pettis also got a key downfield block from Myles Bryant to complete the return and give Washington a 27-0 lead.
Pettis’ return tied him with Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma) and Wes Welker (Texas Tech) for most in a college career. Pettis also tied the NCAA record for consecutive games with a punt return touchdown at three. Pettis brought one 67 yards for a score in the season opener against Rutgers and had a 61-yarder last week against Montana.
Pettis wondered last week if teams would continue kicking to him. Fresno State (1-2) did and paid for it.