Husky secondary steps up vs. talented Colorado WRs

After redshirt freshman cornerback Byron Murphy was lost during a practice earlier in the week with a fractured foot, UW’s secondary came through in a big way.

BOULDER, Colo. — It was already going to be a challenge for Washington’s rebuilt secondary, going up against a Colorado offense that features three of the most productive wide receivers in the Pac-12.

The task got even more challenging when redshirt-freshman cornerback Byron Murphy was lost during a practice earlier in the week with a fractured foot.

Considering that, the Huskies could not have asked for much more from their secondary in Saturday’s 37-10 win in their Pac-12 opener.

“It felt really good,” said junior Jordan Miller, a first-year starting cornerback. “Losing a guy like (Murphy) — one of our better playmakers, one of our best cover guys — we wanted to make plays for him. It felt really good to make plays against all these great receivers and one of the best receiving corps in the nation. We’re trying to put our stamp as one of the best DB corps.”

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Miller had two first-half interceptions to help offset some early momentum from Colorado’s offense.

“He’s another guy who’s been just lurking in the shadows a bit,” UW coach Chris Petersen said. “I think you see he can do some really good things out there at a tough position on an island. Really proud of him.”

Sophomore nickelback Myles Bryant added a pick-six in the third quarter to help UW (4-0) pull away.

“He’s a heck of a player,” Petersen said. “He’s growing every week (with) his confidence, as well. He’s got an expanded role here … and he’s going to make plays.”

Sophomore Austin Joyner made his first career start in place of Murphy at right cornerback. Joyner, the former Marysville-Pilchuck High star, has been one of the Huskies’ best special-teams players the past two seasons.

“He came to play and locked his side down, and that’s what we needed,” Miller said.

Colorado’s tempo gave UW some problems in the first half, as quarterback Steven Montez got off quick passes to the perimeter to his top playmakers — Shay Fields, Devin Ross and Bryce Bobo.

That changed in the second half, especially after Bryant’s interception. UW’s defensive line then ramped up its pressure on Montez, who finished 21 of…

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