Washington can’t solve Alabama’s defense

Alabama defensive back Ronnie Harrison tackles Washington quarterback Jake Browning on a quarterback keeper during the second quarter in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

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Alabama defensive back Ronnie Harrison tackles Washington quarterback Jake Browning on a quarterback keeper during the second quarter in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Washington coach Chris Petersen became known as an offensive mastermind while at Boise State, crowned after a bag of trick plays were used in the Broncos’ 43-42 upset of Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

But Petersen, now at Washington, could generate no magic to turn Alabama’s defense from a steamroller into something more warm and fuzzy in Saturday’s 24-7 defeat in the Chick-fil-Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome.

Led by Petersen, Washington entered the game with a bushel of school records set this season, including points (578), points per game (44.5), touchdowns (76), rushing yards per attempt (5.5), touchdown passes (46) and yards per completion (9.46).

No matter, at least Saturday in front of an announced (mostly pro-Alabama) crowd of 75,996 in the Dome’s final college football game.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide, champions of the SEC, held the Huskies, champions of the Pac-12, to 91 yards in the final three quarters of the College Football Playoff semifinal and a season-low 194 yards total, including 44 rushing and 150 passing. The Huskies were held to an average 2.9 yards per play and were 6-of-17 on third downs. Alabama will play the winner of Saturday’s game between Clemson and Ohio State for the national championship in Tampa on Jan. 9.

“We’ve studied every snap that they’ve had this year, and the tape doesn’t lie when you watch that much tape,” Petersen said. “I mean, that’s as good a defense as there is out there in college football, and they played like it.”

Offensive tackle Trey Adams said he thinks the Huskies could block Alabama and had a decent game, but noted that the Crimson Tide’s defense was obviously difficult to go against.

The Huskies had 14 possessions, six of which lasted no more than three plays. Their longest drive was 64 yards, which ended with a touchdown pass from Jake Browning to Dante Pettis with 8:01 remaining in the first quarter.

“There’s not many teams we are going to see that are better than that,” Browning said.