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UW 42, Oregon State 23 11-17-18 game recap

Jordan Miller doesn’t linger on the field after games. Typically, as soon as the band stops playing, he’s heading through the tunnel as quickly as he can.

Saturday was different.

Miller stopped short, turned, took a long look around Husky Stadium as the last fans worked their way toward the exits. Fellow senior and defensive back JoJo McIntosh was with him, taking just a moment after UW’s 42-23 victory over Oregon State to soak it all in.

It was important, Miller said, that they were together.

“Me and JoJo, we’ve been through it all,” he said. “From freshmen, not really playing that much, messing up and getting yelled out in meetings to now. It’s been a journey.”

Miller said later he planned to return to the field once more before he headed home for the night.

It took until Saturday morning — waiting in the cold for the bus to take UW from the hotel to the stadium — for the significance of the day to really sink in. That’s when the lasts started hitting him: the last time staying at the Marriott before a home game, the last time warming up. And then, finally, the last time celebrating a victory with the student section in the end zone.

“It’s emotional,” Miller said.

While Miller was standing near the tunnel, senior running back Myles Gaskin was taking pictures with the sideline crew.

At midfield, quarterback Jake Browning stopped to talk with former UW offensive coordinator and current Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith. Then he ran over to the stands, climbed onto the railing and gave his 6-year-old sister, Ella, a celebratory kiss on the top of her head.

“She doesn’t understand football at all,” Browning said. “The only thing she knows is who won and who lost. That’s pretty much it. She just asked me if we won and I said, ‘Yeah.’”

Afterward, Gaskin and Browning found each other. They walked toward the sideline, arms draped over each other’s shoulders. And then they ran through the tunnel, the last two players to leave, to the cheers of fans hanging over the edge.

The seniors improved their career record to 37-14 on Saturday, and they were all over the stat sheet. Browning finished 17-of-23 for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Gaskin rushed for 135 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries. Defensively, linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven had 11 tackles.

“I was fine,” Burr-Kirven said of senior day. “I think I’ll be more emotional playing our last game rather than this one. It was incredible. It was awesome we get to run out there and have the fans cheer for us and have our family out there so it was pretty special.”

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