Monday, October 17, 2011
Huskies destroy Buffaloes 52-24; score over 50 points first time since 2001
The Washington Huskies(5-1,3-0) destroyed the Colorado Buffaloes(1-6,0-3) 52-24 behind four touchdown passes by Keith Price and 295 yards rushing as a team. Steve Sarkisian saw his team score 50 points which had to remind him of his USC days. The Huskies scored seven touchdown by seven different players. There was three Husky players who scored their first career college touchdowns. The Huskies offense didn't have their first punt until the third quarter and Price wasn't sacked once all game long. The Huskies offensive line saw three running backs for the Huskies rush for over 70 yards led by Chris Polk who ran for over 100 yards for the 16th time in his career rushing for 117 yards. Polk needs one more 100 yard day to tie Napoleon Kaufman for most 100 yard games in Husky history. The Huskies offense started the game off on a roll and didn't let up playing until the final minute.
The game began nicely for the Huskies as Kevin Smith took the opening kickoff 29 yards to the Huskies 35 yard line. From there Price hit James Johnson for a gain of 25 yards to the Colorado 40 yard line. Back from injury Jesse Callier rushed for 11 yards to the Colorado 29 yard line. After a two yard run by Chris Polk, Price hit Smith for a gain of 11 yards. After a one yard loss Price hit Jermaine Kearse over the middle for a 17 yard touchdown to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead. The Buffaloes would respond as they began their drive on their own 30 yard line. Tyler Hansen hit Rodney Stewart for a gain of 11 yards on the screen pass. Stewart then busted a 33 yard run to the Huskies 26 yard line. On third and 10 from the 26 Hansen completed a 19 yard pass. On second and goal from the five Hansen threw a five yard touchdown pass to tie the score up at 7-7. That is the closest this game would be as the Huskies defense would settle down.
The Huskies began their drive on their own 30 yard line. Facing a second down true freshman running back Bishop Sankey busted a 33 yard run. Due to sideline interference the Huskies were penalized 15 yards back to their own 48 yard line. The Buffaloes then had a roughing the passer penalty which gave the Huskies the ball to the 37 yard line. Price hit Devin Aguilar on a bubble screen for a gain of eight yards. Facing a third and one Polk ran for eight yards to the 20 yard line. Price hit James Johnson for a gain of seven yards to the 13 yard line. Facing another third and one the Huskies called a play action pass which saw Seferian-Jenkins wide open for an 11 yard touchdown score giving the Huskies a 21-7 lead after the first quarter. The Buffaloes would respond with a 10 play 44 yard drive which ended with a field goal cutting the lead to 21-10.
The Huskies once again took over on their 30 yard line. Polk began the drive with a 16 yard run to the Buffaloes 46 yard line. Polk then ran up the middle for a gain of four yards, which Price hit Aguilar for a gain of six yards for a first down. Price would hit Johnson on back to back passes which accounted for 22 yards to the Buffaloes 22 yard line. Price faked the handoff to Polk while rushing for eight yards and a first down to the Buffaloes 14 yard line. After Price missed a wide open Aguilar for a touchdown he didn't miss on his second try. Polk coming out of the backfield faked like he was running an out which the defender bit on the pump fake as Price hit Polk for the easy 14 yard touchdown pass which was an out and up pass. For Polk who wasn't much of a threat out of the backfield before this season caught his second touchdown pass on a fade route in three games. The Huskies led 28-10 at that point.
The Huskies defense three and outed the Buffaloes offense handing the Huskies potent offense the ball on their own 44 yard line. Price continued to be on fire hitting Johnson for a gain of seven yards, then audibled seeing a blitz to hit Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of 14 yards to the Buffaloes 35 yard line. Callier then ran for eight yards on back to back carries setting up a third and two run for Polk for a gain of 10 yards to the Buffaloes 17 yard line. Price who was facing pressure scrambled out of it to find Callier for a gain of nine yards to the Buffaloes eight yard line. On second and one the Huskies went "Wildcat" as Polk ran for four yards. Sarkisian giving his senior a favor called a play action pass to a wide open Aguilar for the touchdown. For Aguilar playing his hometown team who passed up on him that was a special feeling. For Price that was his fourth touchdown pass of the half giving him 21 for the season which is fourth all-time in Huskies history for a single season. The Huskies had a commanding 35-10 lead.
The second half began with the Buffaloes trying to make this into a game again. Starting from their own 26 yard line Tony Jones busted a run to the right for a gain of 38 yards. Facing a fourth and four from the 17 yard line Hansen threw an incomplete pass but was bailed out by a pass interference call giving the Buffaloes an automatic first down. First and goal from the two yard line Jones cashed in with a two yard touchdown cutting the lead to 38-17. The Huskies finally stalled at midfield having their first punt of the game which pinned the Buffaloes on their own 10 yard line. Facing a third and four from their own 28 yard line Hansen tried a shovel pass to Jones but Jamaal Kearse read the play all along stayed home for the tackle for a two yard loss. This time the Huskies offense would put the game away for good.
The Huskies were facing a critical third and seven from their own 37 yard line when Price would Aguilar for a gain of nine yards to prolong the drive. Polk on the following play rushed up the middle then turned the corner for a gain of 28 yards to the Buffaloes 26 yard line. On the next play Callier would take the hand off up the middle then turn on the burners as he raced to the right corner of the endzone for a 26 yard touchdown run. For Callier that was his first career touchdown run to give the Huskies a 45-17 lead again. That would be it for Price as Nick Montana would make his debut in a Huskies uniform for the remainder of the game.
All in all, Sarkisian challenged his team all week reminding them of the Eastern Washington game when the Huskies obviously overlooked their opponent. His team responded to his challenge as the Huskies put it to the Buffaloes blowing them out. In the last two games the Huskies have outscored the new Pac-12 members 83-38 giving them a rude welcome entry. The Huskies offense is averaging 37 points a game while the defense has allowed just 21.3 points per game the last three weeks. The Huskies are night and day better than they were this time last year as they were just 3-3 about to go on a three game losing streak. This year the Huskies are 5-1 for the first time since 2001 and 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 1997. The Huskies are also 4-0 at home for the first time since 2001 as well. Sarkisian has his offense and program clicking which for Husky fans who had to endure the previous eight seasons this has been a welcome relief.
The Huskies held the Buffaloes to 62 yards on 27 carries(2.3 YPC) and that includes two runs that went for 71 yards so the other 25 carries the Buffaloes had negative nine yards rushing. The Buffaloes offense averaged only 4.1 yards per play during the game as the Huskies defense stepped up when needed. The defense will decided what season the Huskies have. The Huskies offense is national championship caliber and if the defense can be like how the Oregon Ducks defense is the last few years this could be a special season for the Huskies.
For the year Polk has ran for 711 yards which is good for a 5.3 YPC average. Polk unlike years past has solid backups who can spell him some carries like Callier who ran for 81 yards with a touchdown. For the year Callier is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and is finally healty for the first time since the Hawaii game. True freshman Bishop Sankey who had 71 yards rushing with a touchdown for the year is averaging 6.4 YPC. So the Huskies have three running backs who can bust a long run on you with Polk being the consistent grinder.
- The play of Keith Price this game and for this season has been breathtaking. Price was 21-28 for 257 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Price helped the Huskies move the chains as he was 7-8 on third downs(Huskies were 8-10 overall). Price set the tone early going 18-22(81.8%) in the first half throwing for four touchdowns. Price has thrown for at least three touchdown passes in all six games this year for the Huskies.
For the season Price has completed 118-170(69.4%) of his passes for 1,466 yards(8.6 YPA) with 21 touchdowns to four interceptions on the season. He is leading the Huskies offense which is averaging 37 points per game. The 2011 Huskies also became the first team in school history to score 30+ points in six straight games breaking the five game tie with the 1924 and 1991 team. Price is the real deal and is only a sophomore. Next year Price will be back and so will Seferian-Jenkins, Johnson, Smith, Kasen Williams, Callier, Sankey and four returning starting offensive lineman. The Huskies will lose some key pieces but their offense from here on out should be a juggernut under Sarkisian.
His offense is averaging 37 points a game and you really can't defend these Huskies. Load up to stop the pass? Well Polk, Callier and Sankey will destroy you and run the ball down your throats. Load up against the run? Well Price will hit Kearse, Aguilar, Seferian-Jenkins, James Johnson, Kasen Williams, Kevin Smith not to mention Chris Polk out of the backfield. The Huskies offense simply has too many weapons and the defense appears to have turned the corner. This team should do no worse than 8-4 and could very easily win 10 games this season.
In conclusion, the winning tradition is back at Montlake. The Huskies are 5-1 and are ranked in both polls for the first time since 2009. This team was 0-12 just three years ago which just goes to show you what a good program director like Sarkisian can do to turn that around. Unlike those on the east side of the state who are still making excuses for their coach in year four Sark is winning in year three. The offense is explosive, the defense is playing well and the special teams minus the Nebraska game has been pretty good this season. The Huskies for the first time in a long time have blown out two conference opponents and looked good in the process. This team faces a stiff challenge traveling to #4 Stanford this week a team who killed the Huskies last year 41-0. This should be a good test for the Huskies to see just how far they have really improved. For right now it feels great to be talking about wins and expecting big things for this program. Sarkisian has delivered on his word which has been a great sight for all Husky fans.