Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Huskies use historic 2nd quarter to blowout Vikings 52-13
The Washington Huskies(2-1) got back on the winning track in blowing out FCS Portland State Vikings(1-2) 52-13. In a game which saw the Huskies score a school record 31 points in the second quarter as they led 45-0 at halftime before Steve Sarkisian pulled many starters after leading 52-0. Keith Price looked back to form as he threw three first half touchdowns while birthday boy Bishop Sankey had his first career 100 yard rushing performance while rushing for two touchdowns. The Huskies scored on all three phases of the game with their offense, defense and special teams. This was a good win for the Huskies as they now will face five straight ranked opponents.
For the Huskies that drive they ended up going 65 yards on 12 plays eating up over 6:44 in clock. Williams on that drive had four receptions for 29 yards including the touchdown. While Price was six for six passing for 41 yards including the touchdown. Price after four drives was 10-12 passing for 88 yards with two touchdowns showing he was back to his old form of last season.
The rushing game was a lot better this week as well as Bishop Sankey ran for 52 yards on eight carries(6.5 YPC) with a touchdown. Erich Wilson had 50 yards rushing on five carries(10.0 YPC) in the first half. The Huskies had outgained the Vikings 260-137 in yards, 14-6 in first downs. The Huskies held the Vikings to two for eight on third downs and 0 for 2 on fourth downs. The Vikings were led by quarterback Keiran Mcdonagh who was 9-17 passing for 68 yards with an interception. He also had 57 yards rushing on eight attempts.
That is when Sarkisian decided to pull his starters as Price, Seferian-Jenkins and Williams wouldn't play anymore. Sankey would stay in long enough to rush for his first career 100 yard performance before being pulled. The Huskies would allow two late touchdowns before winning 52-13. It was a dominant performance by the Huskies who desperately needed this win as they face four straight ranked opponents.
They were led by true freshman quarterback Keiran McDonagh who was 18-32(56.3%) passing for 178 yards(5.6 YPA) with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 61 yards on 10 carries(6.1 YPC) with a rushing touchdown. Running back D.J. Adams was shut down as he was held to just 20 yards rushing on 9 carries(2.2 YPC). McDonagh main receiver was Nevin Lewis who had three receptions for 83 yards including a 70 yard touchdown to avoid the shutout. Justin Monahan had three receptions for 53 yards in the loss. The Vikings under third year head coach Nigel Burton do appear to have a bright future as McDonagh is a true freshman after leading Skyview high school to the state title game last year.
The Huskies running game had a productive day rushing for 209 yards. They were led by the birthday boy Bishop Sankey who rushed for a career high 103 yards on 14 carries(7.4 YPC) with a career high two rushing touchdowns. Erich Wilson ran for 72 yards on 15 carries(4.8 YPC) while Dezden Petty ran for 54 yards on 16 carries(3.4 YPC). The Huskies for the first time this year saw their passing game working and their running game working. They are going to need it as they start conference play on Thursday September 27th against #9 Stanford Cardinal.
This was a productive win for the Huskies but no questions were answered. Hard to judge if the Huskies offense was clicking or if they were taking advantage of a team who was overmatched. We'll find out pretty soon just how good this Huskies team is in Steve Sarkisian's fourth year in the program. The Huskies for the second straight year are 2-1 heading into conference play with this new "A, B, C" schedule they are adopting like every other program. This was a good bounce back win for the Huskies but in a few weeks we'll find out if progress has been made or not.
For the year Seferian-Jenkins has 20 receptions for 211 yards(10.6 YPC) with a touchdown. That puts him on pace for 80 receptions for 844 yards with four touchdowns which is incredble numbers. He'll surely be a first round pick when he is first eligible after the 2013 season. The Huskies haven't had a tight end like this since their last tighe end who was a first round pick Jerramy Stevens. Given than Seferian-Jenkins isn't in the police blotter all the time I'd say he'll have a much more productive career than Stevens did.
For the year Williams has 15 receptions for 163 yards(10.9 YPC) with two touchdowns. That put him on pace for 60 receptions for 652 yards with eight touchdowns which for a true sophomore year is pretty good. I think his receiving yards will be higher though as he'll need to step up for the Huskies passing attack to continue to progress. Williams is physical and is terrific on those wide receiver screens. Hopefully in Pac-12 play we see more Williams over the middle on deep post routes.
- Another five-star recruit who had a big game was true freshman Shaq Thompson who is such a good athlete that he started at outside linebacker this game. Thompson led the team with seven tackles while having two for loss. He also blocked a field goal which led to Tre Watson scoring a touchdown. Thompson is already making a big impact on defense as he plays like a veteran already. When Thompson starts to play his natural position at safety next year where he is allowed to roam around and make plays it could be fun to watch. Still Sarkisian it appears has hit home runs on all three of his five star recruits which is huge since the Huskies had previously been 0 for 5.
The Huskies also blocked a field goal for a touchdown, then blocked an extra point later in the game. Marvin Hall had a 20 yard punt return and also a 37 yard kickoff return that many thought he was going to score a touchdown but he stepped out of bounds. Special teams this year has been good for the Huskies. Remember their only points against LSU was due to the kickoff team forcing a fumble.
On the year Sankey has rushed for 185 yards on 44 carries(4.2 YPC) with three touchdowns. I imagine Sankey will get more rushing yards as the year goes on. Remember he was supposed to share the backfield with Callier and now all of the sudden he is the main man carrying the rock. Sankey has shown flashes of becoming a special running back for the Huskies. He just needs to hit the hole hard and finish his runs better.
I like Wilson a lot though all three games he ran well and has shown good speed evidence by his 31 yard run against Portland State. On the year he has rushed for 119 yards on 21 carries(5.7 YPC). I think Sarkisian must find a way to get this speedster the ball four to five times a game at least as he has ran well in all three games.
Burton led the Vikings to their first winning season last year since 2006. He has a true freshman at quarterback who appears to be the real deal. His quarterback will probably dominate the Big Sky for the next couple of years. Burton is trying to make a name for himself like every coach in the Big Sky tries to do. Although Burton is in a beautiful city in Portland and I've always felt Portland State is a sleeping giant in the Big Sky since they are easily the biggest market in that conference.
For the year now Price is 56-90(62.2%) passing for 560 yards(6.2 YPA) with four touchdowns and one interception. Not bad for a guy who is "struggling". Price is on pace to throw for 2,240 yards with 16 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. I'm sure all those numbers will go up for Price who still looks pretty good this year.
I think Sarkisian is a smart enough guy to realize the big picture which faces him ahead. The Huskies are slated to host #9 Stanford, travel to #3 Oregon, host #13 USC and travel to #22 Arizona in the next four weeks. These will be the make or break four week stretch for Sarkisian. If he can somehow survive that stretch by going 2-2 which would put the Huskies at 4-3 then they are poised to finish the year strong which would be progress heading into next season. If the Huskies were to fall to 2-5 look for the fire Sark momentum to pick up. Sarkisian talks a good game we are about to find out if he can coach a good game where he is 1-9 vs ranked opponents in his last 10 contests.
This was a good tune up game for the Huskies as they head into a bye week. After that the toughest four game stretch of the Sarkisian era for him as a coach. The Huskies can't afford to stumble during that stretch and must keep up the good momentum that they earned in this game. The running game must be a factor and not just a one game performance against a weak performance. Price must continue to play lights out like he did in the first half against San Diego State and Portland State. The Huskies defense must continue to make plays as they have scored defensive touchdowns in both their wins over San Diego State and Portland State. Overall this was a good win but it was hard to truly judge due to the opponent. The Huskies are about to find out what kind of team they are in the next four weeks.