Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Huskies use historic 2nd quarter to blowout Vikings 52-13

By Kshell

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.

The game started off with the Vikings attempting an onside kick which they jumped offsides on. So the Huskies took over on the Portland State 46 yard line. After a defensive holding penalty the Huskies had the ball on the 36 yard line as the Vikings handed them great field position. In trying to get the run game going Sankey ripped off a nice nine yard run on a draw play to the Vikings 27 yard line. Following play Price hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 12 yard gain to the Vikings 15 yard line. After an incomplete pass by Price the Huskies again turned to the run game as Sankey ran it in from 15 yards out to give the Huskies the early 7-0 lead. Sankey last week against the LSU Tigers had only 16 yards rushing already had 24 yards rushing on that first series.

The Huskies defense three and outed the Vikings offense then forced a punt from their own 10 yard line. Marvin Hall returned it 20 yards to the Vikings 35 yard line. Price would immediately hit Kasen Williams for a gain of 15 yards down to the Vikings 20 yard line. On the following play Price would throw a beautiful pass to sophomore wide receiver DiAndre Campbell for the touchdown from 20 yards out. For Campbell that was his first career touchdown with the Huskies. For Price he looked like he did much of last season as he started off three for four passing for 47 yards with the touchdown. The Huskies led 14-0 over the Vikings as their offense had yet to face a third down as their offense was in sync. The Vikings would drive to the Huskies 41 yard line on the following play before Prince Fuimaono tackled D.J. Adams for a loss of five on fourth and one.

After the Huskies finally stalled on a drive the Vikings drove down the Huskies 36 before once again on 4th and two the Huskies defense came up with a stop. From the Huskies 35 yard line Price began the drive hitting Campbell for an eight yard pass. Erich Wilson ran for three yards to pick up the first down. Price hit Seferian-Jenkins on a bootleg for a gain of four yards. After a false start, Wilson ran for three yards setting up a third and eight from their own 48 yard line. Sankey on a draw play didn't read the hole and gained only four yards to make it fourth and four from the Portland State 48 yard yard line. Sarkisian was visibly upset at this point thought about going for it on fourth down instead he sent out his punt team. Instead of usual punter Korey Durkee who wears #46 he sent out his field goal kicker Travis Coons who also wears #46. Coons did a fake punt as he hit a wide open Sean Parker for a gain of 16 yards to the Vikings 32 yard line as the quarter ended with the Huskies leading 14-0.

This is when Kasen Williams took over the rest of the drive as he had been held to one catch for 15 yards in the first quarter. On second and nine from the 31 yard line Price hit Williams on a wide receiver screen for 13 yards down to the Vikings 18 yard line. On the following play again Price hit Williams on a wide receiver screen as Williams carried his defender down for a gain of eight yards down to the 10 yard line. Price hit Williams again for the third straight play and once again to the left side for a gain of five yards down to the Vikings five yard line setting up a first and goal situation. After a Sankey run of two yards to the three yard line Sarkisian decided to not mess around. Price lobbed a three yard fade pass to a wide open Williams on the right side this time for a touchdown to give the Huskies a 21-0 lead.

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 Vikings trailing 21-0 tried to make it a game. Facing a third and 11 from their own 34 yard line Vikings quarterback Keiran McDonagh burned Tre Watson badly as he connected with his favorite target Justin Monahan for 44 yards. On the play Watson committed the pass interference while Monahan still hung on as the Vikings had the ball on the Huskies 22 yard line. McDonagh ran the next play for six yards to the Huskies 16 yard line. Then texted Watson again but both passes were incomplete. Nigel Burton after being stuffed twice on fourth and short elected to kick the 33 yard field goal. Freshman sensation Shaq Thompson came in and blocked the field goal as cornerback Watson who had been picked on scooped it up and ran it in from 79 yards out to give the Huskies a commanding 28-0 lead. For Watson the former walk-on and transfer from Central Washington University scoring a touchdown in his third career game at Washington is something you'd make a movie out of.

The Huskies took over from their own 30 yard line as their offense continued to click. Sankey ran for three yards then six yards setting up a third and one from the 39 yard line. Seferian-Jenkins would have a costly false start backing the Huskies up to make it third and six. He would make up for it though on the next play as Price hit Seferian-Jenkins on a fade route as Seferian-Jenkins made the catch and ran for 40 yards to the Vikings 26 yard line. On second and 10 Dezden Petty would rush for three yards as the Vikings had a face mask to bring him down. Huskies would have the ball on the 11 yard line. Huskies went empty but Petty jumped false start making it first and 15 from the 16 yard line. That is when Price lobbed the ball up there in the end zone to let his big tight end make a play. Seferian-Jenkins hauled in his first touchdown reception of the season from 16 yards out giving the Huskies a 35-0 lead over the the Vikings.

After the kickoff the Vikings began from their own 21 yard line. Facing pressure McDonagh wildly threw a pass towards the right sideline as corner back Marcus Peters jumped the route for the easy interception return for the touchdown giving the Huskies a 42-0 lead. On the following drive the Vikings miscues continued as they attempted a 35 yard field goal only to have a poor snap as the Huskies recovered the ball on their own 26 yard line. Highlighted by a 31 yard by Wilson where he started off right to his left then cut all the way back up field down to the Vikings 40 yard line. Price would hit Evan Hudson for a gain of six yards to set up third and six from the 36 yard line. Sankey would rush for seven yards then six more to the 23 yard line. The Huskies would settle for a Travis Coons 41 yard field goal to give the Huskies a 45-0 lead at halftime.

At halftime the Huskies led 45-0 led by Price. Price was 12-17(70.5%) passing for 149 yards(8.7 YPA) with three touchdowns. His main targets were tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who had four receptions for 72 yards with a touchdown. He also hit Kasen Williams five times for 44 yards with a touchdown. Then DiAndre Campbell got into the action with two receptions for 28 yards with a touchdown.

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.

After getting chewed out in front of the whole stadium by Sarkisian the Huskies came out hungry in the second half to not have a let down. On defense they forced a three and out as their offense took over on the 21 yard line. Sankey began the drive with a gain of three yard, Price would hit Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of six yards setting up a third and one. Petty rushed up the middle for a gain of eight yards to their own 38 yard line. Sankey ran for six yards to the 44 yard line. On the following play Sankey would rush for 21 yards to the Vikings 35 yard line. After a rush of no gain Price would hit Williams for a 25 yard gain down to the 10 yard line. Sankey would rush for four yards making it second and goal from the six. On the following play Sankey would rush it in for a six yard touchdown and his second touchdown of the day as the Huskies led 52-0.

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.

For the Vikings this was a tough loss as they were obviously over matched facing a Pac-12 school who has reached back to back bowl games. Add in the fact the Huskies were embarrassed last week you knew the Huskies were going to take it out on them.

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.

For the Huskies they did what they had to do which was take care of business. Led by their junior quarterback Keith Price who reminded fans why he is still an elite quarterback. Price was 14-19(73.7%) passing for 181 yards(9.5 YPA) with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. His main weapons were once again tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who caught five passes for 78 yards(15.6 YPC) with a touchdown. He found Kasen Williams six times for 69 yards(11.5 YPC) with a touchdown. DiAndre Campbell finally getting some action at receiver caught two passes for 28 yards with a touchdown. Marvin Hall caught a pass for 16 yards playing in his first career game. Michael Hartvigson caught a pass for seven yards while tight end Evan Hudson caught a pass for six yards.

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.


-  Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is shaping up to have an all-american season this year. He still must avoid those mental lapses as he had a costly holding penalty and two false starts.  He still had another productive game as he had five receptions for 78 yards and his first touchdown of the season which puts him three away from first place in school history for tight ends.

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.

- The other five-star recruit in the class of 2011 was wide receiver Kasen Williams who had a good bounce back game. Williams caught six passes for 69 yards and one drive he took the game over with four receptions all in a row.

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.

- When big schools play the smaller schools due to scholarship limits the biggest edge is special teams. The Huskies special teams was terrific as Travis Coons was perfect on all seven PAT's and hit a 41 yard field goal. He also completed a fake punt pass to safety Sean Parker for a gain of 16 yards.

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.

- Bishop Sankey who turned 20 on gameday had his best game as a Husky. Sankey who struggled the previous six quarters badly needed a game like this. Sankey finished with 103 yards rushing on 14 carries with two touchdowns. He showed good speed with a 21 yard run and also was finishing runs which was nice to see.

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.

- This was a good game for Sarkisian to feature his backup running backs to see who can spell Sankey some carries. Wilson carried the ball 15 times for 72 yards while Dezden Petty carried the ball 16 times for 54 yards. Petty is a power back who should be used primarily on short yardage situations as he runs hard.

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.

- This wasn't the type of homecoming that Nigel Burton wanted when he returned to coach against his former school for the first time as a head coach. Burton took some major risks early by attempting an onside kick that didn't work out and going for it on fourth down twice which neither worked as well. I respect Burton trying to win this game and not being afraid to get blown out.

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 those doubting Price need to stop. He had one bad game which looked worse by the fact his receivers couldn't hang onto the ball. Today Price looked like his old self in completing 14-19 passes for 181 yards with three touchdowns. Price was pulled after the first series in the second half as he was poised to have a big day. Price was accurate on his throws and finding his main two targets as well.

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.

- Steve Sarkisian now improves to 21-20 as head coach. Unlike the Eastern Washington game last year Sarkisian didn't take this game lightly pulling off fake punts and ripping his team a new ass in front of the whole stadium right before halftime with his team up 45-0.

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.

1 comment:




    o/o/o/ Greetings to Scott Schille o/o/o/