Saturday, November 3, 2012
Huskies win first road game of the season over Cal 21-13
For the fourth straight year the Washington Huskies(5-4,3-3) have defeated the California Golden Bears(3-7,2-5) 21-13. Just like the previous two meetings this game came down to the fourth quarter where the Huskies defense came up big with turnovers. The offense did just enough led by career games from tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who caught eight passes for a career high 152 yards with the go ahead touchdown. While running back Bishop Sankey had a career game rushing for 189 yards on 29 carries for two touchdowns. The Huskies win also clinches the fact that the California Golden Bears will miss a bowl game for the second time in three seasons.
The Huskies won the toss and chose to take the ball first. Starting from their own 37 yard line on second down Bishop Sankey ran for 27 yards down to the Bears 36 yard line. Facing a third and seven from the 33 yard line Sankey would rush for seven yards setting up a fourth and one from the 27 yard line. Steve Sarkisian elected to go for it and the Huskies were blown up on the fourth and one call. Taking over from their own 28 yard line the Bears went to work. Facing a third and seven from the 31 yard line Zach Maynard completed a pass to Chris Harper who made a terrific one handed catch for 23 yards to the Huskies 45 yard line. On the next play Maynard scrambled to his left and found Harper for a gain of 16 yards although it appeared he was out of bounds. On the 29 yard line the Bears elected to run with Isi Sofele who ran for eight yards before fumbling as Marcus Peters for the Huskies recovered the fumble at the Huskies 21 yard line.
Cal was looking to tie it up facing a third and five from their own 21 they called a running play to C.J. Anderson who ran for eight yards for the first down. The Huskies also committed a 15 yard personal foul penalty moving the ball to the Bears 44 yard line. On the following play Maynard would over throw his receiver but Harper was behind the receiver to catch it for 36 yards down to the Huskies 20 yard line. Facing a second and six from the 16 yard line Maynard completed a pass to the former Husky recruit Brendan Bigelow who gained five yards then Sean Parker poked the ball out as Justin Glenn receovered the ball for the Huskies. The Huskies would fail to capitalize on that mistake as Jaydon Mickens would drop a 68 yard touchdown pass from Keith Price.
The Huskies had another opportunity to expand their lead on the Bears starting from their own 19 yard line Price would connect with tight end Evan Hudson for a gain of 11 yards to the 30 yard line. Price would attempt a deep pass to Williams but Williams was interfered with as the Huskies got the penalty moving it to the 45 yard line. Sankey would rush for 15 yards to the Bears 43 yard line. After an offsides penalty by the Bears moving the ball to the 38 yard line. The Huskies would try a passing play which Price was sacked. After a 10 yard penalty on second and 16 Sankey would rush for nine yards to the Bears 40 yard line. On third and seven Price would hit Seferian-Jenkins for a gain of six which was one yard short of the first down. On fourth and one from the 34 yard line the Huskies ran the same exact play as earlier on fourth and one. Just like the previous time the Huskies were stuffed on fourth and short.
The Huskies would look to answer back. Starting from their own 28 yard line Price would hit Williams for a gain of seven yards to the 35 yard line. Sankey would rush for five yards on back to back carries. After a penalty the Huskies had third and 10 from the 40 yard line where Price hit Seferian-Jenkins down the middle for a 19 yard gain to the Bears 41 yard line. Price on the next play would throw it up for grabs as Williams came down with it for a gain of 27 to the Bears 14 yard line. After a Kendyl Taylor rush for five yards to the nine yard line setting up a third and five. Price would have an open Seferian-Jenkins but the pass was jumped by linebacker Nick Forbes who would run the interception back 26 yards. Another opportunity lost for the Huskies as they went into halftime tied at 7.
The Bears had 221 yards but were hurt by those two turnovers. Zach Maynard was 12-20 passing for 141 yards as his main target was Harper who had four receptions for 74 yards plus Harper ran in a touchdown from 14 yards out. Anderson had 45 yards rushing on six carries.
The Bears start to the second half was costly on the first play. Maynard would throw a backwards pass to Bigelow who fumbled it again, then after another fumble finally recovered it for a loss of 17 yards before fumbling again. End result was a loss of 21 yards as the Bears faced a second and 31 from their own eight yard line. After Anderson for eight yards making it third and 23 from their own 16 yard line. The Bears playing it safe decided to hand it to Anderson again as this time he busted the run 64 yards as he was horse collared giving the Bears more yards. The Bears would have the ball first and goal from the 10 yard line. The Bears though would have to settle for a 23 yard field goal by Vincenzo D'Amato to give the Bears a 10-7 lead.
Starting from their own 35 yard line the Huskies handed it off to Sankey who had his second fumble of the game. This time that fumble was recovered by Forbes who intercepted Price earlier. With great field position the Bears looked to put the Huskies away. The Bears would go on a 32 yard drive covering 11 plays but ultimately would have to settle for a field goal. The field goal gave the Bears a 13-7 lead over the Huskies midway through the third quarter.
The Huskies then began to self-destruct. First a five yard penalty moved the ball back to the 14 yard line. After a one yard run by Taylor the Huskies tried a play action pass but instead Price was sacked for a loss of 16 yards putting the Huskies in a third and goal from the 29 yard line. At that point the Huskies were looking at a long field goal. Price then went back and threw the ball up for grabs in the end zone as Seferian-Jenkins went up high to catch the ball, tap it in the air then come down with the touchdown catch to give the Huskies a 14-13 lead. With that touchdown reception by Seferian-Jenkins tied David Williams record for most career touchdown receptions by a Washington tight end with 10.
Starting from their own 32 the Bears look to regain the lead as Sofele ran for 29 yards down to the Huskies 39 yard line. Maynard would rush for six more yards to the Huskies 33 yard line setting up the fourth quarter. The Bears offense would stall as Maynard would throw an incomplete pass, complete a five yarder to Anderson then another incomplete pass. This time D'Amato would miss the 41 yard field goal that would have given the Bears the lead.
Then the fourth quarter had one shift in momentum after another. Cody Bruns would return a punt 32 yards to the Bears 26 yard line. On the first play Sarkisian would call for a play action pass instead of going to the run. Price flushed out the pocket would be sacked and then fumble the ball as the Bears recovered the fumble. Bigelow would rush for 30 yards to the Huskies 44 yard line. Maynard on the following play would fumble as Danny Shelton would recover it. Sankey would rush for 16 yards on the next two carries to the Bears 36 yard line. Price would hit Seferian-Jenkins on a screen that was blown up and he would fumble the ball right back to the Bears.
The Bears would take over from their own 35 yard line. On third and 15 Maynard would connect with Harper for a gain of 16 which was initially ruled an incomplete pass. On second and eight from their own 48 yard line Maynard would be intercepted by Huskies true freshman and former California commit Shaq Thompson as he returned the interception 32 yards to the Bears 28 yard line.
Then from the same formation as same end zone where Chris Polk scored the game winning one yard touchdown to end the Bears bowl game hopes two years ago the Huskies gave it to Sankey who scored the touchdown from one yard out giving the Huskies a 21-13 lead with 4:11 left in the ball game.
Like last year the Bears offense would take over down by eight needing a touchdown and a two point conversation to send the game into overtime. After a pooch kickoff the Bears started from their own 31 yard line which Maynard after a one yard run was injured. Maynard would not return being replaced by his backup Allan Bridgford. The Bears would have a 10 yard holding penalty making it third and 19 from their own 22 yard line. That is when Bridgford would connect with Richard Rodgers for a gain of 23 yards to their own 45 yard line. Anderson would rush for seven yards on the following play then an incomplete pass. On third and three Bridgford would connect with Harper for three yards for the first down to the Huskies 45 yard line. The Huskies would be called for pass interference putting the ball on the 30 yard line. Anderson would rush for five yards to the 25 yard line. Bridgford would throw an incomplete pass setting up third and five. After offsetting penalties Bridgford would throw an incomplete pass down the middle. Facing a fourth and five Bridgford would throw another incompletion.
The Huskies would take over with 1:14 left in the game and the Bears only having two timeouts having to waste one to avoid a delay of game penalty on the final drive. After a Sankey run of one yard to the 26 yard line the Bears called timeout. Then Sankey clinched the win with a run of 13 yards out to their own 39 yard line for the first down. The Bears could no longer stop the clock and the Huskies came away with the 21-13 victory over the Bears. The Huskies have now won four in a row against the Bears and five of their last six against them.
The Huskies were led by Bishop Sankey who ran for 189 yards on 29 carries(6.5 YPC) with two touchdowns. He also had a reception for eight yards as well. Sankey was a monster against the Bears rushing for a career high in yardage and carries plus tying a career high with touchdowns.
The passing game once again struggled with Keith Price completing only 16-29 passes(55.2%) for 234 yards(8.1 YPA) with a touchdown and an interception. His main target was Austin Seferian-Jenkins who caught eight passes for a career high 152 yards(19.0 YPC) with a touchdown. Kasen Williams caught three passes for 43 yards(14.3 YPC). Kendyl Taylor ran for 15 yards on four carries while catching one pass for 11 yards. Cody Bruns had a critical reception for nine yards and Evan Hudson caught a pass for 11 yards. The Huskies tallied up 409 yards of total offense but couldn't score points due to four costly turnovers.
The Huskies won the game which is the important part. A few years ago this team couldn't win close games which has been their theme the last few seasons under Sarkisian. This was a big win for the Huskies as they play their soft part of the schedule which is nothing but teams with a losing record as they sit at 5-4 on the season. The Huskies played sloppy and obviously must improve on things if they plan on winning out on the season which they will be favored to do so. This was a big win and once again the super sophomores stepped up when the game was on the line. The Huskies got that road win out of the way which was important as they finish the season with two games on the road.
In the game Seferian-Jenkins tied the Huskies tight end record for most touchdowns in a career with 10. He also set the new receiving yards record for a Huskies tight end with 1,174 yards while also setting the season record for receptions in a season with 48 receptions. Seferian-Jenkins is only a sophomore and his impact for the Huskies has been tremendous this season and for his career.
For this season Seferian-Jenkins has 48 receptions for a team leading 630 yards(13.1 YPC) with four touchdowns. That would put him on pace for 64 receptions for 840 yards with six touchdowns in the regular season. Those are great numbers for a tight end. Seferian-Jenkins has been playing on a bad wheel lately as he is hobbling around but when teams decide to single cover him he makes them pay. He made two terrific catches just going up for the ball then later had a terrific stiff arm on the defender for a first down. Seferian-Jenkins will be all Pac-12 and should be All-American as well.
In the fourth quarter with the Huskies only up 14-13 and the Bears at midfield Thompson recorded his second career interception then ran 32 yards to set up the Huskies touchdown to put them up 21-13. Thompson was all over the field like he usually is making tackles. He had two tackles for loss but that interception really turned the tide in this one and for Thompson to do that in his back yard is a feeling he'll never forget.
Price was also hurt by a poor offensive line and once again his receivers did him no favors. If Mickens catches that 68 yard touchdown pass Price is 17-29 passing for 302 yards with two touchdowns and we are talking about how Price is back. Unfortunately for Price and for Mickens that didn't happen so Price's stats will have to suffer.
For the year Price is now 177-297(59.6%) passing for 1,765 yards(5.9 YPA) with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Price must cut down on his turnovers but he also needs help as well. He needs another guy besides Seferian-Jenkins and Williams to step up in the passing game as nobody else in the receiving group is making any plays for him.
Sankey is having a great season so far rushing for 855 yards on 176 carries(4.9 YPC) with 11 touchdowns on the season. He also has 19 receptions for 114 yards(6.0 YPC) which ranks third on the team in both. Sankey is on pace to rush for 1,140 yards and 15 touchdowns this regular season.
This is the fourth time in Sankey's young career he has ran for over 100 yards and the fourth time he has ran for multiple touchdowns in a game. This year he has ran for at least one touchdown in seven of the nine games the Huskies have played in. Sankey shined today when the Huskies needed him once again. Sankey has been great this year and the Huskies are glad he jilted the Washington State Cougars last minute for the Huskies.
I think he tries to get too cute on his play calling instead of sticking to the basics like running the ball. I also feel the Huskies as a team lack discipline as they turned the ball over four times and racked up 108 yards on 12 penalties.
The thing I like about Sarkisian is the talent level at certain spots. The team is injured and in a good position to win eight games for the first time since 2001. The major contributors today were true sophomores Austin Seferian-Jenkins who was a five star recruit, Bishop Sankey a four star recruit and Kasen Williams a five star recruit. Then you had true freshman Shaq Thompson who is a five star recruit intercept a huge pass. The program appears headed towards another bowl game this season which didn't appear to be the case as of two weeks ago. For that Sarkisian deserves credit. The question many will wonder is he the coach ready to take this program to the next step? I'll guess we'll be able to answer that question better next year.
You don't earn style points based on your wins you just get a "W" in the good column. The Huskies are now 5-4 and are one more win away from clinching a third straight bowl appearance. If the Huskies were to win out and end this year on a five game winning streak that would be their first eight win season since 2001. This game wasn't impressive and the Huskies offense still has yet to score more than 21 points against a D-1 opponent but a win is a win. The Huskies won this game and the Golden Bears would much rather be where the Huskies are at than where they are. The Huskies from 1977-2001 hadn't lost to the Golden Bears then from 2002-2008 the Bears had won six out of seven against the Huskies. Well now order is restored as the Huskies have won four in a row against the Bears. For the second time in three years the Huskies knocked the Bears out of a bowl game in their own stadium as well. The Huskies are one step closer to going bowling while the Bears must wait another season before they get such an opportunity.