Sunday, November 18, 2012
Price throws record setting 5 TD's as #25 Huskies throttle Buffaloes 38-3
It was a tale of two programs going in completely opposite directions. The #25 Washington Huskies(7-4, 5-3) know all too well what the Colorado Buffaloes(1-10,1-7) are going through as they went 0-12 back in 2008. Now the Huskies are ranked and heading towards their third straight bowl appearance. The Huskies unlike last season are being led this year by their defense which has held their opponents to under 20 points this year in all seven wins this year.
This game was a blowout for the Huskies like last week was due to the play of Keith Price. Price who had a record breaking year last year has struggled this season. Well today Price found his magic once again as he tied a school record with five touchdown passes with Chris Rowland in 1973 and Jake Locker in 2010(in overtime). Price was doing what he did best last year which was spreading the ball around as five different receivers caught those five touchdown passes. Three of those five that was their first career touchdown reception including one by fifth year senior Cody Bruns. The Huskies also dominated this game on the ground as Bishop Sankey went over 100 yards rushing for 139 yards. Overall Steve Sarkisian was pretty pleased as the Huskies enjoyed their biggest road win of the Sarkisian era and biggest conference win of the Sarkisian era.
The game started off sloppy for both teams filled with penalties and turnovers. The Buffaloes Connor Wood was making his first career start and it was a rough one. He was three for six passing for only 11 yards as he was intercepted twice by Shaq Thompson and later by Sean Parker as he was pulled. However the Huskies couldn't take advantage as Price missed an open Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a touchdown. Then Travis Coons would miss a 31 yard field goal. On another drive Bishop Sankey would fumble on the Buffaloes one yard line.
From the 34 yard line on second and nine Price would hit Bruns down the middle for a gain of 17 yards as he stepped up into the pocket. On first and 10 from the 17 yard line Price would hit Kasen Williams over the middle for a wide open 17 yard touchdown to give the Huskies a 14-0 lead over the Buffaloes. With the way the Huskies defense was shutting down the Buffaloes that 14-0 lead felt more like 50-0 as the Huskies were in cruise control after that. Also for Price he was starting to get into a groove like he had the previous week against Utah when Price had his first good game in over a month.
After an incomplete pass Price would throw his third touchdown pass of the day. He would throw a quick wide receiver screen to true freshman Kendyl Taylor who made a man miss then raced down the left sideline as he dove in for his first career receiving touchdown. Taylor who started the year off as the Huskies starting wide receiver has now been converted to running back. At that point the Huskies had led Colorado 21-0.
The Buffaloes finally got on the scoreboard after a 59 yard kickoff return and a penalty. The Buffaloes scored on a 37 yard field goal to cut the score to 21-3. After a touchback the Huskies began on their own 25 yard line. Price would immediately hit Williams for a gain of 25 to the 50 yard line. On second and 12 from the 48 yard line Taylor would run for 16 yards to the Buffaloes 36 yard line. Jaydon Mickens on the fly sweep would rush for 20 yards down to the 16 yard line. After a penalty the Huskies were facing a third and 18 from the 24 yard line. Price was about to get sacked instead did a shovel pass to Sankey for a gain of 20 yards. Unfortunately for the Huskies they would have to settle for a field goal. Travis Coons this time would make the 25 yard field goal to give the Huskies a 24-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
However the story of this game was the play of Keith Price. Price finished 22-29(75.9%) passing for 248 yards(8.6 YPA) with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He spread the ball around this game as well. His leading receiver was Kasen Williams who caught seven passes for 80 yards(11.4 YPC) with a touchdown. Cody Bruns caught three passes for 33 yards with a touchdown. Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught three passes for 22 yards with a touchdown and had a fumble recovery. DiAndre Campbell caught two passes for 20 yards. While Jaydon Mickens caught an 18 yard touchdown pass and ran for 20 yards on one carry.
Bishop Sankey had a nice game as well. Sankey ran for 139 yards on 23 carries(6.0 YPC). Sankey also caught four passes for 48 yards. Kendyl Taylor had his best game as a Husky rushing for 78 yards on nine carries(8.7 YPC) with a 23 yard touchdown reception. The Huskies saw Marcus Peters and Shaq Thompson record interceptions. While Josh Shirley recorded two sacks and forced a fumble.
The Huskies were reminded first hand how far they've came as a program. Just four years ago they were sitting where Colorado is sitting right now. Those days seem like a distant memory to the Huskies as they have won four games in a row. Now the Huskies will look to win eight games for the first time since the 2001 season. The offense for the second straight week has scored over 30 points after not scoring over 21 points against a Division-1 team all year long. The defense for the seventh time this year has held their opponent to under 20 points. The Huskies are playing their best ball right now as they took it to a team like they should. Sure it was a slow start but at the end of the day the Huskies won by 35 points. Sarkisian couldn't be happier with this group after that 3-4 start they had. The Huskies appear to be rolling in the right direction.
For the year Sankey has ran for 1,150 yards on 233 carries(4.9 YPC) with 13 touchdowns. He also has caught 27 passes for 175 yards(6.5 YPC). Sankey is only a sophomore has ran for over 100 yards in three straight games. On the season he has ran for over 100 yards in six games while scoring a touchdown in eight games. Sankey has been the MVP of the offense this year and is a big reason why the Huskies are 7-4 right now.
Taylor on the year now has ran for 206 yards on only 33 carries(6.2 YPC). He has also caught 13 passes for 99 yards(7.6 YPC) with a touchdown. Taylor began the year as the starting wide receiver first few games due to injury. Then Sarkisian moved him to running back to have a quality back up. Taylor has taken advantage of his sparse playing time. Like I said in the future look for him to be more part of the offense. Sarkisian I noticed likes to feature one running back but Taylor could be his jack of all trades type of back that Callier was in 2010. With Callier returning next year I'm curious if the Huskies move Taylor back to receiver or what they do with him. I'm excited to see how Taylor does as he has a bright future for the Huskies.
Bruns had a nice game catching three passes for 33 yards with his first career touchdown reception. He also had two punt returns for 13 yards. For the year now Bruns has caught 11 passes for 84 yards(7.6 YPC) with a touchdown. He also has 83 punt return yards on nine attempts(9.2 AVG). I've really become a fan of Bruns for his hard work, never transferring and in a lot of ways has been a success at Washington.
The Huskies defense now ranks 29th in total defense, 9th in passing defense, 80th in rushing defense and 36th in scoring defense. The Huskies are a totally different defense than they were last year. All seven wins this year the Huskies defense has allowed less than 20 points. The Huskies haven't seen this type of play from a defense since Jim Lambright was head coach. Justin Wilcox deserves all the credit for this turnaround.
The secondary has played great this year and there is a reason why they are a top 10 defense against the pass in the nation. Last year the Huskies were terrible against the pass. Now with Desmond Trufant as a senior, Sean Parker as a junior, Marcus Peters now starting along with Thompson the secondary is the strength of the Huskies defense.
Williams on the year leads the team with 63 receptions for 700 yards(11.1 YPC) which is second on the team. He also leads the team with six touchdown receptions. Williams is having a great sophomore season as the possession receiver who makes plays in the red zone.
On the year Seferian-Jenkins is second on the team with 58 receptions for a team leading 751 yards(12.9 YPC) while being second on the team with five touchdowns. Seferian-Jenkins is also the Huskies all-time receptions leader in tight end history with 99. He is the all-time leading receiver in tight end history with 1,295 yards receiving. This game he became the all-time touchdown leader with 11 receiving touchdowns. The Huskies have seen Aaron Pierce, Mark Bruener, Ernie Conwell, Cam Cleeland and Jerramy Stevens pass through the program who went on to the NFL at the tight end positon. For Seferian-Jenkins to shatter all their records speaks to volumes how great of a player he is. For him to also play basketball and then play defensive end shows what an amazing athlete he is as well.
Price this game was great completing 22-29 passes for 248 yards with a school record tying five touchdown passes. Price the last two weeks has thrown for seven touchdown passes with zero interceptions.
For the year now Price is 223-359(62.1%) for 2,290 yards(6.4 YPA) with 16 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He isn't having a great year but with Washington State's poor pass defense looming and a bowl game he could still end up with a good year. Price also has 51 career passing touchdowns which puts him four behind Cody Pickett for the school record. Price has a shot at breaking that record this season and then shatter the record next year for his senior campaign.
Sarkisian deserves credit for turning this program around even if it seems like it's going at a slow pace. Still if the Huskies finish at 8-4 in a tough conference with two of those losses coming to LSU and Oregon while beating Stanford that is progress. Sarkisian as long as he continues to feature the run and stress defense in his recruiting(which he is) the Huskies program should continue to grow.
The Huskies took care of business against a terrible team. Now it's time to do it once again when they take on the Washington State Cougars in the Apple Cup. The Huskies will be double digit favorites on the road yet again as they should be. The Huskies are playing their best ball in over a decade which has been great to see. Price is playing like Price last year while Sankey is making fans forget about Chris Polk. The defense is playing the best they have since the days when Lambright roamed the sidelines. The Huskies are looking good this year and hopefully they can finish this season strong as they've already won four in a row.