The Huskies woke up on Friday morning to news that their DC, Justin Wilcox, was almost assuredly coaching his last game on the Husky sideline. While the presumed destination, per Bruce Feldman, the morning got even more interesting when we learned that Oregon DC, Nick Aliotti, announced his "retirement" (uh, yeah, right). Speculation immediately resumed regarding Wilcox and a possible move to his alma mater, a rumor that first got legs last week but seemed to have petered out when resolution to the Aliotti situation did not materialize.
So, as per the usual for the Huskies in the past month, the Huskies got to warmups with an ample amount of off-field noise surrounding the team.
The noise cranked up even louder when the Dawgs took the field only to find that their starting stud CB, Marcus Peters, was not in the starting lineup due to some nebulous discipline / starting-the-senior situation with Tre Watson slotted to take his place. Oft-injured starting safety and Senior, Will Shamburger was also a surprise scratch in what would have been his last game as a Husky, giving young Brandon Beaver his first start.
When it rains, it pours.
And then the game started.
BYU got the ball to start the game and went pass with their first play. They quickly reverted to their power run game, jostling for a few short third downs, one of which the Huskies stopped with Tre Watson making a great pass defense to give the Dawgs their first possession.
UW opened their first drive with, who else, Bishop Sankey off tackle right and eight yards. If only to tell us, "yeah, its all good". After getting two passes tipped, Price found his rhythm quickly, at one point throwing for three straight third downs to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kevin Smith and Demore'ea Stringfellow. Stringfellow followed that up by bailing the Dawgs out of a third and long with a swing pass that he took and steamrolled to a clutch first down. Sankey polished off the 71 yard drive with an 11 yard TD run to stake UW up to an early 7-0 lead.
It was a great start for UW - six first downs and four plays over 10 yards.
The momentum continued as UW got the ball right back on a short drive and even shorter 24 yard punt by BYU, who couldn't get Taysom Hill rolling in the passing game. The Dawgs tried to make BYU pay, but a deep attempt to Jaydon Mickens went just off his fingertips and the Huskies stalled. A good Travis Coons punt put BYU back on the field at their 30 yard line.
And the momentum continued. BYU got stymied to a three and out highlighted by a Hau'oli Kikaha sack / forced fumble and then a fumbled snap on the punt that left UW with excellent field position on the BYU 22 yard line. The Dawgs struggled to get open leaving the Huskies in a 4th and one situation and Marques Tuiasosopo facing his first difficult call. He elected to go for it, and Sankey BARELY squeaked it out to give UW new life. Three more short runs and another short fourth down led to another tough decision from Tui, and he went for it again. This time Kyle Van Noy did what he always does - makes a negative play happen and BYU got the ball back. at their 11 yard line.
BYU got shut down on three straight plays and then made one of the all-time gutsiest calls by going for it - and getting it - on fourth down from inside their 20 yard line (when was the last time you saw that in the first quarter of a game)? The quarter ended on that play with the Huskies dominating in most areas of the game, but only showing a 7-0 lead.
The second quarter is underway. This is your 2nd Quarter Game Thread.