Washington came out and dominated the first two series of the game and looked like the better team initially, but multiple errors on special teams and questionable play calling played havoc with field position all night as the Huskies fell short to BYU 23-17.
The special team miscues started early when the Huskies gave the Cougars two points on a bungled punt with 4:30 left in the first quarter. A bad snap was several feet over punter Will Mahan's head and rolled all the way back into the end zone. Mahan ran it down and tossed it out the back of the end zone for a safety, which cut Washington's lead to 7-2.
BYU's Riley Nelson threw for two touchdowns and BYU's defense shut out Washington in the second half to seal the game. Nelson hit JJ Di Luigi with a 48 yard TD pass late in the third quarter to put BYU ahead 23-17. Jake Heaps who played in his first game as a Cougar threw for 131 yards and looks like a kid that will live up to the hype.
Washington's Jake Locker passed for 266 yards, but he didn't get it done in the clutch as he missed passes on two fourth-down conversion attempts late in the final period that could have put the Huskies ahead. Locker threw for one touchdown and ran for another.
Eric Folk kicked a career-best 54-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter to give the Huskies a 17-13 lead heading into halftime. Folk continues to show better leg strength. Even with the lead the Huskies didn't seem like they were in control and were headed for that patented third quarter implosion. The Cougars outscored the Huskies 10-0 in the third quarter to take control of the game.
Washington had its chances to win this one. Early in the fourth quarter, the Huskies went for it on fourth-and-2 from the 23. Locker tried to throw deep but Jermaine Kearse was well covered on the play and couldn't get to the ball. Down by six you have to second guess that Sarkisian should have taken the points to close within three.
Washington got deep into Cougars territory again late in the final period, Locker's pass on fourth-and-6 from the 26 was tipped by BYU lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna and bounced harmlessly to the ground with 1:51 left.
Chris Polk ran for 92 yards on 16 carries, Jermaine Kearse had five catches for 108 yards and one touchdown, and Devin Aguilar had five catches for 57 yards to lead Washington.