The 15th-ranked Washington Huskies shot themselves in the foot with special teams coverage breakdowns and penalties, losing to the 5th-ranked Stanford Cardinal 31-28 despite last-minute heroics by Keith Price.
Ty Montgomery opened the game with a 99-yard kickoff return that put the Dawgs in an early hole that they only dug deeper with early penalties to put them in multiple 1st and longs and 2nd and longs. Despite the penalties early, Washington's defense proved their status among the elite in holding Stanford to only a field goal offensively until eleven seconds left in the first half, when Kevin Hogan made a perfect pass to Montgomery over good coverage by Marcus Peters for a long score to put the Cardinal up 17-7.
Electing to defer receiving the ball until the second half allowed the opening kick to go the distance, but it also gave UW the ball in the second half that culminated in a touchdown pass to Kevin Smith. Stanford had another strong return by Montgomery that gave his team a short field where they returned the favor with a touchdown of their own to put the score to 24-14.
Both teams took a turn punting before a Washington drive ended in a 15-yard touchdown run for Bishop Sankey, but then Kevin Hogan took it himself on a four-yard option keeper for another score. Washington would eventually respond, but right away Stanford scored again to keep UW ten points away.
Price led a drive into the Stanford red zone before a pass of his was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by the ‘Furd. The defense held, and Price led UW down the field again, this time they scored. After kicking the ball off, the UW defense held once again to give Price another opportunity, his team down three with time running out. Price was up for the task, his team was not.
Price and Kasen Williams connected for a beautiful 18-yard sideline throw for a first down. Two incompletions - one being a throwaway -later Price hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins down the middle with room to run, only ASJ didn't hold on to the ball to run with, dropping what would have been a first down with more.
Still, Price wasn't deterred, he eluded multiple sacks on the following pass play to hit Kevin Smith along the sideline for a first down, only the pass was low and went to a booth review. The boooooooooooth determined that the ball hit the ground, effectively ending the game.
- Every hater for Keith Price needs to disappear. He was UW's best offensive player tonight. He started 16-19 with two drops and a throwaway. Then when the pressure started to get to him, he used his mobility to extend plays (including his touchdown to Kevin Smith, where he evaded a sack to find Smith running a crossing route. Price showed toughness, leadership, grit, poise and, most importantly, skill in almost leading his team back from a ten point deficit in the last five minutes.
- Bishop Sankey really wears down defenses as games go along. He struggled early, getting 60 yards on 18 carries to start (approximately, I can't remember what the broadcast said exactly) and finished with 125 yards on 27 carries. He has vision, power and elusiveness. In my notes I just wrote <3 Sankey because I <3 Sankey.
- John Ross III entered the Dawghouse, probably for how he was fielding punts. Sark put Kasen Williams and Marvin Hall back to return.
- Wilcox only used four down-linemen against Stanford's elephant front, going with three and two linemen at almost every other junction. Another interesting thing that he did was have Cory Littleton line up at DT on passing downs and have him spy Kevin Hogan.
- Penalties. The Dawgs play in the Pac-12, but this is just horrendous. The Dawgs went a step beyond shooting themselves in the foot. They took a... no, let's not go there.
What are some of your thoughts after watching this gut-wrencher of a game?