Washington did as was expected, dominating the California Golden Bears late Saturday night, 41-17.
A young, heavily injured Cal team just didn't have a chance against Washington. They looked competitive for all of an entire quarter. Strangely enough, it was the second quarter that
A Bishop Sankey 3-yard touchdown run capped Washington's first drive that featured lots of pulling linemen and short passes. It did include one throw down the field to John Ross III for 18 yards that showed, at least before taking a beating, Keith Price's thumb wasn't going to hinder his accuracy.
It was proven late in the first quarter, when Price set the school record for passing touchdowns in a career (69) with a perfectly placed 68-yard touchdown to Jaydon Mickens.
Justin Wilcox's defense showed early that they came to play, shutting out the Golden Bears in the first quarter. Once in the second quarter, Chris Harper caught a five-yard touchdown from true freshman Jared Goff in the back of the endzone while Goff was dealing with a whole lot of Cory Littleton in his face.
The offense struggled for UW in the second quarter for a third straight game, punting on four consecutive possessions. On their final possession of the second half (not including the Price kneeldown), Bishop Sankey changed that. He followed a block by Austin Seferian-Jenkins and took the ball 59 yards to give the Huskies a 24-7 lead, which was the score to finish the half.
The third quarter is when Washington started to put their foot on the gas.
Kasen Williams had his left leg twisted underneath a cornerback after battling for a jump ball. He appeared to twist his ankle in a direction that it wasn't supposed to go. He was carted off the field. Elise Woodward later reported that he had a Lisfranc injury. That is basically injuring the arch of the foot. Don't expect him back for a while.
These injuries can happen with a simple twist and fall. This is a low-energy injury. It is commonly seen in football and soccer players. It is often seen when someone stumbles over the top of a foot flexed downwards.
More severe injuries occur from direct trauma, such as a fall from a height. These high-energy injuries can result in multiple fractures and dislocations of the joints.
- Cal did a great job with quick passes, specifically slants. Gregory Ducre has great top-end speed, but isn't elite in his short-area quickness, and Goff picked on him with quick passes throughout the first half. Tre Watson started to get more time outside as the game progressed. Even Marcus Peters, however great of a cover corner he is, struggled at times against the short game.
Also, that struggling lasted all of one quarter. Peters is really good.
- The offensive line afforded time for throws down the field. A lot of it is because of how bad Cal is, but it allowed routes to develop. When Price threw the ball down the field, it went to Jaydon Mickens. Mickens showed that he has improved in the "catching wide open passes" department, without a drop on any of his long reception opportunities. Catches of 20, 39, 47 and 68 yards.
- John Ross III is electric. He made two big kick returns that both came back due to penalties. The broadcast referenced how Sarkisian believes that Ross will break one. He did, sort of.
- Bishop Sankey set his career high in yards with 241. Those of you who have been following the Instant Reactions know that I have a little bit of a mancrush on Sankey. I do the Sankey leg. We need to create the Sankey leg. Or he needs to create the Sankey leg. Bishop, don't break a leg. That is not the Sankey leg we want.
- Travis Coons was 2/2 on field goals from over 40 yards. He hasn't missed a kick all season and has done well punting rugby style all season long.
- Cyler Miles running the offense in the case of Price going down scares me. I know Cal was playing the run when he was in, but I would hope that he would be able to move the ball a little bit against what amounts to be third-stringers for the Bears.
- Speaking of backups, the second unit just cannot tackle. Like, at all.
- More backups: Dwayne Washington runs angry, and runs downhill. The fumbles have been an issue, but he could do well for the Dawgs in the years to come.
- Even for someone who never lived during the Don James era, I was touched by all of the ceremonies, patches, stickers and decals.
What are your instant reactions?