Game Analysis - UW/Utah

Washington went on the road and completely owned Utah, quite literally from start to finish, to win 31-14 and get to 4-1 on the season. Here is a closer look at the game and some analysis of the key moment in the game, some of the top players and the key stat that told the tale of the game...

Play of the Game/Turning Point: It's not often that the first play of the game can be viewed as a turning point, but the opening kickoff saw Tim Tucker and Garret Gilliland force a fumble when the two sandwiched Utah's Ryan Lacy and LB Jamaal Kearse picked up the fumble and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown, giving Washington a quick 7-0 lead and the Huskies never trailed on the night.

Offensive Player of the Game: Against a team allowing less than 75 yards per game on the ground, Chris Polk figured to have a tough night and in the first half he had just 45 yards rushing. The second half was a different story as Polk pounded the Ute defense into submission, rushing for 144 yards and consistently kept the chains moving, finishing with 189 yards on the night and moved into second place on the career rushing list, surpassing 3,000 yards.

Runner up: QB Keith Price was dinged up all night and really struggled early in the game, but came back to have an outstanding second half to lead the Huskies to the win. Price finished the night 22 of 30 for 226 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, but was nearly perfect in the second half, going 14 of 18 for 189 yards and the three touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Game: Again, LB Cort Dennison led the Huskies, both on the stat sheet and emotionally, to help Washington hold the Utes, averaging over 170 yards rushing per game, to just 17 and racking up 10 tackles as he returned to his hometown to get the win.

Key Stat: For the first time in three weeks, the Huskies won the turnover battle, forcing five turnovers while only giving it up once themselves. Three of the turnovers came when the Utes were in the redzone and one was forced on the opening kickoff and returned for a touchdown. While Washington only converted two of the turnovers into points, taking the wind out of Utah and their fanbase's sails did more to turn the momentum the Huskies' way than anything.

Handouts to the standouts: Polk and Price had big days, but the job the entire offensive line did opening holes against a very good Utah front-seven, especially in the second half, as well as keeping a gimpy Price upright, that group deserves a big pat on the back; Dennison's return home went very well as the senior linebacker totaled 10 tackles; sophomore LB Princeton Fuimaono had his best game as a starter, posting seven tackles; CB Greg Ducre, who has struggled some early this year, battled all day and had one of his best games, totaling four tackles and also hauled in an acrobatic interception in the early in the second half; sophomore S Sean Parker was all over the place, totaling six tackles and a key interception deep in Washington territory.

Needs work: Two things still need to be harped on – Jermaine Kearse continues to struggle with drops and Washington continues to struggle to get pressure on the quarterback. Yes, Kearse had seven receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown, but he had three key drops that could have made a difference in a closer game. Washington did harass Jordan Wynn and backup Jon Hays, but still only managed two – one from Josh Shirley on Utah's first offensive play and one late by NT Laurence Lagafuaina. In between that time, the Utah quarterbacks had lots of time to work on the secondary.


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