Turning Point/Play of the Game: To start the second half, the Huskies, leading 14-8, Utah started their first drive with the ball on their own 34 and seemed to be poised to draw closer or even go ahead. However, the Husky defense held strong and kept them from getting a first down, actually stopping Utah RB John White on 4th-and-one at the Ute 43, giving their offense a short field and they were able to extend their lead to 21-8 and they never really looked back.
Offensive Player of the Game: It's tough to make this call, so I'm going to go with two players. First off, RB Bishop Sankey continues to show himself to be the workhorse this team needed when they lost Chris Polk to the NFL and Jesse Callier to an injury the first game of the season. The sophomore from Spokane carried the ball 36 times for 162 yards and two scores, going over 1,000 yards for the season (1,017 yards rushing). The second player who deserves kudos for the game is QB Keith Price. The junior signal-caller has rightfully gotten a ton of criticism for his play this season, but versus Utah, with his family in the stands, Price took care of the ball and actually ran for a couple of key first downs in the fourth quarter as the Huskies salted the game away with an 8:43 drive. Price finished the night by completing 24 of his 33 attempts for 277 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for a six-yard touchdown and, as noted earlier, those two big first downs late.
Defensive Player of the Game: Redshirt freshman LB Travis Feeney put up solid stats, but early on, he actually missed a couple of tackles, so he could have had an even better outing. That being said, he did manage to tie for the team-lead in tackles with nine while also posting a sack and a tackle-for-loss. You wouldn't get much argument from me if you said that LB John Timu should have gotten the award. Timu left the game at one point in the third quarter with what appeared to be a stinger, but returned and finished the game tied with Feeney at nine tackles and also had a key interception and a pass breakup late in the game.
Key Stat: The two that stick out the most are Utah only going 1 for 13 on third down including 0 for 11 in the second half and that led to the other impressive stat – 188 total yards for the Utes.
Handouts to the standouts: We have already mentioned the nights of Sankey and Price, but right behind them was the stat line put up by TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins who hauled in seven receptions for 99 yards and also now holds the career-receptions record (97) for tight ends, surpassing Mark Bruener's 95, and he also played some defensive end in some passing situations; the entire offensive line as the Huskies managed to keep Price upright for most of the game and paved the way for Sankey's big night; Kasen Williams hauled in seven receptions for 73 yards and brought in Price's first touchdown pass by tip-toeing along the end line to bring Washington within one mid-way through the first quarter; WR Jaydon Mickens only caught one pass, but it was a big one – a 47-yarder – that set up Washington's second score of the night; S Shaquille Thompson had six tackles, a tackle-for-loss and two passes defensed; DE Andrew Hudson had four tackles and a sack on the night; DT Danny Shelton had six tackles and a tackle-for-loss on the night.
Needs work: This the most complete game the Huskies have played all season and could easily be considered one of the best of the Sarkisian era as the offense went for 467 yards and 34 points and the defense held Utah to just 188 yards and 15 points on the night. That being said, there were still way too many penalties, especially personal-foul penalties that extended drives for the Utes – Justin Glenn's 15-yarder on third down led to John White's 46-yard romp that gave Utah the lead early – and killed drives – DiAndre Campbell's personal foul took away a sure first down and forced Washington to punt. Clean that up, something that the Huskies have struggled with all season, and the Huskies played about as perfect a game as possible (save a fumble by Kasen Williams in the fourth quarter.
Game Analysis - Utah
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