The 12 Plays of Christmas: No. 10

With the holidays upon us, is counting down the top plays of the season, with the No. 1 play to finish out the year. So who is next on the list? At some point we have to roll out some of the biggies in UW's wins over Stanford and Oregon State, and we start with number 10 - and it was a big one.

Washington had played very well against No. 7 Oregon State at CenturyLink Field, holding the Beavers scoreless in the first half. But then OSU began finding some success and popped a couple quick scores - eventually tying the game at 17 via a 29-yard pass from Cody Vaz to former Edmonds-Woodway star Connor Hamlett with 4:58 left in the game.

It's moments like that ensuing kickoff where UW Head Coach Steve Sarkisian wants to employ a 'four-minute offense', meaning he wants to do as much as he can to make sure UW has the ball to finish the game with a chance to win. The Huskies finished roughly 80 seconds from their goal, but achieved the win anyway due to one extraordinary play by receiver Kasen Williams.

With time running down and the Huskies starting at their own 25, quarterback Keith Price immediately found his trusty tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 20-yard catch, giving UW some needed breathing room to operate. Now it was just a matter of managing the clock, getting first downs, and putting placekicker Travis Coons in a position to win the game.

But the next two plays only netted three yards, so on third-and-seven Price dialed up a pass play to the Huskies' sideline, a one-on-one matchup between Williams and OSU corner Rashaad Reynolds. Price quickly pump-faked and then then lofted a ball high enough so Williams could use his leaping ability to go after it. And he did.

As it was with his game-winning score versus Stanford, Williams didn't cleanly catch the pass - and in that brief second Washington fans' hearts were in their throats. But the 6-foot-2 sophomore's composure and talent won out as he regained possession just in time to get smacked in the head by safety Anthony Watkins on the way to the ground.

It was a 19-yard pass play, but with the 15-yard penalty tacked on by the referees for targeting, the combined 34-yard pitch-and-catch meant Washington was now at the Beavers' 18 yard line with a first down. Coons eventually kicked a 30-yard field goal to put the Huskies up 20-17 and they saw the game out from there.

The play from Price to Williams was huge for the obvious reasons - it helped the Huskies secure a win that got them one step closer to bowl eligibility, but it also was their second win over a top-8 team in 2012; the only other time that's happened in the history of the program was the 1991 National Championship team.

"Keith's coming," Sarkisian would say of Price after the game, including some comments about the big play to Williams. "He is starting to come for us. I thought what was really cool tonight with Keith is when we got Kasen (Williams) isolated one-on-one he took his chances with him and Kasen has the capability when he is one-on-one to go make those types of plays. That was obviously a big one down to the one yard line and then maybe an even bigger one on a third down play later in the fourth quarter into double coverage. He makes a tremendous catch and they tack on 15 (yards). I think Keith is understanding the type of player that Kasen can be and by doing so that is going to help ASJ and Jaydon Mickens who I thought made a couple of big plays tonight for us in the passing game as well. We've just got to continue finding consistency and balance."

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