The 12 Plays of Christmas: No. 4

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? Number Four on the list is not just a great play by a great player, but it highlighted arguably the top individual performance of the regular season.

By now we all know Austin Seferian-Jenkins owns every single tight end record at UW, and we know he was considered one of the top-three tight ends in all of college football as a true sophomore - but what was his best play of the 2012 season? In our opinion it came in the Huskies' ninth game of the year, a road game against the struggling California Golden Bears.

It was a game where Keith Price didn't try and do too much, a game where he let the playmakers around him do the damage. But four turnovers meant those playmakers were really going to have their work cut out for them. Running back Bishop Sankey had a career-high (to that point) of 189 yards and two touchdowns, and Seferian-Jenkins had the receiving game of the year - an 8-catch, 152-yard effort. Nearly half those yards - 72 - came on two catches in the third quarter that helped to turn the tide in UW's favor, the biggest one being a 29-yard touchdown.

Sankey had fumbled twice on UW's first two possessions of the third quarter and Cal pulled ahead 13-7 as the Husky defense held the Golden Bears to two field goals. Washington's offense had mustered nine yards heading into their third drive of the second half; they needed help. On 2nd-and-9 from the UW 48, Price scrambled out to his left and heaved a pass high in the sky toward his 6-foot-6 tight end, who had been split out to the left sideline. He was matched up against 5-foot-10 Cal cornerback Steve Williams, who jumped first for the ball but mis-timed his leap. Seferian-Jenkins' jump was right on the mark and the Husky tight end came down with the ball at the Cal 13-yard line.

Price once again found himself scrambling on the next play, but this time he couldn't wiggle out of the grasp of Cal outside linebacker Chris McCain, who sacked the UW quarterback for a 16-yard loss. No matter. Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian went to the well again and got Seferian-Jenkins matched up again with Williams one-on-one. The result was the same - a jump ball that Seferian-Jenkins was able to reach beyond Williams' grasp. Seferian-Jenkins didn't catch it cleanly; he had to have unbelievable concentration to come down with the catch - which he did.

That gave Washington their first lead since mid-way through the first quarter.

After Cal missed a field goal on their next possession, the Huskies went right back to Seferian-Jenkins, who caught the ball and proceeded to knock Cal safety Michael Lowe back 10 yards on his way to a first down. ESPN analyst Rod Gilmore said at the time, "He's taken over the second half of this ball game."

And he had.

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