Game Analysis - Boise State

In what was arguably the most complete win in Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian's tenure, the Huskies dismantled Boise State to the tune of 38-6 in front of 71,968 fans in the first game of the season at a raucous Husky Stadium. Here's a closer look at some positives and negatives from the game as the Huskies prepare to play Illinois in two weeks...

Turning Point/Play of the Game (Part 1): After taking a 10-6 lead into the locker room at halftime, many in both the press box and down in the crowd seemed to be a little on edge about how things might play out in the second half. Midway through the third quarter, the Huskies were facing a 3rd and 6 from their own 43. QB Keith Price found Kasen Williams for a first down and the junior wideout made two Boise State defenders miss, taking the ball down to the Broncos' 19 with a 38-yard gain. That play seemed to energize the entire team, especially the offense, and the very next play was a SLUGO (slant and go) to Williams who hauled in a 19-yard touchdown reception, giving the Huskies a 17-6 lead.

Turning Point/Play of the Game (Part 2): We almost gave the top play/turning point of the game to a fourth-down stop the Huskies made on Boise State's very next drive, which essentially gave Washington all of the momentum in the game. With 3:55 left in the third quarter, the Broncos faced a 4th and 1 from the Washington 35. RB Jay Ajayi took a hand off to the left and was stopped in his tracks for no gain by Shaquille Thompson and Josh Shirley giving the Huskies the ball back.

Offensive Player of the Game: This one was a tough one because both Price and Jaydon Mickens had big games, but the difference-maker for the Husky offense really was Bishop Sankey who toted the rock 25 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns. After the game appeared to be in hand for the Dawgs, Sarkisian and offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau called Sankey and Dwayne Washington's numbers and they answered the call helping the Huskies hold the ball and run the clock down.

Defensive Player of the Game: Junior LB John Timu looked tremendous most of the night, totaling 13 tackles and really being the leader in stopping the Boise State offense in their tracks. Sean Parker was also a candidate with five tackles and an interception, but in the end, Timu was involved in just too many plays to not get the nod.

Key State: Both teams' third down conversions are worth noting. Washington went 11 of 15 and that is a big reason they were able to extend drives and put the Broncos away. Conversely, BSU's third down conversions were 8 of 19 and anytime you can hold an opponent under 50% for their third down conversions, you are doing something right.

Handouts to the Standouts: On defense, as noted Timu and Parker had big games, but so did Thompson (nine tackles), CB Marcus Peters (seven tackles and one pass defensed), S Will Shamburger (seven tackles), LB Princeton Fuimaono, DE Hauoli Kikaha (two tackles) and DT Danny Shelton (three tackles. On offense, Price had a huge game, completing 23 of 31 attempts for 324 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Mickens looked like the player we all thought he could be when he arrived last fall after posting nine receptions for 109 yards and eight yards on one carry. Williams was used more as a decoy, so he didn't put up huge numbers, but he still managed to haul in three receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. John Ross was the most impressive of the freshman that played, hauling in four receptions for 39 yards and getting Washington great field position after returning a kickoff 33 yards. WR Kevin Smith looked outstanding both as a blocker and also chipped in four receptions for 69 yards including a 42-yarder that helped set up Washington's first touchdown.

Top Unit: Washington got solid play from the running backs and the secondary held Boise State to just 175 yards, but, overall, the Husky offensive line takes the prize as they only allowed one sack and paved the way for 592 yards of offense (268 on the ground and 324 through the air). Even though they had three penalties among the starting five, they really seemed to get after an experienced Boise State defensive line that seemed to have no answer for what the Huskies were doing.

Needs work: Pass rush and penalties need to be a focus over the next two weeks as Washington only pressured Southwick a couple of times. Now, that being said, the Broncos get the ball out quickly and it is very tough to get much heat on their quarterbacks, but that can't be an excuse because more and more schools are using that quick tempo offense and the Huskies need to figure out how to get pressure regardless. Penalties didn't kill the Huskies, but, even for a first game, eight flags for 61 yards is too many to feel good about. Top Stories