Game Analysis - Idaho State

SEATTLE - So does how one analyze penalties? By the middle of the second quarter it was clear what the main post-game talking point was going to be, and it wasn't going to be the eight touchdowns scored by eight different players in Washington's 56-0 de-clawing of the Idaho State Bengals Saturday at Husky Stadium.

Overall analysis: It was clear from the beginning that Idaho State had a huge case of stage fright - they didn't need to help Washington but they certainly did in the first quarter, putting the ball on the ground three times, falling down three more times, and giving up - you guessed it - three sacks. And Washington's eight first quarter penalties caused chagrin in the new stadium. But after it was 28-0, it just became a matter of how much and how many. The defense surely was out to set the bend-don't-break label adrift, getting nothing but three-and-outs and turnovers for the entire first half. A reaaly good FBS team should do what the Huskies did to an FCS team, and it should satisfy the masses, though sloppy it became (it was fitting that the first half ended on a illegal substitution penalty on Washington - which was declined). Cyler Miles showed he's more than capable of running this offense in relief of Price. The question is, is this the performance the Huskies needed before their second season - the Conference championship season - begins in earnest next week?

Turning Point:I really wanted to say "When Washington elected to receive". I mean, come on. Was there going to be any other turning point besides kickoff? But Jaydon Mickens had himself a first series to forget (illegal block, fumble lost), so they're going to make me work instead *sigh*.

The immediate turnover answer, of course, set things right. Still, the calamity of John Ross's initial punt return, Idaho State's utter fright on offense and Washington's preponderance for penalties to pad those yardage stats made the first quarter fun to watch. At one time, the scoreboard stat totals read 178 to -8 and the score was still 7-0. I don't remember the last time a game outside of pee-wee football that saw two teams trading 10 penalties in the first seven minutes of a game. But in the end, we all knew what was going to happen. And it did.

Plays of the game: Anytime Bishop Sankey touched the ball. Which was seldom. Darrell Daniels' head-spinning hit on Idaho State's third kickoff return of the day. Josh Perkins' second career touchdown. Sean Parker's second quarter interception. Danny Shelton's pancake squash of Justin Arias for UW's fourth sack of the day. ISU's fake punt to start the second half (and supsequent missed field goal try). Kudos to coach ISU coach Mike Kramer for continuing to compete. John Ross' electrifying 57-yard catch-and-run for Cyler Myles' first career TD pass. Miles' 61-yard scamper to end the 3rd quarter after Cleveland Wallace's interception of a fourth-down Arias pass. And of course, Deontae Cooper's first-ever touchdown. That was probably the play the Husky bench enjoyed the most.

Game Ball - Offense: How do you give a game ball anyone on the first-team offense that scored 42 points and rang up almost 400 yards in one half without breaking a sweat (penalties not withstanding)? So just to show you I was paying attention, I reserved the game ball honors for the second half and the backups. I should give it to Cyler Miles for his second-half performance, but the honor goes to Deontae Cooper, who had more carries than anyone (14 carries, 59 yards, and first-ever collegiate TD). Not because of spectacular plays, but from resiliency to tote the rock regularly after three knee surgeries - and one of eight different Huskies to find the end zone.

Game Ball - Defense: Hau'oli Kikaha. Three first-half sacks in a game totally dominated by the men in Purple.

Other kibbles and bits:Idaho State was held to negative total yards and zero first downs until the 5:40 mark of the second quarter ... Bishop Sankey did not return to the game after carrying four times for 77 yards in the first six minutes. Good for Bishop's health, bad for fantasy owners ... First half total yardage totals: UW 397, ISU 20. Echoes of Lambright's defenses in the early 90s ... Keith Price went 16-21 passing in the first half, lowering his season completion percentage to 76 percent. He now has gone 86 passes without a pick since his very first throw of the season ...

Final Thoughts: Two TDs called back by holding penalties. Another six false start penalties - at home. After this week the Huskies may well lead the country in total penalties. This will be the biggest issue on the message boards this week, and very deserving. But it was good to see that besides the laundry problems Washington showed it could beat up on lesser with such ease. It is hard to guage just how good the defense really is, since ISU was overwhelmed at all positions. But it was real nice to see the second and third-teamers keep the hammer down. That should make everyone happy.


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