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All 5 turnovers were "B-UTES" to Utes

Capitalizing on 5 Utah turnovers and the running of Chris Polk, the Washington Huskies beat the Utah Utes, 31-14, before 45,412 disappointed fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It was Utah's first Pac-12 game at home, and the Huskies' first visit to the Utes' tidy little bailiwick. UW is now 7-0 against Utah.

"There is little margin for error in this conference," said head coach Kyle Whittingham, who will be reminiscing about his days spent in the friendlier Mountain West Conference as time goes on. Each turnover was a "beaut," he might have remarked sarcastically.

Besides forcing 5 turnovers, the key to Washington's victory was stopping the run. Utah (2-2, 0-2 in Pac-12) came into the game ranked fourth in the conference in rushing, averaging 171.3 yards per game. The Huskies held the Utes to just 17 yards on the ground, while amassing 185 yards rushing themselves. Prior to the game, Utah was ranked third in the league in stopping the run, averaging 79.3 yards per game.

John White, the Pac-12's second-leading rusher, managed just 35 yards on 14 carries.

In its 4 wins this season, Washington (4-1, 2-0) has held its four opponents to an average of just 52.75 yards per game on the ground. In its only loss, UW gave up 309 rushing yards to Nebraska. The Huskies rank 29th in the FBS in stopping the run, surrendering an average of 104 yards per game.

Washington's pass defense -- which bent but didn't break -- yielded 305 yards and 2 touchdown passes. A pass interception by Sean Parker at the Washington 4-yard line stopped a Utah drive in the second quarter that had carried to the UW 13. CB Desmond Trufant forced a fumble -- recovering it himself -- off a completed pass at the UW 6-yard line, killing another Utes' drive in the second quarter.

"The defense won this football game for us, without a doubt," head coach Steve Sarkisian said.

"We got the turnovers because we were very aggressive," defensive coordinator Nick Holt said. "We finally put a consistent four quarters together, that and not having mental lapses."

Without a consistent running game to support him, young Keith Price looked discombobulated in the first half, with Polk held to just 44 yards rushing. The Huskies accumulated just 112 total yards in the first half, their only touchdown coming on the recovery of a fumbled ball on the opening kickoff, which was returned by Jamaal Kearse 18 yards for a touchdown and a 7-zip start.

The Dawgs took a 10-7 lead into halftime, on Erik Folk's 44-yard field goal as time expired.

But Polk's 49-yard run on Washington's opening drive of the second half proved prophetic, as his running in the second half turned the game around for the Huskies and eased the pressure on Price, who ended up completing 20 of 30 passes for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns on the game. Scoring on the 80-yard drive, Washington took 17-7 lead to open the third quarter.

"I thought Chris Polk and the offensive line dominated the second half of the football game," Sark said.

Starting QB Jordan Wynn left the game with an injured left shoulder in the third quarter. UW registered 2 sacks.

Washington has won 8 of its last 9 games and Sarkisian is now 16-14 since assuming the head coaching duties at UW.

Kicker Erik Folk had 2 touchbacks on kickoffs, bringing his season total to 5.

(Our headline's sense of the slang word beaut: "When I make a mistake, it's a beaut!" (Fiorello H. La Guardia))

For you name-game buffs. Clue: only swears when the situation is relevant. Answer: Jermaine Kearse.

Table 1. Keith Price's cumulative passing efficiency.

Team C A Y T I PE C A Y T I PE
EWU 17 25 102 3 0 149.87 17 25 102 3 0 149.87
Hawai'i 18 25 315 4 1 222.64 35 50 417 7 1 182.26
Nebraska 21 37 274 4 2 143.83 56 87 691 11 3 165.91
California 19 25 292 3 0 213.71 75 112 983 14 3 176.58
Utah 22 30 226 3 1 162.95 97 142 1209 17 4 173.70

 

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Washington 7 3 14 7 31
Utah 7 0 0  7 14


Time Team How Player (s) UW Utah
1st qtr          
14:51 UW TD Jamaal Kearse 18-yard fumble recovery; Erik Folk kick. 7      0
6:59 Utah TD Jordan Wynn 16-yard pass to Dres Anderson; Colem Peterson boot. 7 7
2nd qtr          
00:00 UW FG Folk 44-yarder 10 7
3rd qtr
12:13 UW TD Keith Price 8-yard pass to Kasen Williams; Folk PAT 17 7
5:36 UW TD Price 23-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse. Folk TFP. 24 7
4th qtr
9:17 UW TD Price 17-yard pass to Devin Aguilar; Folk kick. 31 7
0:07 Utah TD Jon Hays 4-yard pass to Dallin Rogers; Peterson kick. 31 14

 

Statistics UW Utah
Total First Downs 22 18
  Rushing 8 3
  Passing 12 13
  Penalty 2 2
Total Net Yards 411 322
Net Yards Passing 226 305
Net Yards Rushing 185 17
Completions-att-int 22-30-1 22-33-2
Punts, yards, average 3-124; 39.3 3-137; 45.7
Sacks by (number, yards) 2-16 2-17
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 0-0-0 3-53-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 1--4-0 1-6-0
Kickoff Yards 5-341 3-210
Net Yards per kickoff 49.6 50.0
Average yards per kickoff 68.2 70.0
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 2 3
Third-down conversions 7 of 13 5 of 10
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 2-0-0 1-0-0
Penalties, no., Yards 6-59 4-41
Fumbles; number/lost 1-0 4-3
Time of Possession  33:16 26:44

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Jordan Wynn; 151.86 12 17 149 1 1
Jon Hays; 152.53 10 16 156 1 1
           
Washington          
Keith Price; 162.95 22 30 226 3 1
           
           
Utah Rushing No. yds tds long  
John White 14 35 0 6  
Harvey Langi 1 1 0 1  
Reggie Dunn 1 -4 0 0  
Jon Hays 5 -7 0 2  
Jordan Wynn 2 -8 0 0  
           
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Chris Polk 29 189 0 49  
Jessie Callier 1 -1 0 0  
Team 1 -1 0 0  
Keith Price 6 -8 0 7  
Bishop Sankey 4 5 0 4  
Kevin Smith 1 1 0 1  
           
           
Utah Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Dallin Rogers 6 56 1 17  
Devonte Christopher 5 125 0 63  
Dres Anderson 3 37 0 16  
Luke Mathews 2 26 0 18  
Reggie Dunn 2 23 0 19  
John White 2 13 0 7  
Charles Henderson 1 13 0 13  
Westlee Tonga 1 1 0 12  
           
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
James Johnson 3 37 0 15  
Mark Hartvigson 1 1 0 1  
Kasen Williams 2 30 1 22  
Chris Polk 3 16 0 7  
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 3 32 0 13  
Jermaine Kearse 7 70 1 23  
Devin Aguilar 2 40 1 23  
Bishop Sankey 1 0 0 0  
           
Punting        
Utah No. yds avg long IN20
Nick Marsh 1 62 62.0 62 1
Sean Sellwood 2 72 37.5 42 0
Washington          
   
Will Mahan 1 38 38.0 38 0
Kiel Rasp 2 86 3.0 46 0
Attendance: 45,412          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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