CORVALLIS, Ore. — This had to be Keith Price’s smoothest handoff ever.
Handed the keys to the Washington offense, all Cyler Miles did was lead the Huskies to one of their most impressive victories ever in Corvallis.
Miles, the Huskies’ redshirt freshman quarterback, completed 15 of 24 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown in his first start, Bishop Sankey added 179 yards of UW’s 530 yards on the ground, and the road-weary Huskies chewed up Oregon State in every way possible in a 69-Huy27 victory Saturday night.
“Really, really proud of our guys responding again,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said. “They have a great deal of grit and resolve, and I really challenged them to come out with great energy … and we really did that.”
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After their first conference road victory of the season, in their fourth try, the Huskies (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) enter the Apple Cup against Washington State on Friday with a chance to get over the seven-win hump. Hope for that emerged with Miles, who ran the UW offense with aplomb in place of the injured Price.
Price, UW’s career leader in touchdown passes, tested his ailing throwing shoulder during warm-ups, but he watched the game from the sideline on a chilly night at Reser Stadium.
His availability for the Apple Cup remains in question, but Sarkisian said Price would be the starter against the Cougars if he’s healthy.
Miles offered little question he’s a capable successor. He threw a beautiful, over-the-top pass to Kevin Smith, who hauled in the 28-yard catch while falling on his backside in the second quarter to push UW’s lead to 27-0. Of the Huskies’ eight touchdowns, that was the only one that came through the air.
Backups Deontae Cooper (166 yards, two touchdowns) and Dwayne Washington (141 yards, two touchdowns) joined Sankey in the 100-yard club as UW had 692 yards of offense.
UW’s 530 rushing yards was the second-best single-game performance in school history.
“It was loads of fun,” Sankey said. “We just wanted come out here and let loose.”
By the time Oregon State scored its first touchdown early in the fourth quarter, only several thousand of the announced crowd of 43,779 were still in the stands at Reser Stadium.
The Beavers (6-5, 4-4) have lost four in a row.
This was UW’s second-most lopsided victory ever over Oregon State in Corvallis. In 1991, the third-ranked Huskies beat OSU 58-6.
“Going into it, I’m expecting a dogfight,” said Miles, who knew Thursday he would start. “I assume it’d be closer … but we’re out there playing to the best of our ability, and it so happened to be somewhat of a blowout. I can’t ask for nothing better than that.”
Sankey’s three rushing touchdowns gave him 34 for his career to tie Napoleon Kaufman for UW’s career record.
Cooper, continuing his feel-good comeback from three major knee injuries, had runs of 68 and 70 yards, the two longest runs of the season for UW.
The UW defense intercepted Oregon State’s Sean Mannion three times, including two by Marcus Peters and the third by Shaq Thompson, who returned his interception 80 yards for a touchdown to make it 48-0 late in the third quarter.
Mannion, the nation’s passing leader, was held to a season-low 229 yards passing, completing 20 of 41 attempts.
After a 62-yard kickoff return by UW’s John Ross to start the game, Miles completed a quick 3-yard pass to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Miles rushed twice for 7 yards on the opening drive, which culminated in Sankey’s 3-yard touchdown run to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead at the 12:29 mark.
Price cheered and pumped his fist in celebration on the sideline.
On the next drive, Miles hit a diving Smith for a 36-yard pass to the Oregon State 5-yard line. Sankey then rushed in for an easy touchdown on the next play to push the UW lead to 14-0.
Miles got his first significant action for the Huskies when he had to relieve Price to start the second half of UW’s 41-31 defeat at UCLA on Nov. 15.
The last time Price did not start was also at Oregon State, in 2011.
Nick Montana started that game and finished 11 of 21 for 79 yards with two touchdowns and one interception before Price was called off the bench in the fourth quarter.
The Beavers won that night, 38-21.
On this night, with this young quarterback, the Huskies were better by Miles.
|Most rushing TDs|
|Bishop Sankey tied the school record for career rushing touchdowns in the victory Saturday.|
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com.