Washington committed 18 penalties — tying a school record — in its 31-28 overtime loss Friday at Washington State. The Huskies have committed 106 penalties this season, a school record.
PULLMAN — Batting around the reasons for Washington’s 31-28 overtime loss to Washington State in Friday’s Apple Cup, Huskies senior safety Justin Glenn said there was one he couldn’t escape.
“Just the penalties is all I can think of,” he said.
And there were a lot to count — 18, which the school said tied a UW record set in 1976.
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Twelve came in the second half and eight in the fourth quarter as the Cougars rallied from a 28-10 fourth-quarter deficit.
“That’s a ridiculous number of penalties,” said UW coach Steve Sarkisian.
It also continued a disturbing trend for the Huskies, who came into the game 10th in the Pac-12 in penalties. They have 106 for the season, a school record.
Coaches can be fined for criticizing officiating, so Sarkisian tried to tread lightly when asked about the flags afterward.
“I don’t know, we got called on them; if they call them, they are penalties,” he said. “I don’t know what else to say about it.”
One he obviously disagreed with, though, came late in the game as the Huskies appeared positioned to win it, facing third-and-one at the WSU 15. As they have done a few times this year, UW rushed to the line in an attempt to catch their opponent off guard, and it appeared to have worked when a WSU defender burst through UW’s line.
Officials, though, instead called a false start on UW. And a few plays later, Travis Coons missed a 35-yard field goal that would have won the game.
Interestingly, the official play-by-play says it was on left tackle Micah Hatchie. Sarkisian said he was told it was on quarterback Keith Price.
He said he was told “that Keith drew them offsides. I was trying to ask that myself; the nose tackle jumped.”
Price also thought it was on him.
“We were trying to draw them offsides, and we did, and they called a penalty on me,” Price said. “That’s the way we’ve been practicing it. I guess the ref made his decision and decided to throw his flag.”
Washington was also called for personal fouls and pass interference on defense, which drew the ire of defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
“When you get three 15-yard penalties on drives, it’s hard to keep them from scoring,” he said. “You’ve got to play with proper technique and know when to knock the ball out and not hit the quarterback high. It’s all of those things. When you have those types of big penalties it’s hard to stop a team from scoring.”
Said defensive lineman Andrew Hudson: “I had two of them. It’s being undisciplined, not being smart. It’s on me.”
Washington was called for four pass-interference penalties in the fourth quarter, two on cornerback Desmond Trufant.
“I thought I was covering great,” Trufant said. “Sometimes they don’t go your way.”
Said Sarkisian: “We’re close, we’re right there, tight coverage and they deemed them pass interference. I can argue with them until I’m blue in the face, but at the end of the day, they have the power there to make those calls.”
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta