The Colorado safety took a step in front of the goal line and tried to stop Washington’s hard-charging quarterback.
That Keith Price bulldozed through the defender and into the end zone served as a symbolic moment for the Huskies — symbolic not only of what they did to the beaten-down Buffaloes but of the hard-charging march UW hopes it started Saturday night.
Price was as cool and efficient as ever in the first half before giving way to a dominant UW defense in the second half as the Huskies routed Colorado 59-7 to kick-start a defining November stretch.
“On to the next,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian told his team afterward.
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That Washington (6-3, 3-3 Pac-12) became bowl eligible before an announced crowd of 66,599 at Husky Stadium was an afterthought as the Huskies said they immediately turned their attention to the nationally-televised showdown Friday night against UCLA at the Rose Bowl, where UW hasn’t beaten UCLA since 1995.
After dominating Colorado (3-6, 0-6), Price said the Huskies already had turned on their locker-room televisions to tune in to UCLA’s game against Arizona late Saturday night. The senior quarterback, with a short week ahead, said he planned to study film of the Bruins before going to bed, and the first thing he planned to do Sunday morning was study more.
“We’re going to have to be focused, and we’re going to have to finish strong,” Price said. “This is the time of year when you find out what kind of team you have.”
The Huskies, of course, are trying to climb above the plateau of three consecutive 7-6 seasons. To do that this month, they’ll have to win two of their final three regular-season games: at UCLA on Friday, at Oregon State on Nov. 23 or at home in the Apple Cup the day after Thanksgiving.
The performance against Colorado, Sarkisian said, sets the Huskies up almost perfectly for this short week. The Huskies didn’t attempt a single punt Saturday night, and they didn’t attempt a single pass in the second half after Price completed 22 of 29 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns.
Price also rushed for two touchdowns, including his whirling, 18-yard scamper in the second half, finishing off that run by plowing through Colorado safety Parker Orms.
“He put the truck-stick on him,” UW running back Bishop Sankey said with a grin.
Sankey was in typical form, rushing for 143 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries as he moved past Greg Lewis into fourth place on UW’s career rushing list with 2,931 yards.
“Tonight was just another step — another team in the way of where we need to be,” UW freshman receiver John Ross said.
Colorado lost its 14th consecutive Pac-12 game; 13 of those 14 have been by at least 20 points.
The Huskies ran 57 plays in the first half and had 464 yards of total offense in taking a 31-7 halftime lead. Price threw a jump ball to 6-foot-6 tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who hauled in the 15-yard reception for a touchdown with two seconds left in the half.
“We were really efficient,” Sarkisian said of his Huskies, who finished with 628 yards of total offense.
UW’s defense then dominated the third quarter.
Cornerback Marcus Peters tipped a pass by Colorado true freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau on the Buffaloes’ first drive of the second half, leading to an interception by UW backup safety Tre Watson — who returned it 84 yards for a touchdown.
It was UW’s first defensive touchdown of the season. Eight minutes later, the Huskies had another when Josh Shirley forced a fumble that Peters scooped up and returned 53 yards for a touchdown.
It was the first time UW has scored two defensive touchdowns in a game since 2002, and they pushed the Huskies’ lead to 52-7.
UW safety Sean Parker added a third-quarter interception of Liufau, the Tacoma product making his fourth start for Colorado. Liufau finished 12 of 22 for 160 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and two sacks before being pulled in the fourth quarter.
Price, meanwhile, completed nine of his first 11 passes to help the Huskies to a 10-0 lead in the first 8½ minutes.
“I had a lot of fun,” Price said. “I think that was the main thing, just get back to having fun, get our tempo going and just getting in a rhythm.”
Colorado didn’t do much to stop the Huskies, who hope the fun this month has only just started.
|Keith Price moved into the top 10 for career touchdown passes by Pac-12 quarterbacks.|
|Player (school, years)||TD passes|
|1. Matt Barkley (USC, 2009-12)||116|
|2. Matt Leinart (USC, 2003-05)||99|
|3. Andrew Walter (ASU, 2001-04)||85|
|4. Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2009-11)||82|
|5. Rudy Carpenter (ASU, 2005-08)||81|
|6. Derek Anderson (Oregon State, 2001-04)||79|
|7. John Elway (Stanford, 1979-82)||77|
|8. Alex Brink (WSU, 2004-07)||76|
|9. Steve Stenstrom (Stanford, 1991-94)||74|
|10. Carson Palmer (USC, 1998-02)||72|
|10. Keith Price (Washington, 2010-present)||72|
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com.