Huskies rebound from being routed at Louisiana State by pounding an overmatched squad.
After the debacle in the Bayou — and with Stanford on the horizon — this was what the Washington Huskies needed.
Portland State was scheduled as the gimme win on the schedule for 2012, and the game served its purpose as the Huskies used a flurry of first-half big plays to rout the Vikings 52-13 in front of 54,922 at CenturyLink Field.
UW led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, then scored 31 in the second — 28 coming in a span of five minutes and 50 seconds — to take a 45-0 halftime lead.
That tied the most points UW has scored in a half (1999 Oregon State and 1980 against Northwestern).
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Still, UW coach Steve Sarkisian was hardly happy as the half ended, which concluded with Washington’s Justin Glenn being flagged for a late hit on a kickoff.
After the half ended, Sarkisian had the players gather around him on a knee and proceeded on an animated lecture for a minute or so.
Asked in his halftime radio comments about his speech, Sarkisian said: “We don’t play that way. We don’t hit guys out of bounds. We don’t taunt opponents. We don’t do that kind of stuff and I wanted to make sure the message was clear.”
Otherwise, the Huskies, coming off a 41-3 loss last week at LSU, were on point from the start against the Vikings.
Portland State, a member of the FCS Big Sky Conference tried to test if the Huskies were still in a Louisiana slumber, attempting an onside kick to begin the game. But UW recovered the kick and quickly drove for a score (taking advantage of a couple of PSU penalties, as well) to take a 7-0 lead with 13:33 remaining in the quarter on a 15-yard run by Bishop Sankey, who had his first 100-yard game as a Husky with 103 on 14 carries.
After a Portland State three-and-out, UW got good field position thanks to a Marvin Hall 20-yard punt return and needed just two plays to score again, this one on a 20-yard pass from Keith Price to DiAndre Campbell.
The rest of the quarter was scoreless, and PSU twice drove into UW territory but was stopped on fourth down each time
The Huskies then used some big special teams and defensive plays to turn the game into a rout.
A 16-yard pass from Travis Coons to safety Sean Parker on a fake punt set up a Price touchdown pass of 3 yards to Kasen Williams that made it 21-0.
After PSU drove to the UW 16, Washington’s Shaq Thompson blocked a field goal and cornerback Tre Watson returned it 79 yards to make the score 28-0 with 10:45 to play in the half.
A PSU three-and-out gave the Huskies the ball again and a 40-yard pass from Price to Austin Seferian-Jenkins led to a 16-yard Price to Seferian-Jenkins touchdown and a 35-0 lead.
On Portland State’s next play, UW cornerback Marcus Peters picked off an ill-advised pass from Kieran McDonagh to make it 42-0.
A 41-yard Coons field goal with three seconds left capped the second-quarter onslaught.
UW left the starters in for one more series to start the third quarter and moved easily down the field for another score, this one coming on a 6-yard run by Sankey to make it 52-0.
That was the last series for Price, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns.
Portland State broke up the shutout with a 70-yard pass from McDonagh to Nevin Lewis midway through the third quarter.
McDonagh tacked on a 4-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter to make it 52-13 and conclude the scoring.
Washington is 2-1 and will take next weekend off before preparing for the beginning of Pac-12 play when Stanford comes to Seattle for a Thursday night game Sept. 27.
Portland State, coached by former Husky safety Nigel Burton, fell to 1-2 in a week in which it fired its defensive coordinator following a 45-37 loss to North Dakota last Saturday.