Purple & Gold Night at Century Link
The Washington Huskies for their second straight season opened their season with a win to begin the year. This year the UW Huskies defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 21-12 in a game that featured defense.
Last time we saw these Huskies play they scored 56 points in a bowl game and still lost.
While this year it was a complete contrast as the Huskies offense didn’t score a single point after their first two drives yet won the game.
Like I’ll be doing all season long I’ll give out game balls to each unit on the team.
Offensive Game Ball: Kasen Williams
Before I go into why I think Kasen Williams deserves the game ball I’ll talk about the other two. Keith Price set the tone early on as he was 11-12 passing for 88 yards with a touchdown on his first two drives both resulting in Washington touchdowns.
Price finished the game 25-35 for 222 yards with a touchdown plus 17 yards rushing.
For any other quarterback that would get a game ball but the bar has been set high for Price. He has set the bar himself calling this one of his worst games he has played. He did take a few bad sacks and overall the offense not getting going has to fall some on him despite the poor offensive line play.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins recorded a career high nine receptions and a team leading 82 yards receiving. The Aztecs like every other team in the nation is going to find out is that you can’t cover Seferian-Jenkins.
Stick a linebacker on him he is too quick and athletic. Stick a corner on him and he is too tall and physical. Was hoping the Huskies would have went to him more in the red zone particularly on the key Bishop Sankey fumble in the red zone.
My game ball goes to Kasen Williams who recorded six receptions for 75 yards with a touchdown. Williams the heralded five star recruit just like Seferian-Jenkins is stepping into a new role this year.
Last year he was the new kid on the block and due to injury plus graduation he is now the veteran of the wide receiver group.
The reason I give it to Williams is because:
- A) he caught a touchdown.
- B) his second touchdown was one of the most incredible touchdowns I had seen and if not for a terrible call by the officials(more on them later) he would have had another touchdown of 39 yards.
I also give it to Williams because outside of him only five receptions were made by Huskies receivers, three of which were by true freshman.
Price needed that veteran to step up and although only a sophomore Williams delivered. He had zero drops, picked up first downs while having a nice touchdown. Twice on a wide receiver screen he was blown up yet turned it into big plays by making his defender miss.
Look for Williams, Price and Seferian-Jenkins to receive plenty of game balls from me.
Defensive Game Ball: Travis Feeney
Josh Shirley was constantly forcing pressure on the Aztecs quarterback Ryan Katz. Shirley officially had just one sack but had several hurries and disrupted the first two point conversation miss by the Aztecs after they scored a touchdown on a freaky play that Sarkisian thought was illegal.
Sean Parker is now a junior and being an upperclassman it showed. He recorded eight tackles in the game. He was constantly in the Aztecs backfield reminding Husky fans of Lawyer Milloy. Parker is a talented former four-star recruit who was going to go to USC until signing day changed his mind and went to the Huskies.
Now my game ball goes to a kid who wasn’t a big recruit. In fact Travis Feeney was a two-star safety who redshirted last season. Playing in his first career game while starting at linebacker in place of the injured Nate Fellner he had a great game.
He recorded five tackles, two tackles for loss, one quarterback sack while forcing a fumble. Feeney gave the Huskies speed out there and was all over the field.
Normally this is where I give a game ball to someone on special teams but nobody on the Huskies special teams deserves a game ball so I’ll pass for this week. Instead I’ll do something I never do which is complain about the officiating.
I thought the officiating in this game flat out sucked. I thought the first Aztecs touchdown was horrible as that was an illegal play, what the Aztecs did was illegal substitution as he wasn’t even in the huddle. Also Sarkisian was there calling timeout yet there was no timeout granted.
Fast forward the Huskies are driving to end the half and Price gets in trouble rolls to his right fires a bomb as Williams makes an incredible touchdown catch. Only the officials call offensive pass interference on Williams on a highly questionable call.
After a 20 yard pass by Price he would then scramble for a big run as the officials again wiped it away with another questionable holding penalty.
As the Huskies led 21-6 the Aztecs went for it on fourth and goal from the one yard line.
Again the replay showed the Aztecs ball carrier did not cross the plane and that shouldn’t have been a touchdown yet it was called one.
Some pretty terrible calls in this game that went against the Huskies.
Special Game Ball: Justin Wilcox
The last time the Washington Huskies won a game without scoring 30 points or more was in the 2010 Holiday Bowl victory over Nebraska Cornhuskers 19-7.
The last time the Huskies won a game without scoring an offensive touchdown in the second half was their memorable upset win over #3 USC Trojans 16-13 in 2009.
The last time the Washignton Huskies won a game scoring zero offensive points in the second half? 2007 when they defeated #24 Boise State Broncos 24-10 in the Tyrone Willingham era.
That is why this win is so impressive because the offense didn’t play well. Justin Wilcox coaching his first game as defensive coordinator for the Huskies had a great gameplan.
The Huskies were like the Jim Lambright Huskies where they were constantly attacking the quarterback sacking him four times while creating three turnovers.
The Huskies scored 14 points off those turnovers including the Will Shamburger fumble recovery for a touchdown.
So for this game I’m giving Justin Wilcox an honorary game ball as he was the game MVP this game.
The defense won this game and as a Huskies fan who has suffered through horrible defenses I couldn’t be any prouder of this group!