I have written a lot about Bishop Sankey since the season began. At first, I discussed him as the less proven half of a two-headed rushing attack. Then, when Jesse Callier went down with an ACL injury, I basically shrugged and wished him good luck trying to carry the load as a sophomore. After a demoralizing 8 carries for 16 yards against LSU, I’ll admit I practically wrote him off, choosing to write about the other backs on the roster who might have to step up to take the pressure off of Keith Price this year. What has Sankey done in the three games since then?
Well, not much. Just three straight games with over 100 yards rushing and at least one touchdown. Just a total of 59 carries for 351 yards (5.94 yards per carry) and 5 touchdowns over that period. After his first big game against Portland State, I downplayed the performance. After the game-changing effort in the upset of Stanford, I tried to contain my optimism. Well, after 104 yards and two scores in a loss to Oregon, in which Bishop may have been the only thing that didn’t make me want to turn off the television, I’m done holding back. I’m in love with Bishop Sankey.
The guy doesn’t care if his quarterback can’t put up numbers, or if the offensive line blocking for him is devastated by injury, or if his team is losing terribly at Autzen Stadium. He just keeps churning his legs until multiple defenders drag him to the ground. If they manage it before he’s in he end zone, that is.
I hesitate to say that he’s the most important Husky on offense, just because we have no idea if Derrick Brown or Cyler Miles are really capable of stepping in and running the offense if Keith Price were to be injured, no matter how much he has struggled as of late, but he has certainly been the biggest contributor thus far. Without Sankey’s momentum-grabbing touchdown run to end the 3rd quarter against Stanford, the Huskies probably wouldn’t have won that game. Without Sankey’s two scores last Saturday, the final score against Oregon likely would have been 52-7. And now, against USC, you can bet that without a big game from Sankey, Washington will probably not function well enough on offense to give the defense much of a chance.
If that big game does come for the sophomore from Spokane, he will be one step closer to the Chris Polk-type feature back stardom that I believe he is certainly going to reach. The best part? He is a sophomore. Hopefully Washington will get to enjoy seeing this guy run for many, many more games.