Through two quarters, the Washington defense has stepped up and shut down Sean Mannion and the Oregon State offense. Not only has Mannion been limited to 82 yards and two interceptions, the run game has also been taken away completely, as Storm Woods has only accounted for 29 yards on the ground.
In particular, the defensive backs, especially Sean Parker, Desmond Trufant, and Shaq Thompson, have displayed a killer instinct. Parker has an interception, and forced another with a big hit on Markus Wheaton, Trufant has locked down his target and tackled well in the open field, and Thompson has sacked Mannion once and laid out several ballcarriers in the flat.
Keith Price has still looked shaky on offense, with only 74 yards and an interception, but Coach Sark has been able to rely heavily on Bishop Sankey, who has carried the ball 15 times in the first half, only one fewer carry than Price has had pass attempts, for a rugged 67 yards and a short touchdown on 4th down.
Overall, energy is incredibly high, and the general attitude of the players and atmosphere on the field is reminiscent of the upset of Stanford earlier this year. If the defense continues to play at this level, it won’t matter how poorly Price plays. Sark can just lean on the run game to run out the clock while his defenders keep that big fat OSU zero hanging on the scoreboard.