It was a stormy opening to Pac-12 Conference play at Husky Stadium today against Arizona, and it was that rainfall and the accompanying wind that dictated the style of the contest. A shootout through the air simply wasn’t an option, so both teams relied heavily on their proven feature backs, Bishop Sankey for Washington and Ka’Deem Carey for Arizona. Both players were expected to have game-altering roles, but the intensity of the weather simply took that a step further.
Ka’Deem Carey was ruggedly effective with his 30 carries, fighting for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also added four catches for 49 yards. It was unrealistic to expect Washington to shut down or bottle up such a talented back, especially when he was given so many touches. The defense instead tried to avoid massive plays from the dynamic back (his longest run was 13 yards but he did catch a 24-yard pass) while harassing and chasing B.J. Denker.
It also helped that Bishop Sankey took Carey’s blue-collar attitude to another level, toting the ball a whopping, school-record 40 times for 161 yards and a score.
That does not mean, however, that quarterback play was of no consequence. Keith Price’s final stat line of 14/25 for 165 yards, two touchdowns and one interception lacks flash, but in a game that was close for much of the second half, Price picked up his play to close out the win with multiple long drives down field and a clutch 1-yard touchdown to Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
On the other side, B.J. Denker’s errors turned out to be key to Arizona’s defeat. He threw an interception to Sean Parker to end his first possession of the game, and then he just about sealed his team’s fate with a second pick to Marcus Peters late in the fourth quarter.
The final score was decisive, and Washington is 4-0. They did not run over the Wildcats, but it’s clear that a lot has changed for both teams since last year’s 52-17 beatdown in Tuscon, one of the lowest points in Washington’s season. Much can be learned from and much can be fixed, and it’s likely much will need fixing for the Huskies to defeat the top-5 Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto a week from today, but Husky fans still have every reason to be excited for the future of this team.
More on this game, and next week’s contest, tomorrow and throughout the week here at Husky Haul.