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Washington Huskies Defeat No. 8 Stanford Cardinal in Shocking Upset

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wide receiver Kasen Williams #2 of the Washington Huskies celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Stanford Cardinal on September 27, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2012

In their own building, the Washington Huskies upset the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal 17-13.

It was a "blackout" night at CenturyLink Field; the Cardinal, though, were the ones blacked out by the end of this matchup.

Washington's last win against a Top 10 team was against USC in 2009. They got another one against the team that got the better of USC this season.

The turnaround concluded with Desmond Trufant's interception of Josh Nunez on Stanford's last gasp.

That moment capped a banner day for the defense, which bottled up Stanford star RB Stepfan Taylor for only 75 yards. Washington's run defense was so good, in fact, that Taylor's longest run on the night was seven yards.

On the other side, Washington running back Bishop Sankey played like the best ball-carrier in this game. The Huskies needed a big game out of him, and he gave them even more. He finished with 144 yards on carries with a 7.2 yards per carry average.

The other star skill player for the Huskies was WR Kasen Williams; 10 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown that would prove to be the difference. Williams did what Marquis Lee and Robert Woods couldn't do for Southern Cal: He made a game-winning play to outlast Stanford.

The Huskies front seven played physical against Stanford's vaunted rushing attack all night; they made the running game that annoyed USC look elementary.

What makes this victory even more impressive for Washington is they were without up to 16 key contributors on both sides of the ball, including four out of five starting offensive linemen.

Steve Sarkisian's group, though, would never quit; they showed their mettle in the game's second half.

The Huskies were tested at their low point when Stanford's Trent Murphy intercepted Keith Price for a touchdown in the third quarter. At the end of the night, the Huskies' signal-caller never wavered, throwing the winning score to Williams with five minutes left.

Stanford's Achilles' heel in this matchup was the lack of speed on the outside. Outside of Zach Ertz and his 100-yard receiving day, Stanford QB Josh Nunez did not have much help in the passing game. He connected with only four receivers the entire night.

It seems Sarkisian's skill players were better than the ones on the No. 8 team in the country. Perhaps the Huskies are finally ready to be a force out West; they sure looked like it Friday night. The Huskies' fans rushed the field after knocking off the top-10 foe; they knew how big this win was.

While Washington takes another step towards Pac-12 ascension, Stanford may miss Andrew Luck more than they thought.

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