Keith Price: Washington QB Helps Fuel First Statement Game of 2012
The Washington Huskies hadn't knocked off a ranked opponent since Jake Locker left for the NFL. Keith Price and Bishop Sankey did just enough on Thursday night to put an end to the streak.
The Huskies were calling the game the "Blackout of the Century" as they encouraged fans to wear black to CenturyLink Field. The home of the Seattle Seahawks is doing double duty in 2012 while Husky Stadium is being renovated.
The effort worked as Washington (3-1) upset No. 8 Stanford (3-1), 17-13.
The biggest issue for Price on Thursday was dealing with the Stanford Cardinal pass rush. His offensive line has had issues over the last several seasons, typically leaving him and his receivers little time to let routes develop.
But Price found time to hit Kasen Williams for two key passes. After one of five first-half three-and-outs for the Husky defense, Washington took over at the Cardinal 49-yard-line.
He had no time on the first two plays of the drive but looked for Williams on a go-route on 3rd-and-10. Price dropped the ball just over the defenders and Williams made a great catch on the sideline.
The drive stalled, but Travis Coons hit a 43-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3.
Poor blocking and untimely penalties on the offensive line curtailed several Husky drives.
What place will the Huskies take in the Pac-12 North?
At the end of the third quarter, Price hit Williams on two consecutive passes to take Washington from 2nd-and-17 to a 4th-and-1 from its 39.
Steve Sarkisian opted to take a chance and Price handed off to Sankey. He found a hole and then plenty of room for a 61-yard touchdown run.
The gutsy move allowed Washington to cut into what looked like a commanding 13-3 Stanford lead.
Price and the Huskies made another fourth-down conversion midway through the fourth quarter. After converting from their own 44, Sankey picked up a first down with a pair of runs.
Then came Price.
He connected on back-to-back 35-yard passes to Williams. The second was a screen pass that started with breaking Terrence Brown's tackle and ended in a touchdown and helped give the Huskies the final 17-13 lead.
Funny thing… I bet, if he were honest, Keith Price would say he was as surprised as anyone Huskies won. Credit to Sark for coaching 'em up.— ESPN_Pac12blog (@ESPN_Pac12blog) September 28, 2012
Washington still has issues to overcome, most notably the play of its offensive line. But its defense is starting to gel under new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. It held Stanford to just 235 of total offense.
Price is reminding fans why they were so excited about his prospects a season ago. Life doesn't get easy for the Husky quarterback, though. He faces No. 2 Oregon and 13th-ranked USC over the next two weeks.
If his line can give him time, he may not be done engineering upsets.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.
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