November 27, 2011 in Sports

Vince Grippi’s Keys to the WSU-UW Game


What went right

The second quarter was about as well as Washington State can play offensively. With Marshall Lobbestael given time, he carved up the Husky secondary to the tune of 113 yards on 8-of-10 passing. That also included two touchdown strikes, one to Jared Karstetter and one to Marquess Wilson. Still, after scoring with a little more than two minutes left, the Huskies went into the locker room with momentum.

What went wrong

The opening four drives were choppy, to be charitable. The Cougars first possession began with a 5-yard false-start penalty on center Matt Goetz. That was followed up with a grounding call on Lobbestael. And the capper was a blocked punt for a score. Then the next three possessions resulted in two big plays, two punts and a fumble. By the time WSU got the ball back for the fifth time, it trailed by two touchdowns.

Turning point

Despite the slow start, WSU pulled into a tie with 125 seconds to halftime. Then WSU did something it did against Colorado, kick short and give the opponent good field position. Starting at its 39, Washington covered the 61 yards in just seven plays, with Kasem Williams taking care of the final 38 yards himself. With his 21-yard touchdown reception from Keith Price with 24 seconds before the half, he gave UW momentum.

Difference maker

It was Price, whose arm was the difference on a night when WSU limited the Huskies to 143 yards on the ground. Though he only threw 29 times, his 21 completions were good for 291 yards and three touchdowns. The other heroes for the Huskies? Their front four which came up with seven sacks after entering the game ninth in the Pac-12.

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