SEATTLE – The expansion of the Pacific-10 Conference didn’t seem to have given the University of Washington football team any immediate competitive advantages, not with national powers Oregon and Stanford among the six-team North Division in which the Huskies play.
But if nothing else, realignment has helped the Huskies pile up offensive numbers and early wins.
For the second game in a row, Washington hammered a Pac-12 newbie on Saturday afternoon, buffaloing Colorado 52-24 in what could be considered a tune-up for the big time. The Huskies (5-1 overall, 3-0 in the Pac-12 for the first time in 14 years) face No. 7 Stanford on Saturday and may well be carrying a Top 25 ranking into that game.
“I like where we’re headed – offensively and defensively,” said quarterback Keith Price, whose Huskies beat conference newcomers Utah and Colorado by an aggregate score of 83-38 in back-to-back games this month. “I think we’re proving a lot of people wrong, and we just have to keep building.”
The game got so out of hand that the Huskies were running up the score … before halftime.
After scoring touchdowns on each of their first five possessions, and taking a 35-10 lead in the process, the Huskies called two timeouts after back-to-back sacks in an effort to add on points going into the half. UW got the ball back, completed two quick passes but eventually stalled out and had to settle for a third-down field goal, and a 38-10 halftime lead.
“Man, it was amazing,” UW receiver James Johnson said of the first half. “Everything that we did, we felt like we couldn’t really be stopped – and we showed that out on the field.”
The Huskies’ offense was so dominant in the first half that it needed only six third downs on six total drives. Five of those were converted, while the sixth resulted in the last-second field goal.
UW piled up 379 yards and 22 first downs over the opening 30 minutes, dwarfing Colorado’s respective totals of 104 and six.
Price completed 18 of 23 passes for 230 yards and four touchdowns before halftime, giving him a passer rating of 219.65.
Meanwhile, four UW runners – Chris Polk, Jesse Callier, Bishop Sankey (Gonzaga Prep) and wide receiver Kevin Smith – had runs of 11 yards or longer as the Huskies piled up 149 first-half rushing yards.
Sankey scored the Huskies’ final touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run.