STANFORD, Calif. – Washington looked every bit the part of the nation’s most penalized team on Saturday night, committing eight infractions in the game’s first half.
Those eight penalties cost the Huskies 64 yards, and some of them came at crucial junctures.
There was the holding penalty that wiped out a first-down carry by running back Bishop Sankey on 4th-and-1 inside Stanford’s 35-yard line in the first quarter.
A penalty against defensive end Hau’oli Kikaha for illegal hands to the face prolonged a Cardinal possession after Hogan had been dropped short of the first down on a third-down scramble.
And the Huskies were called for an illegal chop block on a 3rd-and-12 completion by Keith Price to Kasen Williams that would have been a first down.
Not all of the flags were clear-cut. Freshman receiver Darrell Daniels appeared to lay a hard, clean block with his shoulder against a Stanford player during a UW punt return, but was flagged for unnecessary roughness. The call drew a dissenting reaction from Huskies fans seated in the northeast corner of the stadium.
Montgomery the man
To say Ty Montgomery began torturing Washington on Stanford’s first play from scrimmage would be inaccurate.
He started before that.
Montgomery, a 6-2, 215-pound receiver, returned the game’s opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to put the Cardinal ahead immediately, and proved to be a thorn for UW’s defense the rest of the night.
The Huskies had slightly better luck when Montgomery took a reverse handoff on Stanford’s first snap of the game. On that play, Montgomery managed only a 26-yard gain before being pushed out of bounds.
Washington’s defense held Stanford and Montgomery in check for most of the rest of the first half, until Montgomery snuck past UW cornerback Marcus Peters, hauled in a 39-yard pass from receiver Kevin Hogan and sauntered across the goal line to give the Cardinal a 17-7 lead with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.
All told, Montgomery touched the ball four times in the first half, and gained 170 yards in the process.
The score was crucial, because UW had just registered on the scoreboard and appeared to seize some momentum with a 12-play, 88-yard touchdown drive that made it 10-7 with 1:03 left before halftime.