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Situation ripe for UW’s Sankey

Fri., Oct. 18, 2013, midnight

Saturday afternoon’s game at Sun Devil Stadium looks like a favorable matchup for Bishop Sankey and the Washington ground game.

Arizona State ranks 77th in the nation, allowing 168.8 yards rushing per game. Sankey leads the nation with an average of 149.8 yards rushing.

But ask UW’s understated junior standout from Gonzaga Prep about the matchup and, well, a shoulder shrug amounts to a burst of excitement for Sankey.

“They are a good ‘D’,” Sankey said of the Sun Devils. “They’ve been playing good this whole season.”

Two other backs have shined in Sun Devil Stadium this season.

Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon rushed for 193 yards on 15 carries last month. USC’s Tre Madden had 128 yards on 20 carries two weeks later. ASU won both.

ASU coach Todd Graham said Sankey is as good as anyone the Sun Devils have seen.

“The thing that has been our nemesis all year has been the big-play runs,” Graham said. “The key to run defense is great tackling. We’ve got to attack and initiate and create turnovers.”

Sankey, who rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns in UW’s loss to No. 2 Oregon last week, is on pace for a school-record 1,798 yards.

“Day in and day out, he’s so consistent,” UW coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I’m really proud of everything he’s accomplished up to this point.”

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