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How Austin Seferian-Jenkins changes the Washington Huskies' offense, from new formations to a variety of personnel packages.
Chris Polk accumulated 189 yards rushing, Keith Price threw three touchdowns and the Husky defense caused five turnovers in Washington's 31-14 victory over the Utah Utes at Rice Elles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar and Kasen Williams all caught touchdown passes from Price in the second half, who played Saturday's game limping on his left leg. Price is now second in the country with 17 touchdowns to Baylor's quarterback Robert Griffin III who has 18 touchdowns through five games.
The Huskies got on the board in the first nine seconds of the game after redshirt freshman Jamaal Kearse picked up a forced fumble on the opening kickoff and took it 17 yards to the house giving the Huskies a 7-0 lead. Sophomore Garrett Gilliard laid a punishing hit on Utah's Ryan Lacy that ended up popping the ball out of Lacy's hands.
Washington (4-1, 2-0) only led 10-7 at halftime, but thanks to the performance of Chris Polk and an injury to Jordan Wynn in the second half, the Huskies were able to cruise to victory over the Utes. Wynn left the game with a left shoulder injury in the third quarter. Utah (2-2, 0-2) was outscored 21-0 by Washington in the second half and could not get anything going offensively.
The junior running back set up several red zone opportunities in the second half for the Huskies, including a 49-yard run in the third quarter that eventually led to a Price to Kasen Williams touchdown.
Price, despite his fragile left knee, went 22 for 30 and passed for 226 yards with one interception. The sophomore quarterback will be looking forward to the upcoming bye week to fully recover and be one hundred percent when the Huskies face Colorado at home in two weeks.
Washington's secondary which has received a lot of criticism so far this season, responded with two interceptions and several key stops to hold the Utes to only 14 points.
The Washington Huskies offense made the appropriate first half adjustments and went on to score on their very first drive of the second half, giving them a two possession lead over Utah. Running back Chris Polk broke out for a 49 yard run, putting the Huskies into Utah territory.
A couple of plays later, Keith Price found tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 13-yard completion that moved Washington to Utah's nine yard line. The Huskies put the ball in the end zone two plays later when wide receiver Kasen Williams caught a jailbreak screen pass from Price.
After Utah's Jordan Wynn left the game with an injured left shoulder, backup quarterback Jon Hays threw an interception to Washington cornerback Gregory Ducre. The Huskies capitalized on Utah's fourth turnover and drove the ball 53 yards on four plays, scoring on a 23 yard strike from Keith Price to Jermaine Kearse and giving the Huskies a 24-7 lead.
Utah will have to move the ball through the air and find a way to stop Huskies running back Chris Polk to get back into this game in the fourth quarter.
Utah Utes junior quarterback Jordan Wynn was taken out of Saturday's game during the third quarter after injuring his left shoulder. Going into this game, the health of Wynn's left shoulder was being put into question by Utah fans and media.
Wynn underwent surgery on the same shoulder that was being checked out by Utah's trainers after he was taken out of the game. Wynn was 12 for 17 with 149 total passing yards and one touchdown and one interception before leaving the game.
Backup quarterback junior Jon Hays entered the game for Utah, but threw an interception on his very first play. Wynn's departure hurts Utah's chances in coming back, with Washington up 24-7, and the Utes needing to move the ball through the air.
Pac-12 Football sideline reporter Jeremy Bloom said that Utah is not saying anything about Wynn's injury and that it does not look like he'll return in this game.
After the Washington Huskies and Utah Utes both scored touchdowns within the first seven minutes of the game, the two teams traded possession of the football for the rest of the first half. Huskies kicker Erik Folk gave Washington the 10-7 lead after converting a 44 yard field goal with time expiring in the first half.
Utah blew two consecutive opportunities to score touchdowns by turning the ball over twice in the red zone in the second quarter. First, after driving 53 yards all the way to Washington's 13 yard line, freshman safety Sean Parker picked off Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn.
Then, after the Huskies failed to get anything done on the subsequent offensive possession and punted back to Utah, the Utes drove the ball 34 yards down the field all the way to Washington's fifteen yard line. However, the Utes turned the ball over again, this time a fumble by Dres Anderson forced by the Huskies' Desmond Trufant.
Second half stats are relatively even, with the difference so far being turnovers; Washington with one, Utah with three. The Huskies have scored all ten of their points off of Utah's turnovers.
Washington's offense has struggled mightily so far. Head Coach Steve Sarkisian will have to get creative in the second half and figure out how to get the run game going without quarterback Keith Price's mobility in the pocket. Price is noticeably limping and will have to be careful the rest of the game to avoid further injuring his legs.
In the season opener against Eastern Washington, Price sprained his right knee and started wearing a custom brace. Then, the next week against Nebraska he sprained his left knee and switched his brace to his left leg.
Price was noticeably limping near the end of the Huskies' game against Cal last week, and already is visibly limping on that same left knee in Saturday's game against Utah.
The Huskies offensive line has been struggling all game, and as a result Price has been taking some hard hits,
Price is on the #uwhuskies bench getting right ankle taped after limping off from that last sack. tied at 7, mid 2Q (Via: @gbellseattle)
Price's limited mobility looks like it was effecting his ability to escape blitzes and find open receivers in the first half.
The Washington Huskies started off fast, with redshirt freshman Jamaal Kearse picking up a forced a fumble on the opening kickoff and taking it 17 yards to the house giving the Huskies a 7-0 lead only nine seconds into the game. Sophomore Garrett Gilliard laid a punishing hit on Utah's Ryan Lacy that ended up popping the ball out of Lacy's hands.
Utah came roaring back two drives later on a 16 yard touchdown pass from Utes quarterback Jordan Wynn to wide receiver Dres Anderson. The Utes took possession of the ball at their own 32 yard line after the Huskies failed to convert on a fourth-and-one situation.
Washington captured the momentum early on with a forced fumble for a touchdown and a Josh Shirley sack on Jordan Wynn on Utah's first offensive play of the game, however, Utah has gotten its crowd back into the game after preventing the Huskies from scoring on their first three drives.
This weekend's conference matchup between the Washington Huskies and Utah Utes is a big one. Both teams have bowl game aspirations and a win would go a long ways towards making that happen. UW has a chance to start conference play at 2-0 with a victory in Salt Lake City, while the Utes are looking for their first Pac-12 win of the year.
Here is all of the game day coverage you will need for the matchup:
Kickoff: 7:00 EDT / 4:00 PDT
Previous Matchup: The two programs have not faced each other since 1979.
Television Coverage: ROOT Sports in the Northwest, Fox Sports Net across the country. Check local listings.
Radio: The Washington ISP Sports Network, with its flagship station KJR 950-AM; gohuskies.com will stream the radio broadcast, as will XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Online Stream: None of the national carriers are streaming this game online.
This game projects to be a closely contested one and either team could come away with a victory. The Huskies will have to deal with a large crowd and elevation changes could affect their play, but the coaching staff should have the team prepared.
The Huskies may not always stop the opposition as they work the football down the field, but they have earned a reputation of a team capable of coming up with big stops and bending instead of breaking in close games. As the Salt Lake Tribune explains, UW has made a habit of late-game heroics.
The Huskies are giving up 453.2 yards of total offense, but are utilizing the "bend but don't break" philosophy to its fullest extent.
The Huskies kept Cal out of the end zone to preserve a 31-23 victory, forcing a turnover on downs, after the Bears drove 85 yards to Washington's 2-yard line.
Earlier in the year, cornerback Desmond Trufant made an interception late in the game to preserve a 30-27 win over Eastern Washington.
While UW did 'break' instead of 'bend' in the second half against Nebraska, their ability to keep the opposition from blowing a game wide open is going to be crucial in conference play. That begins with Utah this weekend, a team that has succeeded in the red zone this season.
Opponents are still finding success - scoring 18 out of 20 trips to the red zone, including 11 touchdowns - but the defense is finding ways to get things done when it must, said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
"They get the stops when they have to," Whittingham said. "They bend a little through the course of a game, then they get the stops."
Something will have to give Saturday, since Utah's offense has done well in the red zone this year.
Will the 'Dawgs be able to slow the Utes down a steal a victory in Salt Lake City? Or will their fortunate ways end in a hostile road environment? We'll find out Saturday.
Kevin Cacabelos (SB Nation Seattle)
Utah 24, Washington 23
UW may have the offensive weapons, but overcoming Utah's home field advantage will be difficult. Additionally, Norm Chow will carve up Nick Holt's defense.
Colorado 30, Washington St. 21
The Buffaloes defense will be too much for the Cougars to overcome. Plus, Colorado has the home field advantage.
John Berkowitz (UW Dawg Pound)
Washington 35, Utah 27
This is a definitely a tough one to predict but I am going with Washington because I truly believe they have the ability to outscore Utah. The performances of Keith Price, Chris Polk, and the depth at all the skill positions will be the difference in a 35-27 win on the road which will give the Huskies a 4-1 record heading into the bye week.
Washington St. 27, Colorado 24
Colorado isn't very good but they almost knocked off California at home which should be a big red flag for Cougar fans. This one will be close but I think WSU's offense has just a little more spark.
Brian Elsner (Wait For It Seattle)
Washington 34, Utah 28
There are a lot of reasons to pick against the Dawgs this week. A road game. A team picked to win the Pac-12 South. Utah destroyed BYU two weeks ago. Kyle Whittingham has never lost coming off a bye. Wait, why am I picking the Dawgs? Oh yeah! Keith Price. I am a believer. How can you not be? With Price throwing the ball and a determined Chris Polk running, UW will do just enough to pull it out. They will need to win the turnover battle (Utah is +9 this year) and get some field position on special teams (Utah also #1 on kick return coverage), but the Huskies will make it happen in a big road win.
Colorado 31, Washington State 21
This is a huge game for the Cougs as they sit at 2-1. Colorado is an opponent who is ripe for beating, but unfortunately the Lobster fest ends this week. The Buffs are No. 1 in the Pac-12 in pass defense and that is the current strength of the Cougar offense in Marshall Lobbestael. A back up quarterback can only take you so far despite his dominance in leading the Pac-12 in passer rating thus far. Colorado was 4-2 last year at home including a win over Georgia. The home field advantage wins it in this one.
Erik Kariya (SeaTown Sports)
Utah 20, UW 18.
In which we confirm that Utah's defense is quite good, even in a Pac-12 context.
Colorado 42, WSU 19.
We just saw what happens when WSU faces some semblance of an offense. Colorado, like San Diego State, has some semblance of an offense. Also, Colorado is defending the pass pretty decently this year, so that's a thing.
Jeff Nusser (CougCenter)
Utah 28, Washington24
Not sure why this line has creeped so high, but I do think Washington will have a tough time. Too many factors working against the Huskies -- road game, no Jamora, Utes off a bye.
Colorado 35, Washington St. 31
I want to believe. I really do. But I'm just not sure they'll be able to hold it together late.
Craig Powers (CougCenter)
Utah 34 Washington 27
The spread seems a little high on this one. The way Keith Price is rolling, I don't doubt the Huskies can put up points and because of that this pick makes me very uncomfortable. Utah will be wanting to make a statement with their opening Pac-12 game, and UW will be walking into a supercharged environment. I see a mistake or two, similar to the Nebraska game, sending Huskies home with a loss.
Colorado 28 Washington St. 24
I think WSU could run all over the Colorado defense (possibly anyone could). However, I believe that WSU will actually try to pass all over the Colorado defense and Marshall Lobbesteal will see a lot of pressure from blitzing linebackers, leading to a few more mistakes. Still not confident the Cougar D can hold a decent opponent to less than four touchdowns. This pick makes me sad.
James Satterberg (SeaTown Sports)
Utah 35, Washington 31
Washington has proven what kind of team they are: they can score with the best of them, but their defense is suspect. Even against Cal, at home, the Huskies were scary close to blowing the game because of their defense. Utah and the Huskies are similar teams in quality, and I think it will be very close, but I think Utah will prevail because of the home field advantage that they will have for their first ever pac-12 home game.
Washington St. 28, Colorado 20
This is a must win game for WSU. They have three wins, and play arguably the three worst teams in the Pac-12 in UCLA, Colorado, and Oregon State. The Cougars have a very good chance at bowl eligibility, and I think for that reason they will be fired up enough to beat the Buffaloes at home. It will be a tough game, but the Cougars passing game will be too much for Colorado. The Lobbester will have a very good game this Saturday.
Adding the University of Utah made sense geographically when the Pac-10 conference decided to expand, but there was an aspect of playing in Salt Lake City that everyone may not have considered: the elevation. And if these tweets from the media and members of the Washington Huskies football team are any indication of things to come, the change in elevation will have a pretty decent effect on Saturday's game:
Breathing in utah feel like I got a pillow over my face..
College football writer Scott Enyeart also tweeted some information:
Sounds like a few of the Washington Husky players are a little surprised by the elevation in SLC based on their tweets
The elevation and climate change from the Seattle area to Salt Lake City is certainly a pretty drastic change the the Huskies will need to adjust accordingly for it. That means substituting at a much higher frequency, oxygen masks on the sidelines, and even a slight change in play calling. The UW coaching staff should be well aware of these potential changes and they need to have their players ready for the Pac-12 showdown this weekend.
For more on the Huskies, check out UW Dawg Pound for further coverage.
Junior quarterback Jordan Wynn and sophomore linebacker Trevor Reilly are two players the Washington Huskies need to watch out for in Saturday's game against the Utah Utes.
Keith Price has been wrecking it up as a redshirt sophomore, which has been critical for keeping Washington's offense moving forward. But he's going to have his hands full in his second straight road test, as he'll almost certainly need to throw the ball effectively to notch UW their first road win of the season.
Washington rush offense vs Utah rush defense
For all the talk about Chris Polk coming into the season, this has been the quietest part of Washington's offense this season. The Huskies are averaging only 4.1 yards per rushing attempt on the ground, making Price's success all the more impressive. Washington has been straight stonewalled on first down (3.79 yards per rush), forcing more obvious passing situations than Steve Sarkisian would have liked.
Won't get any easier against the Utes. Utah has one of the top rush defenses in the country, giving up less than 80 rushing yards per game, 2.64 yards per attempt, and only one ground touchdown on the season. Washington will almost certainly have to rely on Price again for the Huskies to get to 4-1.
Washington pass offense vs Utah pass defense
Hard to find many weaknesses for Price up to this point in his stat numbers. He's completing two-thirds of his passes and looks pretty solid in almost every situation he faces. In the red zone he's pretty much automatic, with TEN touchdowns on 20 passing attempts and a 304 passer rating.
Utah's defense might be the most formidable test for Price this season, as the Utes have been able to slow down Matt Barkley and Jake Heaps in their first two big tests of the season. The Utes only allow a 56.4% completion rate (37th in the nation), 6.8 yards per pass attempt (53rd in the nation), and most importantly, three passing touchdowns (tied for 17th). Hardly a spectacular pass D, but they could provide Price with his first real heat check as a Pac-12 starter in Salt Lake City.
With just about 24 hours left before kickoff with the Utah Utes, the Washington Huskies are looking to get themselves as healthy as possible for their crucial divisional matchup out in Salt Lake City.
Safety Nate Fellner is looking to suit up this Saturday after a hamstring problem back in week two has kept him sidelined ever since. Fellner has been practicing at full speed this week and is looking like a go against the Utes. Justin Glenn has filled in nicely in his absence, but will be relinquishing the position back to the Huskies second-leading returning tackler from last season this weekend.
Linebacker John Timu will unfortunately be doubtful this Saturday after a nasty practice hit left him on a stretcher heading to the hospital earlier this week. Timu has dressed but not participated in practice this week but is OK after his scary helmet-to-helmet hit in practice:
"He's got a sore neck," said head coach Steve Sarkisian. "I guess it would be equivalent to getting whiplash or something, if you were in a car accident, would be the best way to describe it. There's nothing structurally wrong. There's nothing neurologically wrong, which is obviously a great sign."
The redshirt Timu has 11 tackles already for the Huskies, though he will likely be replaced with Jamal Kearse agaist Utah this Staturday.
For more on the Huskies, head over to the UW Dawg Pound.
It's not all bad news for the Huskeis. Divish also reports that the head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Huskies will try to get another year of eligibility for Fogerson due to his upcoming knee injury. That would allow the running back to return next year, hopefully with a healthy knee.
Running back Jesse Callier is also dealing with an injury. Callier was limited in Wednesday's practice, according to the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta. He hopes to play on Saturday, and the team will certainly need him with Fogerson gone.
Bishop Sankey could also see some touches on Saturday, according to Divish. The Huskies face Utah in an important Pac-12 game, and the team will need to overcome its recent turnover at running back to get the win.
The Washington Huskies pass defense has had ... issues, as they're ranked near the bottom of all major FBS schools in passing yards given up. On their first big sequence against the California Golden Bears, UW gave up a 90 yard touchdown connection from Zach Maynard to Keenan Allen on 3rd and 20. Nice play by the Bears, but some horrible recognition by Washington defenders.
The juggling continues at cornerback. Desmond Trufant isn't losing his job anytime soon, but Greg Ducre and Quinton Richardson are battling with Anthony Gobern for the other spot. Bob Condotta of the Husky Football Blog has more.
Washington might have the perfect person they can try and fine-tune their troubles with when they take on the Utah Utes. Jordan Wynn has not been producing up to the level of his Pac-12 contemporaries. His yards per pass attempt are down, as is his completion percentage. Both of those figures have to improve if the Utes plan on seriously contending for the Pac-12 crown this season. Wynn cannot play like he did against USC and expect to win many future games.
The Washington Huskies face off with the Utah Utes with a thinned defensive line, as Hau'oli Jamora is out for the season and will be replaced by redshirt freshman Josh Shirley.
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