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October 15, 2011
Huskies' offense erupts against Buffaloes
SEATTLE - Coming off of a bye week, the hungry Washington Huskies rolled on Saturday in one of their best offensive performances in a decade.
Riding on the shoulders of quarterback Keith Price, the Huskies dominated Colorado, 52-24, the first time since 2001 that the Huskies have scored 50 points in a game.
Washington improved to 5-1 for its best start since 2001. The 3-0 mark in the Pac-12 is the Huskies' best conference start since 1997.
Price threw four first-half touchdowns on a sunny afternoon at Husky Stadium as the Huskies built a 38-10 advantage and sent out an alert that they should be considered for national poll consideration.
"The first half was obviously one of the best halves of football since we've been here," coach Steve Sarkisian said.
Price threw two touchdowns in the second quarter and Erik Folk added a 41-yard field goal giving the Huskies a 38-10 halftime lead.
The Huskies scored touchdowns on their first five possessions of the game, the shortest of which was a 56-yard drive.
Even Nick Montana got in his first work as a Husky as he relieved Price late in the third quarter and finished the game.
"We were clicking on all cylinders today and if we go out and execute like we did it just allows us to keep up the tempo and keep driving," said wide receiver Devin Aguilar, one of four different Huskies who caught touchdown passes.
While Price had a day to remember, connecting on 21 of 28 passes for 258 yards and no interceptions, it was a complete effort on offense. Seven different Huskies scored touchdowns in the game, including scores from true freshmen Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
"It's fascinating," Sarkisian said about seven different Huskies scoring touchdowns. "I'm not calling plays for a specific guy. We're calling the best plays for the moment and not concerned about who might be the guy and 'can he make that play.'"
It was the first career touchdown for Sankey, who finished with 71 yards rushing. Fellow running back Jesse Callier also scored his first career touchdown, running for 83 yards on the day.
Wide receiver Kevin Smith also got into the end zone on the ground against Colorado on an end around play in the first quarter. It was his first career touchdown.
To go along with Sankey, Seferian-Jenkins, Callier, and Smith; Chris Polk, Devin Aguilar and Jermaine Kearse all scored on touchdown passes from Price.
One of the biggest reasons for the Huskies' dominance on offense was their ability to run the football against Colorado. The Huskies finished with 295 yards rushing on the day.
"We pride ourselves on running the football," Sarkisian said. "I believe in running the football. That's how you win."
Washington had 562 yards of total offense and compiled 31 first downs.
"We didn't handle the run," Colorado coach Jon Embree said. "We didn't do anything well defensively this game."
For the Huskies, they'll take their positive momentum into a Pac-12 showdown. Next week they will visit Stanford in a game that will be one of their toughest tests of the season.
The Cardinal are ranked in the top 10 in the nation and the Huskies know winning that game won't be easy.
"It's going to take a lot of hard work to get the win down there," center Drew Schaefer said. "We're going to have to play smart football and get started working on Monday."
For now though the Huskies can enjoy their big victory and quick start to their season as they appear well on their way to their second bowl appearance in as many years.
It didn't take long for the Huskies to jump all over Colorado on Saturday.
Price connected with Jermaine Kearse for a 17-yard touchdown pass on the first drive of the game and the Washington offense never looked back.
The Buffaloes looked like they were going to make it a close game. They also scored on their first possession. Tyler Hansen drove his team down the field and tied the game at 7 with his own touchdown pass to Kyle Cefalo from five yards.
That was the last time Colorado looked like it would ever have a chance. The Huskies scored two more touchdowns in the first quarter to take a 21-7 lead.
Colorado kicked a field goal to pull within 11 points early in the second quarter, but that was the closest they would ever get to the Huskies in the game as the defense puts the clamps on after the sluggish start.
"I don't think we underestimated them at all," defensive end Josh Shirley said. "We just had to read our keys and do what we were coached to do. I think in the end it worked out for us."
The four touchdowns Price had at halftime were all he finished with, but the total kept him at the top of the Pac-12 conference and in second place in the nation for passing touchdowns.
Follow UDubNation's Mitchell Larsen on Twitter @MLarsen_Rivals