SEATTLE — Keith Price threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to become the school’s all-time leader, and Washington returned renovated Husky Stadium with a stunning 38-6 blowout of No. 19 Boise State on Saturday, the worst loss in Chris Petersen’s tenure as the Broncos head coach.
Price was intercepted on his first pass in the Huskies newly renovated home on the shores of Lake Washington. And he was nearly perfect from there, the first step in putting a disappointing 2012 season in the past.
Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards. He found Kasen Williams on a 19-yard TD on Washington’s first possession of the second half and his 18-yard strike to Josh Perkins gave Washington a 24-6 lead late in the third quarter. It was Price’s 56th career touchdown, passing Cody Pickett as Washington’s all-time leader.
Petersen’s worst loss was just as ugly as the final score indicated. The Broncos failed to finish drives offensively and simply could not stop Washington.
Boise State’s 24-10 loss at Washington in 2007 was Petersen’s worst setback prior to Saturday night. The Broncos fell to 26-4 under Petersen when given at least 10 days of preparation and was the first time since a 58-0 loss against Washington State in 1997 the Broncos failed to score a touchdown.
It was a rematch of last December’s Las Vegas Bowl where Price was intercepted on Washington’s final drive and Boise State held on for a 28-26 victory. The Huskies had eight months to simmer about the late loss that left them with a 7-6 record for the third straight season. Coupled with the Huskies playing in their palatial new $280 million home for the first time in nearly two calendar years, the Broncos were already facing a difficult task.
But Boise State was left gassed defensively trying to keep up with Washington’s new fast break offense.
Washington played without tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was in uniform on the sideline but never played, apparently punishment after he pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in the offseason. The Huskies didn’t need, or miss, their third-team all-American.
Seferian-Jenkins was in uniform and went through all pregame warm-ups but Perkins was announced as the starter during introductions. Seferian-Jenkins ran out with the team, put his helmet behind the Washington bench and became the Huskies biggest cheerleader.
Bishop Sankey, who was the best player in the bowl game, picked up where he left off, rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Sankey scored on a 1-yard plunge in the first quarter then added a 23-yard TD scamper with 10:45 left to give Washington a 31-6 lead.
Dwayne Washington capped the blowout with an 8-yard TD run with 5:56 left.
Washington’s dizzying pace never slowed. The teams combined for 46 plays in the first quarter and 89 plays for the half. Washington ran 52 plays in the first half alone for 313 total yards after averaging 69.5 plays and 355 yards per game last season.
All those snaps only translated to 10 points, but the Huskies erupted in the second half. They finished with 592 total yards on 85 plays. Price was kept clean after the offensive line struggled all of last season protecting their quarterback.
Joe Southwick finished 25 of 40 passing but for only 152 yards as the Broncos passing game was surprisingly conservative with very few shots downfield and zero trickery. The Broncos longest play was an 18-yard run and their longest pass went for only 16 yards. Jay Ajayi rushed for 93 yards on 23 carries, but the numbers were minuscule compared to Washington’s production.
The Broncos trailed only 10-3 at halftime and put together two solid drives to start the second half only to get three points. The Broncos stalled at the Washington 3 after Southwick’s pass was broken up by Marcus Peters, who blocked a field goal attempt in the first half. Goodale’s 20-yard field goal pulled the Broncos within 10-6.
After the Huskies quick response, Boise State again drove into Washington territory, but Ajayi was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the Washington 35. Boise State never threatened to score again.