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Originally published Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 7:41 PM

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Mason Foster's big interception helps key Washington's win

Foster, who usually lines up near the line of scrimmage, faked like he was coming on a blitz then dropped back into coverage and Enderle threw it right to him. Foster took off before being pushed out off bounds at the Idaho 21.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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There was just one thing Mason Foster said could have made it better.

"I've just got to get to the end zone next time," said the Washington linebacker of his critical third-quarter interception. "I can't gas out."

On this day, however, 56 yards was more than enough, putting the Huskies at the Idaho 21-yard-line and setting up a touchdown that swung the game Washington's way for good.

"Big momentum-changer," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said.

The last one the Huskies really needed to put away Idaho, 42-23, and snap a dastardly 15-game losing streak.

Idaho trailed 21-9 at halftime, then recovered a fumble by Curtis Shaw on the opening kickoff of the second half at the Huskies 31. Two plays later, Idaho faced a third-and-four at the UW 25.

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle, who had been almost flawless to that point, tried to hit receiver Preston Davis on a little slant.

Foster, who usually lines up near the line of scrimmage, faked like he was coming on a blitz then dropped back into coverage and Enderle threw it right to him. Foster took off before being pushed out of bounds at the 21.

"Awww man, you don't know how bad I would like to have that one back," Enderle said. "Just missed opportunities. We had chances to really put some heat on them and maybe, who knows, anything could have happened. But we made some critical mistakes."

Foster said he remembered the route from watching film during the week.

"I just dropped to my zone and sat there and waited and read the quarterback and broke on [the pass]," he said.

In the fourth quarter, Foster made another crucial play when he batted away a pass to Idaho tight end Kevin Small on fourth down, stopping a Vandals threat.

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Foster, a junior from Seaside, Calif., also forced a fumble last week, creating a reputation as UW's best defensive playmaker early in the season.

"Two weeks in a row he's created turnovers for us," said Sarkisian. "So he's got a knack for getting the football back."

Those are the only two turnovers forced by the defense this year, something that will have to improve. Washington's overall pass defense also has to improve as Idaho threw for 349 yards, the most against the Huskies since Hawaii had 442 in 2007.

Foster said he thought some players "just kind of got caught up in the moment and jumped routes" and were sometimes out of position.

"We are going to address it tomorrow [Sunday]," he said. "Right now, we're just happy with the win."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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