UW's offense unloads on Colorado, 52-24
Keith Price throws four touchdowns as Huskies improve to 3-0 in Pac-12 play.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Good times are here again10
Number of times UW has started a season 5-1 since 1975, Don James' first season as coach (Huskies have started 6-0 five times in that span).
Last time the Huskies were 5-1.
Last time the Huskies were in the AP Top 25 .
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The numbers on the scoreboard turned at such a dizzying pace, Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu could hardly keep up.
"It was like a video game," said the Washington senior. "It was crazy."
Exhilarating might have been another word going through the minds of UW fans as they watched their team score touchdowns the first five times it had the ball in blowing out Colorado 52-24 in front of 62,147 at Husky Stadium on Saturday.
Seven different players scored the team's seven touchdowns as UW improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Pac-12 play and won for the ninth time in 10 games dating to last season.
"Man, that was amazing," receiver James Johnson said. "We just felt we were rolling, everything that we did we just felt like we couldn't really be stopped, and we showed that out there on the field."
It was the most points UW has scored since tallying 53 against Idaho in 2001. The 38 first-half points were the most in a half since 1999, and the 562 yards were a season high.
It all might be enough to put the Huskies back in one or both of the two major polls when they are released on Sunday. UW has been ranked once since 2003, a brief stay at No. 24 in September 2009, after upsetting USC.
That top-25 ranking ended the following week thanks to a blowout loss at Stanford, where the Huskies play this week.
UW players know that for all they've done, it's that game that can really awaken the nation to their apparent revival.
"That's taking the next step," Johnson said, in keeping with the theme of the week set by UW coach Steve Sarkisian, who said the Huskies are on their way back to the top.
Sarkisian wondered if the Huskies would be able to concentrate on the task at hand — beating an undermanned Colorado team — without a little slip.
But he knew quickly Saturday he had no reason for worry as the Huskies dismantled the Buffs from start to finish, save for Colorado's first drive of the game when it scored to make it 7-7.
That came after the first of four touchdown passes by Keith Price, who has 21 on the season. Price hit Jermaine Kearse for 17 yards to put UW up 7-0 on its first drive. After the Colorado answer, Kevin Smith concluded a long march with a 22-yard scoring run on a reverse. Then Price hit freshman tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on an 11-yard scoring pass on the final play of the first quarter.
"I thought they played with a real sense of urgency, a lot of energy, a lot of passion," Sarkisian said of his team.
After a Colorado field goal, Price threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Chris Polk, then a 4-yarder to Devin Aguilar to make it 35-10 with 2:09 left in the first half. UW got the ball back one more time with Erik Folk kicking a 41-yard field goal on the final play of the half to give UW a 38-10 lead.
Colorado coach Jon Embree, whose team fell to 1-6 in his first year, and 0-3 in its first season in the Pac-12, sounded like he barely knew what hit him.
"We didn't do anything well defensively in this game," he said. "We got beat in every phase."
It was a diverse array of weapons with which the Huskies hit the Buffaloes. On one play, two tight ends split out wide, leading the way for a receiver screen. On another, Polk lined up as a fullback, taking a quick snap to convert a third down. UW also unveiled a no-huddle offense.
"We threw out a lot of stuff (at Colorado)," said Price, who expertly handled all of it in completing 21 of 28 passes for 257 yards without a sack or a turnover.
Sarkisian said he has never had a team able to execute such a wide selection of plays.
"They are a very bright group, and they can handle a lot of volume," he said. "They have fun with it, they enjoy it, they embrace it."
The pace inevitably slowed in the second half, but there was little not to like as UW rushed for a season-high 295 yards and the defense allowed a season-low 269 total yards.
"It feels great," Ta'amu said. "Going 0-12 my first year and being able to be 5-1 — I've never been 5-1 as a Husky. It feels like I'm kind of sitting on top right now, and it feels good."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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