Price sets UW season touchdown passes mark
Saturday, Keith Price etched himself into UW history, throwing three touchdown passes to break Washington's season school record.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Latest from the Husky Football & Basketball blogs
Keith Price long ago answered any questions about his ability.
Saturday, the sophomore quarterback etched himself into UW history, throwing three touchdown passes to break Washington's season school record.
Price entered the game with 26, two shy of Cody Pickett's total in 2002. He tied it with a touchdown pass to Kasen Williams in the second quarter and broke it on a 22-yard scoring toss to Chris Polk in the third.
"Oh man, an honor," Price said. "There've been some great quarterbacks that have played here."
Price didn't start last week at Oregon State because of a sprained left knee, and Nick Montana got his first career start. Price, though, came off the bench to play two series in the fourth quarter and throw one touchdown pass.
With his knee better after mostly a week off, he was reinstalled as the starter Monday and appeared back in the form he showed the first half of the season, when he threw 21 touchdown passes in UW's first six games.
He threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Williams to give him 27 for the season, then hit Williams on a 21-yard pass with 24 seconds left in the half to tie the record.
Price briefly pulled himself off the field in the third quarter with a cramp in his thumb.
"An amazing season for a young man that there were so many expectations of (about) who is going to replace Jake (Locker) and all of that pressure to come into it," said UW coach Steve Sarkisian. "For him to play the way he has played and deal with some of the adversity — it hasn't been easy.
"As much as we have been struggling the last month, he has been too, and for him to come back tonight and have one of his best games of the season speaks volumes to him."
UW likely going to Alamo or Holiday
The Huskies, at 7-5 in the regular season — their best season since they had the same regular-season record in 2002 — are likely headed to the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio, Texas, or the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 in San Diego.
Official pairings are unlikely to be made until after next weekend's games. But UW's win, coupled with Stanford's win over Notre Dame — which is likely to pull the Cardinal into a BCS bowl — have a Huskies trip to the Alamo looking favorable. The CEO of the Alamo Bowl was on hand for Saturday's game.
Sarkisian said later he wouldn't guess where UW is headed and is simply happy UW will be in a bowl for the second straight year. UW will have a meeting today, then players will be given the week off while coaches hit the road recruiting. The team will return to the practice field next Saturday.
Tutogi makes special mark
Washington sophomore linebacker Thomas Tutogi has quietly been one of UW's better special-teams players all year.
Saturday, he made his presence felt to everyone with two big first-half plays.
The junior-college transfer broke through to block Washington State's first punt of the game, the ball flying high into the air and then into the waiting arms of teammate Jesse Callier, who took it 2 yards into the end zone. That gave UW a 7-0 lead at the 11:37 mark of the first quarter.
Tutogi led what looked like a convoy of rushers up the middle and blocked the punt with his right hand.
Washington players said they saw that WSU often lined up with one fewer player than the Huskies might rush.
"When the ball was snapped, their guard didn't block down like he was supposed to," Tutogi said. "So it was a straight shot, and all their wedge men left. He saw me at the last minute and chipped my shoulder so I got around and reached for it. ... All I could do was just reach out and swipe it."
Cougars' trick play doesn't work
The Cougars' last real gasp came when they tried a trick play, down 31-21 early in the fourth quarter, with running back Carl Winston lateraling to quarterback Marshall Lobbestael, who threw deep for receiver Marquess Wilson.
But Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant tipped the ball to safety Sean Parker, who intercepted it.
Cougars offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy said the play was set up well, but slot man Kristoff Williams "got grabbed or fell down or something. I didn't see it. It was executed really well; we got the ball to the quarterback in plenty of time, we had a lineman in front of (Lobbestael), but we didn't have a receiver to throw it to."
Cougars middle linebacker C.J. Mizell didn't play. Said defensive coordinator Chris Ball, "It was injury more than anything. Other than that, I don't want to talk about it ... it was injury more than anything, but not entirely."
• Ball said UW's drive before the half that put them ahead for good "made me sick to my stomach. It caught us off guard a little bit. We went with our '30' package (three down linemen) and we didn't have a great pass rush there. I'd like to have that back. I probably would have gone with a four-man rush."
• Lobbestael, summing up an eventful five seasons at WSU, said, "It's been up and down, but it's been a great five years. WSU means the world to me. It's been a great place for me. You don't like to end it like this, but at the same time, I know I'm going to be a Coug for life."
Coach Paul Wulff said Lobbestael "could have left any time and I'm happy he hung in there. He did a heck of a job."
Lobbestael finished with 335 career completions, eighth in school history.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Most touchdown passes in a season for a Husky quarterback:|
|1. Keith Price||2011||29|
|2. Cody Pickett||2002||28|
|3. Brock Huard||1997||25|
|4. Billy Joe Hobert||1991||24|
|5. Jake Locker||2009||21|
|6. Chris Chandler||1986||20|
|7. Cary Conklin||1989||18|
|8. Jake Locker||2010||17|
|9. Mark Brunell||1990||16|
|10. Cody Pickett||2003||15|
The Seattle Times photographs
Purchase The Seattle Times images
Dive into history in Now & Then