Husky defense gets into the scoring act
Cornerback Marcus Peters had a word for Washington’s two defensive touchdowns in the third quarter that turned the blowout into a laugher — unforgettable.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Bishop Sankey and Keith Price produce so many touchdowns —as they did in Washington’s 59-7 win over Colorado on Saturday night — that it becomes rather mundane.
But when a defense scores twice in a game, now that’s rather “odd” to quote coach Steve Sarkisian.
“It was a little odd,” he said. “But I was happy for our defense because we need to do that,” he said. “We need to create turnovers. We need to knock the ball loose and intercept passes. I thought that was big.”
Cornerback Marcus Peters had another word for Washington’s two defensive touchdowns in the third quarter that turned the blowout into a laugher — unforgettable.
“It’s the best thing in the world,” cornerback Marcus Peters said after recovering a fumble and racing 53 yards for a touchdown. “It’s just one of the biggest plays in the game to see a defensive guy score.
“You don’t forget that feeling because it doesn’t happen a whole lot for us. It’s unforgettable man. You want it to happen more, but those are pretty rare.”
Peters’ score came minutes after cornerback Tre Watson returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown.
It was the first time the Huskies scored two defensive touchdowns in a game since their 41-29 win over Oregon State on Nov. 9, 2002.
Safety Sean Parker also picked off a pass between the defensive scores, which gave Washington three turnovers in a game for just the second time this season.
“That was one of the things we emphasized coming out of the bye week and then we get three turnovers and two of them go for touchdowns,” Sarkisian said. “That was fantastic for the guys.”
Given Washington’s 31-7 halftime lead, Peters assumed the Husky defense would have plenty of chances in the second half to make a big play.
On the first drive, he cut inside Colorado receiver Nelson Spruce and it looked as if Peters would claim his fourth interception this season.
But the ball deflected off his hands and bounced high in the air, which allowed Watson enough time to run underneath the ball as if he was fielding a punt.
The senior cornerback received blocks from Evan Hudson, Parker and Princeton Fuimaono before tip-toeing down the sideline for a score.
“All I was thinking was just don’t drop it,” Watson said laughing. “Marcus set it up, so just don’t drop the ball.”
Minutes later, defensive end Josh Shirley stripped Colorado running back Tony Jones and Peters recovered the fumble and returned it for a touchdown.
There’s no scientific proof, but defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox acknowledged the theory that turnovers usually come in bunches.
“I’d have to go and check,” he said with a grin. “It usually has to do with playing fast and confident and physical.”
Washington’s 59 points – the most since 1974 and the fifth-most in the modern era that began in 1945 – had much to do with its ball-hawking defense.
The Huskies (6-3, 3-3 Pac-12) gave up 299 yards and Colorado (3-6, 0-6) reached the red zone once.
Washington has allowed just 24 combined points in the past two games after surrendering 53, 45 and 31 in the previous three contests to Arizona State, Oregon and Stanford, respectively.
“Those games are in the past,” Watson said. “We’re focusing on our technique. Trusting our eyes and making our reads. We do that, sometimes big plays happen.”
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org