Washington coach Steve Sarkisian had some choice words to describe the Huskies’ 53-24 loss to ASU.
“That was embarrassing,” Sarkisian said. “We weren’t good enough. We weren’t well enough coached. We didn’t perform well enough and we didn’t play physical enough.”
Things started out on the right foot for the No. 20 Huskies (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12). Washington scored on its opening drive on a one-yard touchdown rush from junior running back Bishop Sankey.
It would be the only time the Huskies would see the end zone in the first half.
After Sankey’s score, the Huskies’ offense sputtered and coughed, going three-and-out six times in the first half after going three-and-out only nine times the entire season.
Washington managed only 212 yards on the night. More surprisingly, Sankey, the nation’s leading rusher coming into the game, was held to only 32 yards and one touchdown.
Redshirt senior quarterback Keith Price said the Huskies never established their running game and that the lack of rushing production put Washington in some unfavorable positions.
“We’re a run-first offense and they kind of stalemated us a couple times,” Price said. “It’s hard to win ball games when you’re third-and-long every time regardless.”
While part of the Huskies’ offensive woes were due to the virtually nonexistent running game, a struggling Price didn’t help.
Price finished 16 of 39 for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought Keith did some decent stuff there, but he’ll tell you and I’ll tell you he can play better than he played,” Sarkisian said.
But it wasn’t all Price’s fault as he was constantly under duress and was getting hit on many of his dropbacks. Price was sacked six times on the night.
The Huskies showed signs of life in the second half, when Price connected on touchdowns of 70 and 20 yards to senior wide receiver Kevin Smith and junior tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. By then, though, it was too little too late.
The Huskies’ struggles weren’t solely on the offensive side of the ball, either. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox wasn’t pleased with his defense, which allowed 585 total yards. Tackling in particular was a key fault, Wilcox said.
“Missed tackles, yeah, no matter what defense you run if you don’t tackle the guy it’s going to be hard to stop him,” Wilcox said.
Sarkisian noticed a few other problems with his defense.
“One is we got blocked. We didn’t defeat very many one-on-one blocks,” Sarkisian said. “We missed some tackles in the running game obviously … and we had a hard time covering the wheel route.”
With their third straight conference loss, Washington will be hard pressed to turn their season around, but Sarkisian insists that his team isn’t looking too far down the road.
“We need to go play a good football game next Saturday and then we can start trying to look ahead,” Sarkisian said. “Right now we have to live in the moment and (see) how we’re going to fix the issues that we had tonight. … How we’re going to apply those things throughout the week so we can go out and put on a great performance at Husky Stadium next Saturday. “
The Huskies will have a chance to regroup next week against Pac-12 bottom dweller Cal (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12).
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