With 64,559 in attendance, the Cougs were unable to stop the Huskies’ passing attack as quarterback Keith Price threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns in Washington’s 38-21 victory in the Apple Cup.
Redshirt senior linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis said the defense gave up too many big plays to be competitive.
“That’s kind of the theme, giving up big plays,” Hoffman-Ellis said. “There were some blown assignments out there, and we left some plays out on the field, too. They made more plays than we did.”
After back-to-back three-and-outs by both offenses, the Cougs sent the punting unit on the field. The punt was blocked and returned by Jessie Callier for a UW touchdown, pushing the lead to 7-0.
After the Cougar offense stalled once again, the Huskies wasted little time getting back into the endzone.
On third down and six, UW’s Keith Price lobbed a fade to the front corner of the endzone, hitting Kasen Williams for a 16-yard touchdown pass to push the UW lead to 14-0.
On the play, Williams went over WSU’s Nolan Washington. After the game, Washington said he was caught out of position.
“I was on him, but I have to get my head around, and that would have been a pick,” Washington said. “That was me not making the play.”
Defensive Coordinator Chris Ball said the Cougars'plan for the game was to stop the Huskies' potent rushing attack.
“We had a few too many big plays in the passing game,” Ball said. “You take those out of there, and I think we played decently. We came into the game wanting to stop the run, and we contained it pretty well.”
After the offense moved the ball into Husky territory, redshirt freshman Rickey Galvin fumbled and UW pounced on the loose ball.
UW was unable to turn the fumble into points, though, as they drove into WSU territory. Kicker Erik Folk missed a 36-yard field goal wide left as the score remained 14-0.
On the ensuing drive, the Cougs marched the ball 80 yards and cut the UW lead to 7. On third down inside the Washington 20-yard line, the Cougs punched it on a 16-yard pass from Marshall Lobbestael to senior Jared Karstetter.
The Karstetter score cut the UW lead in half, putting the score at 14-7 with 7:55 left to play in the first half. The Cougs converted three third-and-longs during the touchdown drive.
Following a partially blocked punt by WSU’s Deone Bucannon, Lobbestael and the Cougar offense wasted little time getting back into the endzone.
After an eight-play, 66-yard drive, Lobbestael found sophomore Marquess Wilson in the middle of the endzone for a 16-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 14-14.
UW scored first in the second half. As they took possession following a WSU punt, they marched the ball down the field in three plays and only 59 seconds.
Price capped the drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to running back Chris Polk, which pushed the UW lead to 28-14.
The Cougs answered quickly with a three-play 62-yard drive in only 1:14.
Lobbestael finished the drive with a 38-yard screen pass to Wilson, who scored his second receiving touchdown of the game to make the score 28-21.
The Huskies came back on offense and pushed the ball deep into WSU territory. The defense was able to hold and force UW to kick a 46-yard field goal. With 13:16 left in the game, the Huskies were up 31-21.
After a Travis Long sack on third down, the Cougars tried to get fancy and ended up throwing a costly interception.
After handing the ball off to the running back, who threw the ball back to Lobbestael, Lobbestael threw the ball downfield toward Wilson. It was intercepted by Sean Parker, which gave the ball back to UW with ten minutes remaining in the game.
The Huskies put it out of reach after the interception with Polk. After being held in check for most of the game, Polk got on the board with a one-yard touchdown run.
The Huskies called on him for a majority of their offensive drive, including a 34-yard carry following a holding call against UW.
Long said the defense was looking to stop Polk in order to force Price to throw.
“We knew he had a big game last year,” Long said. “So we just had to stop the run and put them in passing situations.”
The Cougars were unable to muster anything on their last offensive drives, and the score remained 38-21.