The atmosphere leading up Washington’s final home game in Husky Stadium before the $250 million dollar renovation was incredible. The 1991 national championship team led by Don James was honored before and during the game and the feeling resonating off Husky Stadium couldn’t be put into words.
Washington came into the game with emotions running high but a slow, uncharacteristic start offensively cooled off those emotions. Head coach Steve Sarkisian said the locker room was very somber after the 34-17 loss.
“They wanted to end Husky Stadium as great as we all did and close this thing out the way that I think we all hoped it could, and it didn’t happen,” Sarkisian said.
From the start Washington put themselves in an early hole after safety Eddie Pleasant intercepted a pass intended for Jermaine Kearse. That would be the tail of the night, Washington’s offense giving Oregon’s offense very short field time-after-time.
Most of the blame for that was taken by quarterback Keith Price who threw two interceptions which led to two Oregon touchdowns. Both drives following the interceptions also took less than five plays; three on the first, four on the second.
“Those were on me. No excuses. I’ve got to make a better read and we can’t turn the ball over two times against a good team like that” Price Said. However Price never had time to set his feet during the game due to the lack of protection from the Husky offensive line. Price was sacked six times and Sarkisian referred to the line play as “embarrassing”.
Price still made the most of his chances finishing the game 24 of 35 for for 143 yards and two touchdowns to go along with his two interceptions. Statistically this was one of Price’s worst performances this season finishing with his second lowest yard total (102 against Eastern Washington) and second lowest touchdown total (1 touchdown pass against Stanford and Arizona).
With his two touchdowns against Oregon it gives Price 25 on the year, three short of the school record for passing touchdowns in a single season. Runningback Chris Polk also had an uncharacteristic night rushing for only 80 yards and no touchdowns, the second time this season he’s failed to reach 100 yards in a game.
One aspect of the game Washington did improve on is their defense which held Chip Kelly’s high octane offense to 34 points. Only the second time this season the Duck offense has been held under 35 points (LSU held Oregon to 27 in week one).
Defensive coordinator Nick Holt said he was happy with the way his defense kept up with Oregon’s pace.
“I think our guys did a nice job focusing in and getting lined up and playing the defense and not letting the high tempo get to them. I think they did for the most part a pretty good job.”
In the end Washington made too many mistakes offensively and couldn’t capitalize on the few mistakes Oregon made. A season record 69,407 were in attendance tonight for the final home game at the “old” Husky Stadium.
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