SAN ANTONIO — There are games remembered for one historic play and there are games that simply defy the sport. The 2011 Alamo Bowl will go down as one that simply is indescribable and untouchable. On one side a Heisman quarterback and a team searching for their first 10 win season since 1980. The other a team on the rise with an underrated explosive offense searching for back to back bowl wins.
With Washington and Baylor tied in a back-and-forth battle all night long the defense that made one stop was going to win the game. On fourth-and eight at the Baylor 39-yard line Baylor rushed Keith Price disrupting his timing forcing an incompletion to Kasen Williams giving Baylor the ball back up 60-56 with 3:20 left.
Terrance Ganaway sealed Baylor’s victory with a 43-yard touchdown run capping off one of the most explosive offensive games in FBS history. Washington and Baylor combined for 1,397 total yards breaking the record set back in 2005 Insight Bowl between Rutgers and Arizona State (1,211). 123 combined points and 17 touchdowns rank first in FBS history in bowl games during regulation (2001 GMAC Bowl 125 in double OT).
The common theme amongst any stat you pull out of this game is the atrocious defense for both teams.
Baylor’s 777 yards surpasses Cal’s 729 set back in 2003. 123 points surpasses the 120 set back in 1919 and Baylor’s 67 points were the second most in school history falling five short of Cal’s 72 set back in 1921. You can go on and on about the historical numbers Baylor and Washington combined for but one thing that can’t be taken for granted is Washington’s determination.
Coming in a nine point underdog with the focus on Robert Griffin III and down 21-7 in the first quarter Washington show they have the offense to compete with anyone in the country. Washington was showing signs in the first quarter but something happened during the transition to the second quarter that lit a fire under Keith Price.
Playing in his first bowl game Price looked like a fifth year senior who is a guaranteed No.1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. Just a redshirt sophomore Price came out firing in the second quarter connecting with James Johnson and Devin Aguilar as Washington went on a 35-3 run and heading into halftime up 11.
With momentum on their side Washington quickly extended their lead on the second play when Price connected with Jermaine Kearse for an 80-yard touchdown giving Price his third touchdown of the game. Baylor struck right back on back-to-back touchdown runs by Jarred Salubi and Terrance Ganaway pulling the Bears within three.
Price tallied his fourth touchdown pass in the game connecting with Devin Aguilar again on a 13-yard touchdown pushing the Husky lead to 49-39 with 7:44 left in the third.
From that point on Washington just wasn’t the same on offense or defense.
Baylor went on a 28-7 run over the next 22 minutes capping off one of the most impressive offensive games in football history, not just college. It also put a stop to the most embarrassing defensive performance in football history on for both Baylor and Washington.
Granted Washington gave up 777 yards but giving up 620 yards to a good but not elite Washington offense is almost as bad. Not to diminish what Keith Price did which was beyond phenomenal but Baylor made a weak Washington offensive line look like five All Americans.
Price had one of the best passing performances in Washington history finishing 23 of 37 for 438 yards and four passing touchdown along with two rushing touchdowns. The most impressive stat Price had was zero turnovers.
The fact of the matter is no matter how many play makers you have you need to have somewhat of a defense in order to at least contend for championships. Washington has an incredible young, talented offense that can lead the Huskies to a top 25 season but without a defense this team is no more than just above average.
Steve Sarkisian isn’t satisfied with average “We need to figure out how to improve, because 7-6 isn’t good enough.” Sarkisian will need to answer the only question Washington has: What will happen with Nick Holt? The fire Nick Holt petition has already begun and it’s not going away anytime soon.
Yes, the players are the ones on the field but there is no excuse for a D-I school to have this bad of a showing. Especially when you had over a month to prepare. Nick Holt has always been a target for Washington fans because of his hefty contract and lackluster defense. Now the pressure is on Sarkisian to make a move.
“A lot of good things, but a lot of things need to be evaluated, starting at the top with me.” Sarkisian said.
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Junior running back Chris Polk had another strong bowl game with 147 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries and one key fumble that turned the tides against Washington.
Jermaine Kearse had a strong game finishing with five receptions for 198 and one touchdown in his final game at Washington. Devin Aguilar also had a strong final game finishing with five receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins finished with five receptions for 59 yards and Kasen Williams finished with three receptions for 19 yards.