Seattle, WA – The battle of Pac-12 unbeatens went to the Washington Huskies.
Bishop Sankey was a workhorse for No. 16 Washington, carrying the ball a school record 40 times for 161 yards and a touchdown in a 31-13 victory over the Arizona Wildcats at a rainy Husky Stadium.
"You play the hand that you're dealt and those were the conditions we had and Bishop was awesome," Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian said referring to Sankey's workload and the sloppy conditions. "He didn't change, his focus was there, his body language didn't change from his first carry to his last one."
Keith Price threw a pair of touchdown passes and finished with 165 yards on 14-of-25 attempts for Washington (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12), which has won its opening four games for the first time since 2001, but faces stiff tests against Stanford and Oregon the next two weeks.
Arizona (3-1, 0-1) was stopped in its tracks after three lopsided wins out of the gate. Ka'Deem Carey nearly matched Sankey with 132 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but B.J. Denker tossed two interceptions and had just 119 yards on 14-of-35 passes in the setback.
"The effort seemed like it was pretty good, but the execution wasn't there all day in certain areas. That was disappointing because we thought our guys were ready to play," Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said.
The Wildcats had just two first downs over their first eight possessions and found themselves trailing 11-0 when they took over at their own 16-yard line with under three minutes left before the break.
They put together a much-needed scoring drive, however, moving the chains on a 4th-and-2 from the Washington 36 when Denker took it himself on an option read all the way down to the 3-yard line. Carey took it in from there to get Arizona on the board, though the extra point was missed.
The conference foes traded touchdowns the first two possessions of the second half.
Price and Austin Seferian-Jenkins hooked up for a 1-yard score to cap a 14- play, 95-yard drive, and Denker ran in for a 7-yard score to pull Arizona within 18-13.
Washington put together another lengthy drive to go in front by two possessions. On the 10th play of the 90-yard march, Sankey went in from a yard out with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Denker led Arizona into enemy territory on the next two touches, but threw incomplete on fourth down from the 41, then forced a throw across his body and was intercepted by Marcus Peters midway through the quarter.
Jesse Callier's 2-yard touchdown run on the ensuing drive essentially sealed the outcome.
Denker's first pass of the game was picked off, and it only took four plays for the Huskies to cash in as Price found Kevin Smith for a 7-yard score.
Rain certainly played a factor in the kicking game. There was a bobbled hold on a failed extra point following Washington's first TD, and a high snap went through the hands of Arizona's punter and resulted in a safety later in the opening quarter.
Washington padded its lead even further on Travis Coons' 42-yard field goal early in the second frame.
Sankey had 100-plus yards rushing for the 10th time in his career, three coming already this year. His 40 carries broke Corey Dillon's school record of 38 set in 1996 ... Washington has not allowed a point in the first quarter this season ... Carey had over 100 yards rushing for the seventh straight game ... The Huskies had 409 total yards, falling short of the 500-yard plateau they hit the first three games.