Washington beats BYU 31-16 in Fight Hunger Bowl

Marques Tuiasosopo was doused with a Gatorade bath and carried

off the field by his victorious players.

More than a decade after leading Washington to a Rose Bowl win

as a star quarterback, Tuiasosopo led the Huskies to a milestone

bowl win to cap a tumultuous month as interim coach.

”I can’t say enough about these guys,” Tuiasosopo said. ”They

wanted it and through some turmoil they stayed focused, they came

together as a team and came here with a purpose.”

Bishop Sankey ran for 95 yards and two scores to tie

Washington’s career touchdown record and the Huskies went on to

beat BYU 31-16 in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday night.

Keith Price added a 16-yard TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins,

and John Ross returned a kick 100 yards for another score to help

the Huskies (9-4) win their most games since going 11-1 and winning

the Rose Bowl in 2000.

The game capped a whirlwind stretch for the Huskies that began

with coach Steve Sarkisian leaving for Southern California.

Chris Petersen was hired away from Boise State to take over at

Washington, and Tuiasosopo coached the bowl game on an interim

basis. The Huskies won just their second bowl game since Tuiasosopo

led them to that Rose Bowl win over Purdue.

”We all know what he’s done here as a player,” Sankey said.

”It makes it that much easier when a coach leaves when you have a

guy like Coach Tui.”

Taysom Hill threw for 293 yards and ran for 133 yards and a

score, and Justin Sorensen kicked three field goals for the Cougars

(8-5), who had their four-game bowl winning streak snapped.

But Sorensen also missed one in the third quarter after an

interception by Robertson Daniel gave BYU prime field position, and

the Cougars allowed two long kickoff returns, including one for a

touchdown.

”Taysom led our team really well,” coach Bronco Mendenhall

said. ”He played hard, he played physical. He gave us a great

chance to win the game and stay in it. I told my team I was proud

of them. I liked how hard they played. Our special teams needed to

execute better.”

The defense led the way for Washington, holding the Cougars to

four field goal attempts and one touchdown on five drives inside

the Huskies 30.

The Huskies were much more efficient on their scoring drives,

with Sankey scoring on a pair of 11-yard runs in the first half to

give him 38 career touchdowns, tying the school record held by

George Wilson (1923-25).

”Bishop has done a great job of carrying us all season,” Price

said. ”We know we need to feed the horse. He’s been a work horse

for us all year.”

Price then led a touchdown drive to open the third quarter,

capping it with a well-placed throw to Seferian-Jenkins on

third-and-8 to make it 28-16. Seferian-Jenkins said after the game

he will leave school early to enter the NFL draft.

”It has nothing to do with Coach Petersen,” he said. ”I have

a lot of respect for him, but ultimately it was a family and

financial decision.”

Price went 17 for 23 for 123 yards before leaving with an

apparent rib injury in the second half.

Sankey also sat out the fourth quarter because of a hand injury,

but it didn’t matter. Backup quarterback Cyler Miles had a 32-yard

run to set up Travis Coons’ 45-yard field goal that made it 31-16

midway through the fourth.

A strong defensive effort led by Hau’oli Kikaha (three sacks)

and John Timu (14 tackles, one sack and an interception) kept BYU

off the scoreboard for the entire second half as the Huskies moved

their safeties closer to the line of scrimmage to take away short

passes.

”Guys come up and load the box, we need to be able to throw the

ball,” Hill said. ”As a quarterback that’s what you want. They

came down in man pressure, pushed us out of bounds and we missed a

few opportunities that way.

”Not only that but if the protection holds up a little longer

then we give guys on the outside and inside long enough to work the

routes and get open.”

Tuiasosopo was aggressive in his first game as head coach, going

for it twice in the first quarter on fourth-and-short. Sankey

converted the first but was stopped for a 9-yard loss by Kyle Van

Noy on the second try.

That was one of the few times the Cougars stopped Sankey, who

scored on Washington’s first and last possessions of the first half

to give the Huskies a 21-16 lead at the break.

The game made history by being the first ever in the FBS with

two female officials. Sarah Thomas was the line judge and Maia

Chaka was the head linesman based on their work in Conference USA

this season.