Game Analysis - Washington State

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (US PRESSWIRE)

Washington has never had a meltdown like we saw on Friday in the Apple Cup as the Huskies, ahead 28-10 with 50 seconds left in the third quarter, lose in epic fashion to the Washington State Cougars 31-28 in Pullman. What went right and what went horribly wrong? Read on to find out...

Turning Point/Play of the Game: Where do we start and how do we choose just one? You could say it was the iffy "head bob", "simulate the snap" call on 3rd-and-1. You could say it was Keith Price's inexcusably bad decision to throw the ball up for grabs on the first play of overtime. You could say it was John Timu missing a sure interception, one he probably would have turned into a pick six, allowing Gino Simone to get a first down in route to helping the Cougars get into position for a game-tying field goal. You could say it was Travis Coons missing a 35-yard field goal to end regulation which would have given Washington the win. You could say it was Washington's lack of execution on offense for pretty much the entire game. You could say it was not getting the Washington State nose tackle blocked, allowing him to get penetration and force Price to fumble the exchange on 3rd-and-1, giving Washington State the ball deep in Husky territory and allowing them to get to within three points midway through the fourth quarter. There are so many to choose from in this epic disappointment that we will just let them all stand.

Offensive Player of the Game: Can't give this award out to anyone. No one really played that well. Price's big gaffe in overtime was just the cherry on the top of the crap sundae.

Defensive Player of the Game: Shaquille Thompson had eight tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one fumble recovery and a sack on the day and played well beyond his years.

Key stat: Two stats stand out – 18 penalties for 129 yards and 269 total yards. Washington tied for the most penalties in a game in program history with 18 flags (California in 1959). This has been a big bugaboo all season long for the Huskies, but today was the worst that Husky fans have ever seen. Also, 269 yards against a poor defense like Washington State's is not getting it done obviously.

Handouts to the standouts: Sean Parker finished with nine tackles, a tackle-for-loss and a pass defensed; Justin Glenn had eight tackles and an unreal interceptions setting up Washington's first points of the day; John Timu had a solid game posting 11 tackles, but his missed interception (the ball went right through his hands into Simone's) that he could have returned for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter was brutal; Bishop Sankey had 84 yards on 26 carries, but came up one yard short late in the game, setting up the 3rd-and-1 that Price was called for the penalty on; Kasen Williams had eight receptions for 83 yards; DiAndre Campbell finished with four receptions for 42 yards, but showed well down the stretch making two nice grabs for first downs on Washington's final drive in regulation.

Needs work: Fire and intensity, at least early, seem to be foreign concepts with this team. Offensively, I rarely see anything resembling a sense of urgency and defensively, this team needs to make sure they understand what referees are looking for on pass interference penalties as well as personal founds. The undisciplined play on both sides of the ball grew tiring as the season moved along and it really didn't get much better as it wound down.

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