Undefeated Washington routs Arizona, 31-13

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They danced and screamed and jumped and woofed.

From the Washington sideline, the party spilled some 10 yards onto the field, with the monsoon-like conditions doing little to dampen the Huskies’ spirits. During a television timeout before the start of the second quarter, the Huskies soaked up the rain, the wind and their fast start against Arizona on Saturday.

The finish wasn’t quite as easy for the 16th-ranked Huskies, but they still managed to open Pac-12 Conference play with much-needed 31-13 victory over the Wildcats before 65,815 at Husky Stadium.

Junior running back Bishop Sankey set a UW record for carries with 40, finishing with 161 yards and one touchdown to lead the Huskies to a 4-0 start. Corey Dillon held the previous UW record for most carries with 38 against Washington State in 1996.

It only gets tougher from here for the Huskies, who hit the road next week to play at No. 5 Stanford before returning home to play No. 2 Oregon on Oct. 12.

The UW defense, steamrolled a year ago in Arizona’s 52-17 rout in Tucson, held the Wildcats without a first down in the first quarter Saturday, stuffing the nation’s reigning rushing leader, Ka’Deem Carey.

On the game’s third play, UW safety Sean Parker intercepted Arizona’s B.J. Denker. That set up UW’s first touchdown four plays later, with Keith Price scrambling, spinning and finding senior receiver Kevin Smith for a 7-yard touchdown reception.

The point-after attempt failed after a bad snap during the downpour, leaving UW with a 6-0 lead.

Arizona didn’t get its first first down until the 13:12 mark of the second quarter. By then, the Huskies led 11-0.

Arizona’s punter, Dew Riggleman, couldn’t handle the snap in the end zone, with the ball squirting beyond the end line for a UW safety late in the first quarter.

Washington’s Travis Coons added a 42-yard field goal on the Huskies’ next drive.

Driving with the wind at their backs, the Wildcats finally got moving late in the second quarter. Carey scored from 3 yards out with six seconds left in the half to cap a 14-play, 84-yard drive. Arizona’s missed point-after attempt left UW with an 11-6 lead.

The Huskies received the ball to start the third quarter and marched 95 yards on 14 plays, with Price finding a wide-open Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 1-yard touchdown pass to push UW’s lead to 18-6.

Arizona came right back with an efficient 15-play, 72-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by Denker’s 24-yard pass on a fourth-down wheel route to Carey down the right sideline. Two plays later, Denker rushed far to his left and dived at the pylon for a 7-yard touchdown, cutting the Wildcats’ deficit to 18-13.

With the rain dying down, UW answered with another efficient drive, covering 90 yards in 10 plays over 3 minutes, 51 seconds. Sankey dived up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown to push the Huskies’ lead to 25-13 with 1:25 left in the third quarter.

Washington’s defense finally came up with a stop early in the fourth quarter when the left-handed Denker threw incomplete on fourth down.

Five minutes later, Denker floated a pass that was intercepted by UW’s Marcus Peters with 7:36 left.

Sankey broke Dillon’s carries record on the next drive, with backup running back Jesse Callier finishing off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. That caped the scoring with 3:34 left.

Carey, the Arizona star, finished with 132 yards on 30 carries.

Denker was 14 of 35 for 119 yards with two interceptions before being pulled late in the fourth quarter.

Price finished 14 of 25 for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He threw a first-half interception, his first turnover since UW’s first play of the season against Boise State.

Sankey’s record day

Huskies running back Bishop Sankey, who finished with 161 yards rushing, carried the ball 40 times, most in team history.

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