SEATTLE (AP) — Keith Price and Washington’s offense finally broke out, with the quarterback throwing for two touchdowns and running for another, and Washington become bowl eligible for the third straight season with a 34-15 win over Utah on Saturday night.
Washington (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12) became the last BCS conference team to top 21 points against an FBS opponent when Bishop Sankey scored on a 2-yard toss sweep late in the third quarter to give the Huskies a 27-15 lead.
Sankey finished with 162 yards on 36 carries and became just the 10th 1,000-yard rusher in Washington history, with two games remaining in the regular season. Sankey has 1,017 yards rushing after entering fall camp the Huskies’ No. 3 running back.
Price threw touchdowns to Kasen Williams and DiAndre Campbell and ran for a 4-yard TD, his first rushing touchdown this season.
Utah (4-6, 2-5) remained winless on the road and must win its final two games to be bowl eligible for the 10th straight season.
Price had struggled for most of the season, thanks in part to protection issues on the offensive line, and rarely looked like the dynamic star that threw for 33 touchdowns a season ago. Some of that spark was finally back against Utah. Price kept plays alive with his feet and, for the most part, was very accurate with his throws.
Price finished 24 of 33 for 277 yards, easily his best performance of the season. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had seven catches for 99 yards to break the school record for receptions by a tight end that was previously held by Mark Bruener at 95. Seferian-Jenkins also pitched in with a handful of plays on the defensive line, where the Huskies have been depleted by injuries.
Williams finished with seven catches, including a beautiful toe-tapping 8-yard TD reception in the first half as Price was engulfed by a Utah blitz. Price connected with eight different receivers.
John White rushed for 142 yards for Utah, including a 46-yard TD spurt in the first quarter, but the Utes had zero offense otherwise. Travis Wilson was 8 of 23 for 55 yards and an interception. Utah had been 11-0 when White topped 100 yards rushing and — after scoring 49 points each of the past two weeks — the Utes were lost on offense. Utah has not won on the road since last November at Washington State.
Washington led 14-8 at halftime and got a break on the opening possession of the second half when Utah’s risky attempt failed.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham took a chance and went for it on fourth and 1 from his own 43. White was met in the hole by Danny Shelton and John Timu, who intercepted Wilson late in the first half deep in Washington’s end, and the ensuing measurement was short.
Washington quickly took advantage of the field position, with Price hitting Seferian-Jenkins for 24 yards down to the Utah 9 and finding Campbell wide open on a quick throw against blitz pressure to give the Huskies a 21-8 lead. White scored on a 20-yard run midway through the third quarter to cut the Washington lead to 21-15, but Sankey’s TD late in the quarter pushed the lead back to two scores.
The Huskies capped the victory with a 16-play, 82-yard drive in the fourth quarter that drained nearly 9 minutes off the clock and was finished off by Sankey’s second TD run.
The only time this season Washington had topped 21 points before Saturday was in a 52-17 blowout of FCS Portland State.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.