Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
The Huskies played their most complete game of the season and controlled the game in a dominating win over Utah.
For the first time this year against an FBS opponent, the Huskies completely controlled the game and won convincingly as they pounded Utah 34-15. Much like last season's victory over Utah in Salt Lake City, the Huskies took a narrow lead in the first half and then pulled away in the second with a tough run game and accurate passing attack combined with an opportunistic defensive effort.
Other than a couple mistakes, this looked a lot like the "complete game" that Steve Sarkisian had been talking about. The Huskies came in with their game plan, executed it on both sides of the ball, limited mistakes and made the plays they needed to when they were open. It is fitting that this win secured a third-straight season of bowl eligibility for the Huskies as it looked like the game where the inconsistent and mistake-prone Huskies finally put it all together.
Ball control - Despite falling behind early, it never felt like the game wasn't in the Huskies control. Because of their commitment to their running game and their success on the ground, the Huskies were able to control the clock, open up their play-action passing game and score in the red zone.
Keith Price - Price had far and away his best game of the season as he looked comfortable and avoided having a turnover for the first time in six games. Price looked like his old self as he trusted the play action, made some plays with his feet and hit on most of his passes.
Pass defense - Granted the Huskies were playing a true freshman quarterback with home field advantage, but it's a feat when you hold any Pac-12 quarterback to only 55 yards passing. The Huskies pass defense's reputation also played a key factor as Utah looked like they didn't even want to challenge the Husky defensive backs.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins at defensive end - I'm not a fan of playing your All-American tight end on defense, especially when he is one of your only good options on offense. The press would be horrible if Seferian-Jenkins got hurt on defense and opposing offensive lines will assuredly be gunning to take out the Huskies biggest offensive weapon if they can.
Pass rush, or lack thereof - Putting Seferian-Jenkins on the defensive line was a clear act of desperation and even that didn't even really work. You can get away with not being able to pressure guys like Zach Maynard and Travis Wilson, but they will have trouble stopping a passing offense like Washington State's if they can't start getting pressure.
Poor angles - The Husky defense had a great game, but did give up a couple of big runs to John White because of guys either taking bad angles or attacking the wrong gaps. However, they got a lot of big stops in short yardage situations that snuffed out Utah drives.
Bowl game - The Huskies can look forward to going to a bowl game for the third-straight year, which is a great feeling after going seven years without going to one prior to 2010. Where will the Huskies be headed come December?
Road trip - The Huskies won't have another home game until September of 2013 as they finish out the season with two road games at Colorado and Washington State. The Huskies exorcised some demons by beating Cal on the road two weeks ago, but they looked terrible in that game. Have they truly moved on from their road woes?
Let down - The Huskies close out the season against the two worst teams in the conference who look like they are both among the worst teams in recent conference history. Will the Huskies be able to stay motivated and focused, especially on the road against two teams that are desperate to salvage their seasons with late-season upsets?