SALT LAKE CITY — Keith Price threw three touchdown passes, Chris Polk rushed for 189 yards to surpass 3,000 in his career and Washington cruised to a 31-14 victory over Utah on Saturday, spoiling the Utes’ first Pac-12 home game.
The Huskies (4-1, 2-0) forced five turnovers by Utah (2-2, 0-2), including a fumble on the opening kickoff that Jamaal Kearse returned 18 yards for a touchdown.
Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn did not play in the second half due to an injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder. He finished 12 of 17 for 149 yards with a touchdown and interception.
Jon Hays, who had previously thrown one major-college pass, was intercepted on his second attempt Saturday. He fumbled in the fourth quarter before tossing a last-minute 4-yard TD pass to Dallin Rogers.
Price was 22 of 30 for 226 yards. He has 17 touchdown passes this season.
The Utes (2-2, 0-2) entered the game plus-nine in turnovers, but committed three in the first half, including the opening-kickoff fumble that gave the Huskies a 7-0 lead with just 9 seconds elapsed.
The Utes also turned the ball over twice in the red zone in the second quarter.
Wynn threw his second interception of the year, as Sean Parker made the grab at his own 4-yard line with 10:29 left in the quarter.
Six minutes later, Dres Anderson cut back and looked for the end zone after a pass from Wynn, but Desmond Trufant forced a fumble and recovered at the Huskies’ 6-yard line.
Washington converted the second turnover into a 44-yard Erik Folk field goal that gave Washington a 10-7 halftime lead. That scoring drive kept going thanks to unsportsmanlike-conduct and pass-interference penalties against Utah.
It was all Washington in the second half as it scored 21 consecutive points.
The Huskies are off to their best start since 2006 but don’t want to follow the script for that season, when they lost six straight to finish 5-7 overall.
They have a bye before facing the Pac-12’s other new conference member in Colorado. Then comes a showdown at Stanford on Oct. 22 before home games against Arizona and Oregon.
Utah, meanwhile, may have to lower its expectations. The Utes had hoped to contend for the South Division title, but find themselves winless in conference play, with the meat of their schedule still to come.
They face South leader Arizona State at home next week. Even if they beat the Sun Devils, they’d probably need help along the way, though they avoid Oregon and Stanford in their inaugural season.
After a non-conference game at Pitt, Utah visits California.
Saturday’s game was close early.
Wynn tied the score at 7-all with 6:59 left in the first quarter on a 16-yard TD pass to Anderson. It capped a 68-yard scoring drive in which Wynn was 4 of 4 for 66 yards, including a 36-yard sideline pass to DeVonte Christopher.
Utah’s defense came up with big plays in the first half. Linebacker J.J. Williams intercepted Price at the Utah 34 on a short pass that was tipped.
Polk had only 44 yards on 12 first-half carries. His first 12 carries of the second half netted 109 yards.