SEATTLE — It was nearly perfect.
Three drives, three touchdowns, 18 offensive plays and 255 yards. That was the first quarter Saturday for the University of Washington, and it was enough to catapult the Huskies to a 40-32 victory over Hawai’i at Husky Stadium.
“That was a confidence booster,” said quarterback Keith Price, who completed 18 of 25 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns.
Not that an early 21-0 lead was all that safe.
Hawai’i, with a pass-friendly offense directed by quarterback Bryant Moniz, scored to make it 21-7 with 6:19 remaining in the second quarter. Washington then marched down the field, only to have Richard Torres intercept a Price pass and return it 99 yards for a touchdown.
Suddenly, the Huskies were in a tight ball game, one week after holding off Eastern Washington for a 30-27 win.
But unlike the previous week, the Huskies led throughout the contest against Hawai’i, extending their winning streak to six games and improving to 2-0 for the first time since 2007.
Washington responded to the interception return with 59-yard touchdown drive, taking a 28-14 lead into halftime.
Everrette Thompson blocked two extra-point attempts in the second half, the first one with the Huskies leading 28-20, and the second with the score at 38-32 with 1:39 left.
Thompson’s second block was scooped up by Desmond Trufant, who ran 87 yards for a 2-point conversion and a 40-32 lead. When Hawai’i’s ensuing onside kick traveled only 9 1/2 yards, the Huskies had a victory wrapped up.
“So many guys made some key plays today,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.
But the most important ones were made by Price, who is in his first year as a starter following the departure of Jake Locker to the NFL.
After employing a conservative gameplan against Eastern Washington, Sarkisian opened up the offense early against Hawai’i.
Price threw passes of 30 yards and 47 yards to Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the first two plays of the game, setting up a touchdown run by Chris Polk, who finished with 107 yards on the ground.
On Washington’s second possession, Price directed a 95-yard drive that included four completions on four attempts.
“I was a little bit better,” Price said, assessing his performance. “I think our line was a lot better. I just did my job.”
Moniz threw for 333 yards for Hawai’i, but Washington effectively shut down his scrambling ability.
“Their front played really well,” Moniz said of the Huskies’ defense. “Their middle linebacker played really well. I was never free to go.”
Next, Washington takes its winning streak, which is tied for the fourth-longest in the nation, to Nebraska.
“It feels really great,” receiver Kevin Smith said. “We knew we had to improve on last week, so to see the results like today feels really great.”
• Ellis Henderson, who graduated from Skyview High School a couple months ago and signed with Hawai’i, is “grayshirting” this season. He will join the program in the winter and not have this season count against his eligibility.
• The Huskies survived a costly mistake with three minutes to play. Punter Kiel Rasp rolled out to his right to attempt a rugby-style punt, but he miss-hit the ball and it caromed off a lineman. It goes down in the stats as a punt for minus-5 yards, and it set up Hawai’i’s final touchdown.
• In honor of Patriot Day, Washington wore white helmets with the “W” featuring a stars-and-stripes pattern.
WASHINGTON 40, HAWAII 32
Hawaii 0 14 6 12–32
Washington 21 7 3 9–40
Wash–Polk 2 run (Folk kick), 13:50.
Wash–Je.Kearse 10 pass from Price (Folk kick), 7:03.
Wash–Je.Kearse 20 pass from Price (Folk kick), 2:39.
Haw–Jackson 1 run (Chun kick), 6:19.
Haw–Torres 99 interception return (Chun kick), 2:20.
Wash–Aguilar 31 pass from Price (Folk kick), :44.
Haw–Moniz 1 run (kick blocked), 7:42.
Wash–FG Folk 36, 3:30.
Haw–Jackson 2 run (pass failed), 13:42.
Wash–Seferian-Jenkins 14 pass from Price (Folk kick), 10:02.
Haw–Ostrowski 8 pass from Moniz (kick blocked), 1:39.
Wash–2-point defensive conversion by Trufant, 1:39.
First downs 20 22
Rushes-yards 22-55 34-151
Passing 333 315
Comp-Att-Int 31-45-1 18-26-1
Return Yards 98 15
Punts-Avg. 2-42.0 3-24.3
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-52 3-30
Time of Possession 32:11 27:49
RUSHING–Hawaii, Jackson 8-38, Iosefa 5-15, Moniz 9-2. Washington, Polk 22-107, Callier 3-22, K.Smith 1-18, J.Fogerson 1-6, Price 4-4, Team 3-(minus 6).
PASSING–Hawaii, Moniz 31-45-1-333. Washington, Price 18-25-1-315, Callier 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Hawaii, Ostrowski 11-87, Pollard 8-128, Bright 6-64, Stutzmann 3-42, Clapp 1-7, Iosefa 1-7, Jackson 1-(minus 2). Washington, Aguilar 5-131, Seferian-Jenkins 3-91, Je.Kearse 2-30, Johnson 2-18, K.Smith 2-17, Polk 1-11, Hartvigson 1-7, Williams 1-7, J.Fogerson 1-3.