SEATTLE — The new Husky Stadium wasn’t the only impressive unveiling on Saturday night.
This year’s UW football team looks pretty good too.
Saturday’s dominating 38-6 win over 19th-ranked Boise State probably had many in a boisterous crowd of 71,963 up past midnight on Montlake.
UW fans have suffered through years of inconsistency. There was hope this year’s team might leap to national prominance.
Now there is evidence.
Exhibit A — Keith Price. The senior quarterback was dynamic, accurate and, most importantly, ruthless.
Boise State pulled within 10-6 early in the second half, but Price led two lightning-fast scoring drives that snuffed out Boise’s momentum.
Price needed just four plays and 1:35 to put UW in the end zone with an 18 yard pass to Kasen Williams. The next drive needed just 2:14 and seven plays to cover 64 yards. Price’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Perkins gave him 56 TD passes for his career, the most of any UW quarterback.
“I remember coming in here, and now being mentioned among the best to ever play here, it’s an honor,” said Price, who admitted having more butterflies before this game than others. “I’m just proud to be a part of it.”
Price completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards. He led an offense that cranked up its tempo beyond what the Huskies have done previously under coach Steve Sarkisian.
UW’s offense finished with 592 total yards on 85 plays. It allowed Price and running back Bishop Sankey to get in a rhythm. The junior finished with 161 yards rushing and two touchdowns, the second being a 23-yard run that put UW up 31-6.
“We prepared well and were confident enough in our offense,” Sankey said. “I wasn’t too surprised when Keith started throwing the ball around and making plays.”
Also making plays was the Husky defense. With a bend-not-break identity on Saturday, UW held Boise to 8 of 19 on third-down conversions.
“We felt a lot of pressure to step up,” UW linebacker Shaq Thompson said. “We lost the bowl game (to Boise) and had to come back and get the win.”
The loss was the worst for Boise State under coach Chris Petersen, who is starting his eighth season with the Broncos.
“They dominated us in all phases,” Petersen said.
Washington now has a bye week before facing Illinois at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Sarkisian’s challenge is to maintain the momentum his team will carry from Saturday’s win.
“We need to dive right into the game plan for Illinois.” Sarkisian said. “I like where we’re at from a conditioning standpoint. We need to maintain that through the bye week going into the next game.”
• All-American tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins served a one-game suspension following DUI arrest during the offseason. Price did just fine without his top target, though. He completed passes to seven receivers, including nine to Jaydon Mickens for 109 yards.
• The most inspiring player on the field Saturday was Deontae Cooper. The UW running back suffered three ACL tears in three seasons. Though he only carried six times for eight yards, his mere presence on the football field was cheered by the sellout crowd. “It was a blessing, especially after how I started three years ago,” Cooper said. “I am ready to move on, get better and continue to play football.”