CHICAGO — Keith Price threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, Bishop Sankey ran for a career-high 208 yards and No. 19 Washington got a rare road win, beating Illinois 34-24 at Soldier Field on Saturday.
Josh Shirley added four sacks, and the Huskies came out on top after dropping seven of nine away from home. They hadn’t won on the road outside the Pac-12 since beating Syracuse in 2007.
Washington (2-0) had a tougher time in this one after keeping high-powered Boise State without a touchdown and racking up 592 yards in a 38-6 win two weeks ago. The Huskies built a 21-point lead in the third quarter and hung on after it dwindled to seven in the fourth, sending Illinois (2-1) to its sixth straight loss against ranked opponents.
The Illini cut it to 31-24 on Aaron Bailey’s 10-yard run with 9:10 remaining, but Washington’s Travis Coons kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it a 10-point game with 4:44 left. Gregory Ducre then picked off a deep pass by Nathan Scheelhaase, sealing the win for the Huskies.
Price completed 28 of 35 passes. Kevin Smith caught five passes for 104 yards, and Sankey came up big again after running for 161 yards in the opener. He scored a 31-yard touchdown on a screen in the first half and on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter.
The defense got to Scheelhaase with Shirley leading the way, and the Huskies won despite committing 12 penalties for 104 yards.
Illinois couldn’t keep the momentum going after blowing out Cincinnati last weekend.
With Hall of Famer and Chicago native Dick Butkus watching his alma mater play in the stadium where he starred for the Bears, the Illini couldn’t get much going. Scheelhaase, off to his best start in four years as the No. 1 quarterback, was just 9 of 25 with 156 yards. He did connect on a 72-yard touchdown to Ryan Lankford right when the Huskies looked like they were ready to pull away, but that was the lone bright spot for him.
That happened on the next play from scrimmage after Jaydon Mickens scored on a 9-yard pass to boost Washington’s lead to 31-10. Instead of a blowout, Scheelhaase then hit Lankford for that TD, and things got real interesting after a trick play by Illinois in the fourth.
Bailey took the snap and faked a handoff before pitching to Miles Osei, who then hit Matt LaCosse for a 35-yard pass. That led to a 10-yard touchdown run by Bailey, cutting it to 31-24 with 9:10 remaining only to have Coons kick an insurance score for the Huskies a few minutes later.
No. 19 WASHINGTON 34, ILLINOIS 24
Washington 0 10 21 3–34
Illinois 0 3 14 7–24
Wash–Sankey 31 pass from Price (Coons kick), 11:09.
Ill–FG Zalewski 40, 8:27.
Wash–FG Coons 23, :28.
Wash–Sankey 1 run (Coons kick), 13:02.
Ill–Scheelhaase 2 run (Zalewski kick), 9:14.
Wash–Callier 39 run (Coons kick), 6:14.
Wash–Mickens 9 pass from Price (Coons kick), 3:32.
Ill–Lankford 72 pass from Scheelhaase (Zalewski kick), 3:16.
Ill–Bailey 10 run (Zalewski kick), 9:10.
Wash–FG Coons 32, 4:44.
First downs 30 17
Rushes-yards 50-273 36-136
Passing 342 191
Comp-Att-Int 28-35-0 10-26-1
Return Yards 11 2
Punts-Avg. 3-47.7 5-45.2
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-Yards 12-104 6-65
Time of Possession 31:36 28:24
RUSHING–Washington, Sankey 35-208, Callier 6-66, Ross 1-7, Washington 2-2, Mickens 1-1, Team 1-(minus 2), Price 4-(minus 9). Illinois, Young 13-58, Ferguson 4-29, Scheelhaase 12-21, Davis 4-12, Bailey 1-10, Lankford 2-6.
PASSING–Washington, Price 28-35-0-342. Illinois, Scheelhaase 9-25-1-156, Osei 1-1-0-35.
RECEIVING–Washington, Mickens 8-51, Smith 5-104, K.Williams 4-58, Sankey 3-63, Seferian-Jenkins 3-8, Callier 2-30, Campbell 1-15, Perkins 1-9, Ross 1-4. Illinois, Lankford 3-100, Harris 2-10, LaCosse 1-35, Ferguson 1-27, Barr 1-11, Davis 1-8, Young 1-0.