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September 28, 2012
It took a total team effort for the Huskies to knock off No. 9 Stanford on Thursday evening, but it also took the game of Bishop Sankey's life.
In games like the one played Thursday night it takes big performances from your best players to make the difference and push you over the edge, and that's exactly what the Huskies got from No. 25.
The sophomore running back was locked in a competition with Jesse Callier before the season and the position has been ravaged by injuries since. So Sankey's importance has only been amplified with time.
So far this season the Huskies haven't been able to get much going on the ground. That changed Thursday night. Washington's rushing statistics still aren't going to wow anyone, but when you consider that Stanford was allowing just around 40 yards per game on the ground, and held Southern Cal to less than 30 yards rushing, Sankey's performance was huge.
On just 20 carries he netted 144 yards and a touchdown. But even that doesn't tell the story.
Washington found themselves in a huge danger zone in the second half. Late in the third quarter Keith Price was intercepted and Trent Murphy returned the pick 40 yards for a touchdown to increase their lead to 13-3.
You don't want to fall behind to Stanford, especially with so little time remaining.
On the Huskies' very next possession Sankey played perhaps the best football of his life. On 2nd-and-10 Price found him for an eight-yard completion, and on the very next play he rushed for three yards, just enough to move the chains.
Shortly thereafter Washington found themselves in a 3rd-and-1 from their own 40. Price handed the ball off to Sankey, who took it from the left hash. He found a seam and cut through it, broke a tackle and outran the defense for a long scoring burst that kept the Huskies in the game.
Kasen Williams' 35-yard touchdown reception may be remembered as the play that changed the game, but without Sankey's run, and his overall performance, there's no way the Dawgs come out with that win.
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