Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 10/23/14
The streak is over! The Washington Huskies headed to Cal on Friday night with a big weight on their shoulders. That weight was more than just the game itself as it held much more importance than just a very crucial conference win. The Huskies were mired in a big road losing streak and an embarrassing streak of giving up 50+ points in their last 6 road games…all losses. The Dawgs had a chance to erase all of that and to put themselves back on the right track to finish this season strong. And they did, 21-13. As usual, the Huskies made some mistakes in the game and definitely need to work on some things. This week, though, is about celebration. Let’s hand out some game balls! Offensive Bishop Sankey Week after week, Bishop Sankey impresses me more and more. While he has a completely different running style than Chris Polk did, Sankey is doing his best impression and filling the shoes well. Not known as a physical back, Sankey has slowly changed his game to match each week’s defense. Known primarily as an outside runner, Sankey has learned to find holes in the line and shoot through them the best he can. That change alone has made a big difference in this Husky offense and has opened the door for other offensive players to get better looks during games. Running between the tackles means that defenses have to cover more of the middle of the field, leaving the outside more open again for the receivers to get down field. Sankey has done that for these Washington Huskies. This week he racked up 189 yards rushing, 8 yards receiving and 2 rushing touchdowns. Austin Seferian-Jenkins Austin Seferian-Jenkins was absolutely dominant on Friday. Using his height and size against the defense, ASJ played the post against Cal, literally, and boxed defenders out of passing lanes so he can make catches. Not only that, but he did it on a bad ankle that had him hobbling around for most of the game. it just goes to show that getting the ball to your playmakers makes a big difference in games – one we have not witnessed in a while. Bishop Sankey racked up almost 200 yards of total offense against Cal. This week, Seferian-Jenkins went off for 152 yards and a big touchdown. Defensive Sean Parker Sean Parker is an enigmatic player for this Husky team. He possesses some serious talent, but doesn’t use it to his advantage at times. He is always in on the play and has proved himself to be an absolute ball hawk in the secondary. His big problem, though, is getting beat. While he is good when the ball is in the air, he has allowed receivers to get past him to potentially burn him for big gains or scores. This week, he avoided letting that happen and helped do his part in stopping the Cal receivers sans-Keenan Allen. This week, Parker had 7 tackles, an assist, and a forced fumble. Shaq Thompson True freshman Shaq Thompson has come in and made an immediate impact on this football team. He has easily been one of the best defenders on this team so far and continues to get better each week. His tenacity, speed and size have allowed him to make some huge plays…something we’re not used to seeing from the Washington defense. Thompson himself has had to make adjustments, as he is playing more of a deep linebacker position then safety position. That has allowed him to make some big stops and some really big hits. It has also positioned him to get to the line as quick as possible to stop the run and disrupt plays. He has done exactly that since being thrown into the game in his first season. And it’s just his first season….wow. Against Cal, Thompson had 6 tackles, 1 assist, and an interception. Not bad for a freshman, eh? Special Teams While I would normally want to hand out a special teams ball, there wasn’t much opportunity to earn one in the game. There were no field goals and no big plays on special teams. Hell, half the time, nobody knows which kicker is in to punt. It seems Korey Durkee had the starting job, but Travis Coons has been in a lot, too. One noticeable difference is that Steve Sarkisian has avoided kicking field goals at all costs unless they were almost automatic. There have been more 4th down attempts then field goal attempts this season, seemingly. Step it up, special teams! CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE HUSKIES CLUBHOUSE PAGE AT NWSPORTSBEAT!
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