Kasen Williams took a quick screen pass from Keith Price, broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and raced 35 yards for the go-ahead score with 4:53 left, and Washington rallied from 10 points down to stun No. 8 Stanford, 17-13, Thursday night in Seattle.
Trailing, 13-3, late in the third quarter, the Huskies (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) got a 61-yard touchdown sprint from running back Bishop Sankey for their first offensive touchdown against an FBS opponent since the first quarter of the opener against San Diego State.
Then Washington put together a nine-play drive that included a fourth-down conversion and was capped by Williams’s catch-and-run that gave the Huskies their first lead.
It was Washington’s first win over a top-10 opponent since its upset of then-No. 3 USC in 2009, Steve Sarkisian’s first season at Washington. And it was thanks to an inspired defensive effort that was the opposite of a year ago when Stanford (3-1, 1-1) bulldozed the Huskies to the tune of 446 yards rushing and 65 points.
Price finished 19 of 37 for 177 yards and the touchdown toss to Williams. Sankey had 144 yards on 20 carries after Stanford’s defense had allowed just 124 yards rushing combined in the first three games of the season.
Washington started its winning drive at the 35 with 8:57 left and converted on fourth and 1 at its own 44 with Dezden Petty bulling for 2 yards. The Huskies eventually got down to the Stanford 35 with five minutes remaining. That’s when Sarkisian called for the quick screen to his star receiver. Williams broke the tackle of Terrence Brown at the line of scrimmage then sprinted down the sideline.
Watkins stays home
Clemson All-America receiver Sammy Watkins won’t play against Boston College because of an abdominal virus. The school said in a statement Thursday that Watkins was diagnosed with the virus and would not travel with the 17th-ranked Tigers when they face the Eagles. It will be the third game this season Watkins will miss. Coach Dabo Swinney said Watkins had taken himself out of practices on Tuesday and Wednesday because he didn’t feel well. On Thursday, Watkins ‘‘was worse and after going to the doctor it was determined that he needed to stay here this weekend,’’ Swinney said . . . Ohio State AD Gene Smith says the move to a new four-team FBS playoff system may mean not scheduling so many games against Mid-American Conference teams.
Smith says the committee that will decide the playoff teams will take into consideration strength of schedule.