When Larry Scott took over the Pac-12, he promised more exposure. That’s what he got Friday night on ESPN 2 when Washington beat Cal 21-13 in one of the ugliest college games you’ll see.
Eight turnovers. Ten fumbles. Eighteen penalties, 12 by Washington. Dropped passes by each team that could have been touchdowns. Cats and dogs living together.
The crucial thing for Washington: eight more points than its woeful California counterparts.
Big night for Austin Seferian-Jenkins. His eight catches for 154 yards and a touchdown moved him into elite company in the records books, though he also fumbled. After just 22 games, he’s now Washington’s all-time leader in career receiving yards by a tight end with 1,170. He passed Dave Williams, who had 1,133 from 1964-66, Friday night. He also tied Jerramy Stevens’ single-season record of 48 receptions by a tight end in 2000. We’ll go out on a limb and say he’ll break that record before the season is over.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Coach Sarkisian along with Keith Price, being one of the best I’ve ever played with, the offensive line. I’m just thankful for everyone around me because without them I’d be nothing.”
He also leads all tight ends in the country in receptions. He’s putting together one of the best seasons of football in Washington’s history. By the end of it, he’ll hold most records for a tight end in school history and possibly all of them … as a sophomore.
Also turning heads is Bishop Sankey. He plowed through Cal on his way to a career-high 189 yards. Sankey is 633 yards and one touchdown shy of duplicating what Chris Polk did last season. No one thought that would happen, but he has three regular-season games left and a possible bowl game to get there.
“We definitely needed the run game and Bishop’s been applying that all season,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “I think that he’s the most underrated player on our team, if not, the MVP of our team. He’s done a lot for us. A lot of people coming into this season thought that it would be a cooperative group or a lot of groups of backs. I think that a lot of people came in surprised that he’s doing what he’s doing. I think that everyone in the room knew what he could do, along with his potential. He’s not doing anything special, he’s just doing what he’s capable of, and that’s the cool thing about it.”
Those two performances left Steve Sarkisian near giddy postgame since Washington ended a six-game losing streak on the road. Sarkisian said the team wore suits and ties on the trip for the first time this season on the road. It also gave him hope that they are starting to head downhill to close the season like they did in 2010 — when they won three in a row to close the season, one of which was Polk’s final-play touchdown at Cal.
This will not go into the Instant Classic archives. But, it will go into the win column and that’s all Washington cares about at this point.