Washington’s defense sacked Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee eight times and forced two fumbles, and the 18th-ranked Huskies beat the Cardinal 40-22.
SEATTLE (AP) — Wayne Taulapapa rushed for a career-high 120 yards and a touchdown, Washington’s defense sacked Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee eight times and forced two fumbles, and the 18th-ranked Huskies beat the Cardinal 40-22 on Saturday night.
Washington (4-0, 1-0), playing as a ranked team for the first time this season, used a stingy defense and a handful of big attacking plays to win their Pac-12 opener under new coach Kalen DeBoer.
Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw 309 yards on a screen pass and second-half touchdowns of 30 yards to Rome Odunze and 21 yards to Giles Jackson. Odunze had eight catches for 161 yards, his first career 100-yard game.
But Washington’s defense deserved equal credit for the constant pressure it was able to put on McKee. The Huskies sacked him six times in the first half.
Stanford lost its eighth straight conference game from last season, the longest slip under coach David Shaw.
The Huskies have at least 39 points in all four games, and this time they did it without an otherworldly performance from Penix, who still managed to surpass 300 yards for the fourth straight game. Penix was 22nd of 37. Will Nixon added a 3-yard touchdown run and Peyton Henry kicked four field goals.
Taulapapa was a less-heralded offseason signing for Washington, but earned the starting nod when he ran back for a reason. He showed strobes in the first three games but found massive gaps against the Cardinal, averaging 9.2 yards per carry.
Taulapapa’s longest run came midway through the second quarter when he tumbled down the sideline for a 34-yard touchdown two plays after a Stanford turnover. It was the first 100-yard game of Taulapapa’s career, in both Virginia and Washington.
McKee was 17th of 26 for 286 yards and three touchdowns. He beat Michael Wilson for 23 yards in the second quarter, John Humphreys with a 17-yard TD, and found Wilson again late in the fourth quarter with a 78-yard TD.
But it was Washington’s pass rush that set the tone early on. The Huskies went into the season with seven sacks and had six on McKee in the first half. Bralen Trice and Alphonzo Tuputala met McKee twice in the first half. But the biggest sack came from Jeremiah Martin when he hit McKee’s ball midway through the second quarter.
Faatui Tuitele recovered from the fumble and two games later, Tualapapa broke out for his touchdown run and a 17-0 lead.
The Cardinal was without leading rusher EJ Smith and an injury-related right tackle on Myles Hinton. Casey Filkins ran for 100 yards in place of Smith.
THE TAKE AWAY
Stanford: Stanford’s revenue problems from the first two games resurfaced. Along with McKee’s two fumbles, he was also intercepted deep in Washington in the first quarter when Filkins bobbed a pass straight into the arms of linebacker Cam Bright.
Washington: How dominant were the Huskies on offense? For the first time this year, they had to sting in the first half. Washington has punted just nine times in four games.
Stanford: The Cardinals are back in Oregon next Saturday.
Washington: The Huskies are touring for the first time this season, traveling to UCLA in a short week next Friday.
https://www.king5.com/article/sports/ncaa/ncaab/huskies/no-18-washington-dominates-in-40-22-thumping-of-stanford/281-32b7d34d-e3b5-4d42-adf9-994985153a24 No. 18 Washington dominates in 40-22 thumping of Stanford