Freshman QB helps Huskies devour Beavers


CORVALLIS, Ore. — This had to be Keith Price’s smoothest handoff ever.

Handed the keys to the Washington offense, all Cyler Miles did was lead the Huskies to one of their most impressive victories ever in Corvallis.

Miles, the Huskies’ redshirt freshman quarterback, completed 15 of 24 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown in his first start, Bishop Sankey added 179 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and the road-weary Huskies chewed up Oregon State in every way possible in a 69-27 victory Saturday night.

When the night was over, the Huskies had nearly 700 yards in total offense and three different running backs with more than 100 yards rushing.

After their first conference road victory of the season, in their fourth try, the Huskies (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) enter the showdown Friday against Washington State with a chance to get over the seven-win hump. Hope for that emerged with Miles, who ran the UW offense with aplomb in place of the injured Price.

Price, UW’s career leader in touchdown passes, tested his ailing throwing shoulder during warmups, but he watched the game from the sideline in a large overcoat and a black beanie on a chilly night at Reser Stadium.

His availability for the Apple Cup remains in question.

Miles offered little question that he’s a capable successor. He threw a beautiful, over-the-top pass to Kevin Smith, who hauled in the 28-yard catch while falling on his backside in the second quarter to push UW’s lead to 27-0.

By the time Oregon State scored its first touchdown early in the fourth quarter, only several thousand of the announced crowd of 43,779 were still in the stands at Reser Stadium.

The Beavers (6-5, 4-4) have lost four in a row.

This was UW’s second-most lopsided victory ever in Corvallis. In 1991, the third-ranked Huskies beat OSU 58-6.

Sankey’s three rushing touchdowns gave him 34 for his career to tie Napoleon Kaufman for UW’s career record.

Junior Deontae Cooper, continuing his feel-good comeback from three major knee injuries, rushed for 166 yards and two scores in the second half. Cooper had runs of 68 and 70 yards, the two longest runs of the season for UW.

Dwayne Washington later added two touchdowns and more than 141 yards on the ground.

The Huskies finished with 531 rushing yards, second-most in the history of the program.

The UW defense intercepted Oregon State’s Sean Mannion three times, including two by Marcus Peters and the third by Shaq Thompson, who returned his interception 80 yards for a touchdown to make it 48-0 late in the third quarter.

After a 62-yard kickoff return by UW’s John Ross to start the game, Miles completed a quick 3-yard pass to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Miles rushed twice for 7 yards on the opening drive, which culminated in Bishop Sankey’s 3-yard touchdown run to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead at the 12:29 mark.

Price cheered and pumped his fist in celebration on the sideline.

On the next drive, Miles hit a diving Kevin Smith for a 36-yard pass to the Oregon State 5-yard line. Sankey then rushed in for an easy touchdown on the next play to push the UW lead to 14-0.

The last time Price did not start was also at Oregon State, in 2011. Nick Montana started that game and finished 11 of 21 for 79 yards with two touchdowns and one interception before Price was called off the bench in the fourth quarter. The Beavers won that night, 38-21.

On this night, with this young quarterback, the Huskies were better by Miles.

 

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