TEMPE, Ariz. — Another blitz came and Keith Price had nowhere to go but backward. It was a valiant effort by Washington’s senior quarterback to just get an awkward, off-balance throw away before he was hit by Arizona State’s Carl Bradford.
The ball landed harmlessly out of bounds. Price landed on his side in the south end zone at Sun Devil Stadium. He rose slowly, holding his right hip and limping off the field.
That about summed up the afternoon for the No. 20 Huskies, who will limp home from Sun Devil Stadium after a third consecutive defeat, 53-24, Saturday.
In a game in which the Huskies (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) hoped to regain their footing, they instead fell further back. Price was hit and hurried all afternoon, Bishop Sankey was a non-factor, and the UW defense was again gashed for big play after big play in the Huskies’ the most lopsided defeat this season.
It was UW’s eighth consecutive setback against Arizona State (5-2, 3-1), and this was the ugliest of them all.
Since 2004, UW has had a losing streak of at least three games in every season.
Price was sacked a season-high six times before leaving early in the fourth quarter, heading with trainers into the UW locker room. Redshirt freshman Cyler Miles entered the game after that.
Arizona State moved the ball at will against the UW defense, and finished with 585 yards of total offense. UW has now allowed more than 500 yards in back-to-back weeks after Oregon totaled 631 yards a week earlier.
Saturday, Arizona State had 314 yard rushing, and the Huskies were at minus-5.
Washington had just 74 yards of total offense at halftime, but they nearly doubled that on the third play of the third quarter. Price hit Kevin Smith on a crossing pattern for a 70-yard touchdown pass, cutting the UW deficit to 29-14 just 62 seconds into the second half.
The Sun Devils came right back with a 77-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by quarterback Taylor Kelly’s 36-yard run to the UW 1. Two plays later, Kelly spun in for a score to push the lead to 36-14.
Price hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 20-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to pull UW to 46-24 down, but Price was hit by three ASU defenders on the play and left the game after that.
Four of UW’s final six drives in the first half resulted in negative yardage.
The game started impressively for Washington as Sankey took a toss to the left and dived in for a 1-yard touchdown to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead after their first drive. Price had hit a wide-open Joshua Perkins for a 23-yard gain to the 1 two plays earlier.
That first drive covered 60 yards on 11 plays. UW would gain just 14 more yards on 25 plays the rest of the first half.
Arizona State running back Marion Grice made a spectacular catch on the left edge of the end zone to score the Sun Devils’ first touchdown early in the second quarter. It was initially ruled an incompletion, but the call was overturned after a review. It appeared that Grice’s elbow hit the ground in bounds before his body landed out.
The UW defense again gave up a number of long pass plays, as was the case a week earlier against Oregon. The Huskies, however, were able to hold ASU to field goals twice when the Sun Devils drove inside the UW 10.
But it wasn’t enough as it only got worse for UW after that. Way worse.
Kasen Williams fumbled a punt that was recovered by former UW signee Chris Young, an Auburn native, at the UW 25. The Sun Devils settled for a field goal on that drive, too, pushing their lead to 15-7 with 4:58 left in the second quarter.
Kelly confounded the Huskies with his arm and legs, rushing for a 1-yard touchdown to push the ASU lead to 22-7 with 2:08 left in the half.
Washington’s next three plays netted minus-8 yards, with Price sacked on second down. On third down, he had to scramble back from a blitzing Bradford before throwing incomplete. Two trainers greeted Price as he got to the sideline.
After the UW punt, Arizona State needed just four plays to cover 60 yards in 48 seconds, with Kelly hitting tight end Chris Coyle for a 14-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left in the half. That pushed the ASU lead to 29-7 at halftime.