University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian preached it from the first day of fall camp: Penalties – particularly late hits and unsportsmanlike-conduct calls – would not be tolerated this season.
He yelled, preached and even banished players to the sideline on the first day. But a few penalties of that nature, including one that cost the Huskies a touchdown, crept up Saturday night in Washington’s win over No. 7 Oregon State at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Both penalties were painful at the time, but UW was able to overcome them.
In the fourth quarter, with the score 10-10, Huskies linebacker John Timu picked off a Shawn Mannion pass and returned it 45 yards. Just as he reached the end zone, the ball was poked free – but teammate Princeton Fuimaono recovered the ball for an apparent score.
However, a flag lay on the field well back near where Timu made the interception. The referees had flagged Huskies nose tackle Danny Shelton for a personal foul for unnecessary roughness. Replays showed Shelton hitting an unsuspecting OSU offensive linemen well after the play had progressed some 15 yards beyond them.
Even though it was not part of the actual play, it was ruled a penalty and nullified the touchdown. Washington would go on to commit two more penalties on the ensuing drive, and boos rained down on the field.
Later in the game, Talia Crichton was flagged for a personal foul on a late hit after shoving Beavers tailback Storm Woods to the ground after Marcus Peters intercepted a Mannion pass.
The play wasn’t quite as costly, since Keith Price hit Kasen Williams on a 32-yard completion moments later to set up a touchdown that put Washington up 17-10.
“We had some penalties on plays after the whistle, and we have to try and clean them up,” Sarkisian said. “There’s a fine line of playing physical, aggressive football through the echo of the whistle and after it.”
UW committed eight penalties for 84 yards.
BIG HIT ON WHEATON
Sean Parker’s reputation as the hardest hitter on the Huskies is well-earned. And Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton found out in the worst possible way when Parker leveled Wheaton on a pass play deep in Washington territory early in the second quarter.
The UW strong safety led with his shoulder, but the crown of his helmet hit the side of Wheaton’s helmet. The ball popped free and into the waiting hands of Huskies safety Justin Glenn for an interception.
While UW players celebrated the turnover, Wheaton lay motionless on the field for several minutes.
He was able to walk off. But OSU’s top receiving threat (48 catches, 654 yards and six TDs coming into Saturday) never returned.
LAWYER AND HAMMER
Two former Huskies greats were honored at the start of the fourth quarter as part of the recent induction class in the Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
Lawyer Milloy, a Lincoln High School graduate, was a three-time all-Pac-10 performer and an All-America player as a senior. He went on to become a four-time Pro Bowl player and three-time All-Pro safety in the NFL.
Dave “The Hammer” Hoffman was a two-time All-America linebacker out of San Luis Obispo, Calif., who earned his nickname for the vicious hits he would level on opposing ballcarriers.Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 ryan.divish@ thenewstribune.com @RyanDivish