Washington played its season opener Saturday without one of its most experienced players as fifth-year senior right tackle Ben Riva did not play due to an undisclosed injury.
Coleman Shelton, a redshirt freshman from Pasadena, California, started in his place. Riva suited up and went through warm-ups, but took warm-up repetitions with the second team offensive line while wearing a brace on his knee.
Riva, who is from Seattle and attended O’Dea High School, has 21 career starts.
That wasn’t the only deviation from the Huskies’ official depth chart. Sophomore Kevin King got the start at safety alongside Budda Baker. Third-year sophomore Brandon Beaver was listed as the starter.
Lindquist, Ross go deep
Jeff Lindquist’s first career touchdown pass was also the second-longest scoring throw in school history.
On first-and-10 from the Huskies’ 9-yard line early in the second quarter, Lindquist threw a deep ball that sophomore receiver John Ross ran beneath, snagged in stride, then carried the rest of the field for a 91-yard touchdown to give the Huskies a 14-10 lead.
The only touchdown pass by a UW quarterback longer than that was a 98-yard completion from Jake Locker to Marcel Reese in 2007 against Arizona.
Lindquist’s first collegiate completion was a 20-yard throw to tight end Michael Hartvigson.
Several Huskies players made their collegiate debuts Saturday, including: Shelton, Baker, true freshman kicker Tristan Vizcaino, running back Lavon Coleman, true freshman receiver Brayden Lenius, true freshman defensive back Naijiel Hale, nose tackle Elijah Qualls, linebackers Keishawn Bierria (starter), Azeem Victor and Sean Constantine, and defensive backs Jermaine Kelly (starter) and true freshman Darren Gardenhire.
Huskies lead series
Washington’s victory gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead in its all-time series against the Rainbow Warriors. Three of the games have been played in the past eight seasons – UW lost in Hawaii in 2007 and won at Husky Stadium in 2011.
The Huskies’ first loss in the series still stands as one of the biggest upsets in Hawaii history. That was in 1973, when the Rainbow Warriors visited Seattle to open the season and won, 10-7, thanks to UW throwing three interceptions and losing two fumbles (there were 13 fumbles total between the teams).
After the game, Hawaii coach Dave Holmes said the victory was “the biggest win ever for me.”