Star of the game
Washington junior tailback Louis Rankin carried 10 times for a game-high 145 yards and two long touchdowns. His first was a 34-yarder that put the Huskies ahead 14-6. His second was a 68-yarder in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner.
Rankin's final touchdown came when the Huskies needed it most. San Jose trailed only 28-22, when Rankin went wide, cut behind a Stanley Daniels block and sprinted down the sideline for the score.
The Huskies first possession of the new season ended on an interception as senior quarterback Isaiah Stanback threw high to receiver Anthony Russo. Russo got a hand on the ball, but that merely deflected it into the hands of San Jose cornerback Dwight Lowery.
Coaches reported none of the anticipated problems getting their offenses and defenses ready for play despite the new clock-management rule that starts the game clock as soon as the ball is whistled ready for play after a change of possession. In most instances, offenses went straight to the line without huddling.
"In terms of getting things done offensively, there was no impact," UW coach Tyrone Willingham said.
Defensively, things were a little more challenging.
"We had a defense called, whether it was base or nickel," UW defensive coordinator Kent Baer said. "Sometimes it wasn't the right one."
The rule change had the intended affect of shortening the game. This one ticked by in three hours and four minutes, about six minutes shorter than the typical non-televised game in 2005.
However, early indications nationwide are that the rule also is shaving the average number of plays from 140 to about 120.
"I'm not sure if people really know how to adjust to that right now," defensive coordinator Kent Baer said. "We are going to have to understand how fast that game is going to go and get used to it."
Another new rule this season reduced the kicking tee from a maximum of 2 inches to 1 inch.
This also made little difference to UW kicker Michael Braunstein, who sent two kicks almost to the back of the end zone.
Willingham said the Huskies "came out pretty good" in terms of injuries. He said only that an undisclosed injury to tight end Michael Gottlieb "might require another look."
San Jose quote
"We can be proud of our effort. We can be proud of the fact that the tougher it got the better we played. We can be proud of the fact that we won the turnover battle and had less penalties and all of those things. But we were trying to win, and we didn't." – San Jose State coach Dick Tomey
The Huskies won their season opener for the first time since a 23-18 win over Michigan in 2001. … The Huskies' 300 rushing yards was their most since their 333 ground yards last season at Arizona. … Washington had two 100-yard rushers (Rankin's 145 and Stanback's 102) for the first time since 2003 when Shelton Sampson and Kenny James did it. Saturday's totals also marked career highs for Rankin and Stanback. … Late in the second quarter, senior tailback James scored his first career receiving touchdown, a 21-yarder from Stanback. … The first half marked Washington's first 21-point half since 2004. … Gottlieb made his first career reception in the second quarter, but the play ended with a lost fumble. … San Jose turned each of the Huskies' three first-half turnovers into field goals as kicker Jared Strubeck tied the school record of three field goals in a game. … UW's Sean Douglas averaged 45.7 yards on three punts, all downed inside the SJSU 20.
Next: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, at Oklahoma, Memorial Stadium, Norman, Okla.