Huskies Insider Blog

Tale of the tape: Arizona State 24, Washington 10

As always, we're here with our postgame tale of the tape after Washington's 24-10 loss to Arizona State at Husky Stadium.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Obviously not a lot of standout candidates here after wind and rain made it difficult on both teams to move the ball. But we'll go with ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly, who completed 14-of-25 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including the 7-yard touchdown pass to Gary Chambers that put the Sun Devils ahead for good with 3:00 to play. Kelly was sacked seven times and finished with only seven net rushing yards, but he manned up on ASU's final drive and made the plays he needed to help the Sun Devils win the game. Shaq Thompson gets mention here, too, for totaling 98 yards on 21 carries -- he actually went over 100 before losing yardage on his final run from the 2-yard line on the play before UW's field goal.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Jordan Simone was huge for ASU, leading the time (along with Laiu Moeakiola) with 10 tackles and intercepting Troy Williams late in the third quarter. Hau'oli Kikaha had six tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss. His two sacks give him the UW career record with 31.5, and he is now tied for the UW single-season record of 14.5 set by Jason Chorak in 1996. John Timu deserves recognition, too, for his pick-six -- as does Armand Perry, who didn't record a tackle but returned an interception from Williams 61 yards for ASU's final touchdown. Andrew Hudson also continued his quietly productive season with a team-high 10 tackles and two more sacks.

PLAY OF THE GAME -- The holding call against Colin Tanigawa on UW's next-to-last possession was big, because it pushed UW back to a 3rd-and-20. And ASU's sack of Williams on the next play was huge, too. So was Perry's pick-six. And Kelly's touchdown pass on the possession before that.

STAT OF THE GAME -- You might be surprised to learn the Huskies actually ended up outgaining ASU, 290-285, thanks to those last two garbage-time completions by Williams. But the Huskies still averaged only 4.0 yards per play. ASU wasn't much better at 4.2. Not a night for offense.

QUOTABLE -- "We kept wanting to take shots downfield, but we just didn’t feel like the ball would stay on course at all. And so we kind of threw some shorter passes and had minimal success there.” -- UW coach Chris Petersen on the windy conditions

WHAT IT MEANS -- Washington falls to 5-3 overall and 1-3 in Pac-12 play, with a game at Colorado next week that suddenly looks a lot tougher, given the way the Buffaloes played today in a double-overtime loss to UCLA. But the bottom line for the Huskies is that they probably aren't going to win another game if they can't run the ball better than they did tonight, carrying 46 times for 151 yards. That's only 3.3 yards per carry. Part of that, for sure, is due to the absence of Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington, along with offensive guard Dexter Charles and right tackle Ben Riva (though he's missed most of the season now). Petersen doesn't have an easy answer for it, aside from simply saying again that they need to play better. Until they can move the ball on the ground, generating any kind of vertical passing game is going to be extremely difficult -- though that probably wasn't going to happen tonight, anyway, given the conditions. Because of that, it isn't completely fair to judge Williams as a passer based solely on this performance. But he didn't seem to show anything tonight that would indicate he's a superior option to Cyler Miles, who is likely to return as UW's starting quarterback next week. The Huskies' defense nearly carried them to a win on Saturday night. Until the offense starts pulling its weight, they're going to have a hard time beating any of the teams remaining on their schedule.

UP NEXT -- Washington (5-3, 1-3) at Colorado (2-6, 0-5), 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo. Pac-12 Networks has the telecast.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple