The No. 19 Washington Huskies managed to hold off the unranked Illinois Fighting Illini in Chicago on Saturday, winning 34-24. Quarterback Keith Price threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns while the team racked up a total of 273 yards rushing.
Trailing at 31-10 near the end of the third quarter, the Illini fought back. Nathan Scheelhaase completed a pass to Ryan Lankford that went 72 yards for a touchdown to bring the game closer. When the fourth quarter came around, the Illini made it into the red zone after Miles Osei hit Matt LaCosse for a 35-yard reception. From the 10-yard line, Aaron Bailey scored a rushing touchdown to bring the game within seven points.
But Washington took over again, and managed to make it into the red zone. They were unable to score a touchdown, but they kicked a field goal to make it a 10-point game. Illinois took back over with intent to make it a one-score game, but Scheelhasse was picked off by Gregory Ducre on a first down throw. The Huskies took over, earned a couple first downs and were able to kill the clock for the win.
Box Score Hero: While Price performed well and put up the scoring production, it was running back Bishop Sankey who facilitated scoring position on multiple drives. He carried the ball 35 times for 208 yards and a touchdown, finishing with a per-carry average of 5.9 yards. He also caught three passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Rankings Ramifications: Washington entered the game as the No. 19 team in the nation, and a strong win over the 2-0 Illini at a neutral site would certainly boost their chances of moving up if a team above them happens to falter.
But Did They Cover?: The Huskies opened as 7-point favorites, but most books had them at 10.5-point favorites by gameday. They came close to covering for some, but if you took the 10.5, then they just barely missed it.
For More On This Game: For more on Huskies football, visit Washington community UW Dawg Pound, plus Pac-12 community Pacific Takes. For more on Illini football, visit Illinois community Hail To The Orange, plus Big Ten community Off Tackle Empire.
Next Week's Schedule: Washington will return home to host the Idaho State Bengals on Sept. 21. Illinois will remain home to play host to the Miami RedHawks on Sept. 28.