Washington topped BYU 31-16 on Friday night in the last Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park.
The Huskies defense gave up 297 yards in the first half, but the offense mustered up two 11-yard touchdown runs by running back Bishop Sankey, and a 100-yard kick return by wide receiver John Ross gave Washington a 21-16 halftime lead despite a Taysom Hill rushing touchdown and three Justin Sorensen field goals.
"All I need is one block," Ross said post game.
Keith Price then completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to start the second half to make it 28-16. Price was later intercepted later in the third quarter by defensive back Robertson Daniel which put BYU in scoring range, but Sorensen missed a 44-field goal attempt negating the turnover.
A fourth quarter field goal by Travis Coons with 7:53 left gave the Huskies a 31-16 lead and linebacker John Timu intercepted Hill with 2:29 remaining to preserve the win for Washington.
In the end Washington's ability to score touchdowns and the inability of the BYU offense to do the same was the difference in this game. "The kick cover team was the turning point," said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "We weren't able to put it in the endzone on a couple occasions."
Defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha led the Huskies with three sacks to win the Defensive MVP award while Sankey finished with 95 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries to earn Offensive MVP honors. Timu notably added 13 tackles, one sack and one interception.
BYU's all-time leading receiver Cody Hoffman hauled in 12 catches for 167 yards in his final collegiate game
Washington's Marques Tuiasosopo won his first and only game as interim head coach while Mendenhall lost a bowl game for the first time since 2008 after winning four straight.
And while the future of Washington's entire coaching staff is up in the air with the impending takeover of Chris Petersen and Co., Tuiasosopo kept the Huskies focused on winning saying "You guys are the ones that played. You guys are the ones who got us here."
Washington finishes the year 9-4 while BYU drops to 8-5.
The Fight Hunger Bowl moves to the San Francisco 49ers' Levi's Stadium next year and will feature the Pac-12 against the Big Ten.
NOTES: Sankey (hand) and Price (ribs) both exited the game with minor injuries, but a diagnosis wasn't immediately available. ... Sankey is expected to announce his decision to enter the NFL Draft or return for his senior season within a week. ... This is Washington's first bowl win since the 2010 Holiday Bowl.
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