SEATTLE — Another Saturday, another positive grind for Washington running back Bishop Sankey.
Sankey piled another 28 carries, 167 yards and two touchdowns onto his ledger for the season. He also fumbled once, providing Oregon a gift it would later unwrap for seven points.
The junior started the afternoon 11th in Washington history with 2,358 rushing yards. After pushing, cutting and accelerating his way to another 167 yards, he passed four players to move into seventh all-time.
Saturday, he passed Rashaan Shehee, Rich Alexis, Louis Rankin and Hugh McElhenny. He’s 111 yards behind sixth-place Jacque Robinson.
The upward movement came from Sankey’s 12th career game rushing for more than 100 yards. He included 60- and 25-yard touchdowns Saturday.
“Thought he was tremendous,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said.
He was just steady in the first half.
Sankey averaged just 2.9 yards per carry on his 16 first-half efforts.
In the second half, Sankey broke through on fourth-and-1 from Washington’s 40-yard line. The Huskies lined up and, desperately down 21-7 at the time, went for it. Oregon blitzed its linebackers, Sankey bounced to the left, and once loose looked up to see nothing but unmanned FieldTurf. His 60-yard touchdown rebooted Washington’s spirits.
It also looked a lot like his 61-yard touchdown run last season. Sankey pulled that one on Stanford off a fourth-and-1 play, too.
“All I saw was daylight,” Sankey said.
He didn’t see much of it during the day. A week after running against the bruising Stanford defense, Sankey faced a fast-closing Oregon defense.
The Ducks are renowned for their blur of an offense. The defense Saturday was swift, but also used some tendencies of the Cardinal.
“I feel like they both tried to slant pretty hard,” Sankey said. “They’re just athletic and a little faster than Stanford was. I just tried to hit the hole hard and get up field fast.”
He found more space in the second half before the gap in score shifted Washington’s offense into throw-first mode.
“That guy is tough, man,” Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said. “He’s one of those guys that’s a heavy runner, but can burst and can wiggle. He’s tough to tackle. At halftime, he had like 2.9 a carry and we knew they were going to come back to him and hand it and hand it. And he got us.”
Last week, Sankey became the first rusher this season to run for more than 100 yards against Stanford. Saturday, he became the first back to run for more than 100 yards against Oregon. He’s rushed for more than 100 yards in nine of his last 11 games, dating back to last season.
Sankey is averaging 149.8 yards per game this season. If he maintains that average, he’ll finish third in rushing yards in school history by the end of the year.