While the Washington coaching staff probably felt differently, the last thing Huskies running back Bishop Sankey wanted was a week off. While Sankey couldn't immediately keep the momentum going from his career-high 241-yard performance in a 41-17 victory over California on Oct. 26, there's reason to believe he'll be able to crank it back up when Washington hosts struggling Colorado on Saturday in a Pac-12 game. The Buffaloes limited UCLA - playing without its leading rusher - to 139 yards on the ground in a 45-23 loss at the Rose Bowl last week, but yielded an eye-popping 405 rushing yards in a 44-20 setback to Arizona on Oct. 26.
Sankey is third in the nation at 145.3 yards per game and tied for fourth with 12 rushing touchdowns, and provides the Buffaloes another stern challenge after Colorado limited Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey - No. 1 in the country at 153.1 yards - to 119 while quarterback B.J. Denker (192) did most of the damage. The Buffaloes, who have lost 13 straight conference games and are 2-31 in their last 33 outside the state of Colorado, have been outscored 90-27 in two losses to Washington since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. It will be a homecoming for Buffaloes freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau, who grew up in nearby Tacoma while starring at Bellarmine Prep.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: Washington -28
ABOUT COLORADO (3-5, 0-5 Pac-12): The Buffaloes' lack of speed - especially on defense - has led to some unsightly numbers, with the ugliest being points allowed per game (38.1, 10th-worst among the 123 FBS teams in the country) and rushing yards yielded (198.9, 97th). Liufau (64.9 completion percentage, four touchdowns, three interceptions) has performed admirably since taking over from junior Connor Wood during a 54-13 loss at Arizona State on Oct. 12. Freshman running back Michael Adkins II (5.7 yards per carry, five TDs) returned to practice and is expected to play after missing the UCLA game with a concussion suffered against Arizona.
ABOUT WASHINGTON (5-3, 2-3): Quarterback Keith Price (64.3 completion percentage, 16 touchdowns, four interceptions) benefited from the week off while he deals with a sore thumb on his throwing hand as Washington enters the homestretch in the regular season. The Huskies finish with No. 19 UCLA, at Oregon State and their annual Apple Cup showdown with Washington State, so they cannot afford to stub their toe against the Buffaloes. Freshman wide receiver John Ross (13 catches, 180 yards, touchdown) is expected to become a bigger part of the offense after junior wideout Kasen Williams broke his foot against Cal and is out for the season.
1. Sankey has 2,788 career yards and is 381 from moving past Joe Steele (1976-79) into third on the all-time list at Washington. He is on pace to pass Chris Polk (4,049 yards from 2008-11) and Napoleon Kaufman (4,106 from 1991-94) during his senior season.
2. Washington has gained more than 600 yards on three occasions this season - the first time it has accomplished the feat in its 123-year history. Prior to this season, the Huskies had six such games.
3. Colorado WR Paul Richardson is fifth in the nation at 123 receiving yards per game and his eight touchdown catches are tied for 12th.
PREDICTION: Washington 45, Colorado 23