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Running Game Powers Win
Release: 09/02/2006
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Sept. 2, 2006

By Ian Frost
UW Athletic Communications

SEATTLE - Washington built its winning tradition on the legs of its running game. Saturday's game against San Jose State was no different, as the Huskies racked up 300 yards on the ground.

The total was the second-highest in the Tyrone Willingham era at Washington, and included two backs - quarterback Isaiah Stanback and tailback Louis Rankin - over 100 yards rushing.

Rankin, a junior, led the team with 145 yards rushing on 10 carries, including a game-sealing 68-yard scamper down the right sideline with 5:12 left in the game.

Starter Kenny James also produced for the Huskies, collecting two touchdowns. The first came with 6:39 left in the first quarter as James knifed through the center of the Spartan defense for 17 yards.

"It was a simple play we'd run all week. I told Isaiah that if they had single safety coverage, I would be wide open," James said. "They went single safety, he got me the ball and it was a touchdown."

The second came as a surprise when James, a senior, caught a 21-yard pass from Stanback out of the backfield for his first career receiving touchdown.

"I had a suggestion to coach on which play to run," Stanback said. "We were getting man coverage so our running back would be covered by linebackers. I threw the ball, he made a move on them and it turned out pretty good."

It wasn't the only smart play Stanback made on the afternoon. Time and time again, the quarterback scrambled to save a pass play. All in all, Stanback finished with a career-high 102 yards on the ground, including a six-yard touchdown run towards the end of the third quarter.

While much of fans' concerns during the offseason were directed at the team's young and inexperienced offensive line, Stanback was quick to credit the talented blockers for the offense's success.

"Our offensive line and our tight ends, fullbacks and receivers ... they all did a good job of blocking," he said. "When they play like that, we are able to get some big runs and have some success."

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