SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When Washington started crowding the line of scrimmage in the second half, BYU had no answer.
Taysom Hill and the Cougars were held scoreless for the final two quarters by the Huskies' aggressive defense, and BYU had its four-game bowl winning streak snapped with a 31-16 loss in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday night.
"They started bringing their safeties down," Hill said. "They were playing 10 yards deep, stacking the box. What really started clicking in the second quarter for us was a little play-fake, slants over the middle. They adjusted and took that away. Unfortunately we weren't able to adjust and capitalize on a lot of opportunities that we had in the second half."
Hill threw for 293 yards and ran for 133 yards and a score for the Cougars (8-5), who settled for three field goals from Justin Sorensen to end promising drives.
Sorensen also missed a kick in the third quarter after an interception by Robertson Daniel in Huskies territory, and the Cougars allowed two long kickoff returns — including one for a touchdown.
"Taysom led our team really well," coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "He played hard, he played physical. He gave us a great chance to win the game and stay in it. I told my team I was proud of them. I liked how hard they played. Our special teams needed to execute better."
Bishop Sankey ran for 95 yards and two scores to give Washington (9-4) its most wins since going 11-1 and winning the Rose Bowl in 2000.
Keith Price added a 16-yard TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and John Ross returned a kick 100 yards for another score as the Huskies capped a tumultuous month with a milestone win.
"I can't say enough about these guys," interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo said. "They wanted it and through some turmoil they stayed focused, they came together as a team and came here with a purpose."
The game capped a whirlwind stretch for the Huskies that began with coach Steve Sarkisian leaving for the same job at Southern California. Chris Petersen was hired away from Boise State to take over at Washington, and Tuiasosopo coached the bowl game on an interim basis. The Huskies won just their second bowl game since Tuiasosopo led them to that Rose Bowl win over Purdue 13 years ago.
"We all know what he's done here as a player," Sankey said. "It makes it that much easier when a coach leaves when you have a guy like Coach Tui."