At the six-week mark of the 2011 University of Washington football season, Husky fans found themselves in awe of sophomore quarterback Keith Price’s passing spectacle. After opening the season as Jake Locker’s raw replacement by tossing three touchdown passes in a closer-than-expected win (30-27) over Eastern Washington, Price went on an historic — at least by UW standards — rampage.
He threw four TDs in a 40-32 win against Hawaii and four the following week in a 51-38 shootout loss at Nebraska. After three more against California and another three against Utah in the fourth and fifth weeks of the season, Price came back with four more in a 52-24 romp over Colorado.
With that, Price became the first quarterback in Washington history to produce a trio of four-TD games in a single season — and he had started six contests. At that point, Price had 21 touchdown passes, the fourth-highest single-season total in UW history.
Of all the remarkable numbers Price produced through his first six games as Washington’s quarterback, the most impressive was that 21 of his 122 throws went for touchdowns, a 12.35 TD percentage. The top single-season mark in school history was 9.12 percent by Brock Huard in 1997, and the best after that was 7.52 by Billy Joe Hobert in the co-national championship year of 1991.
Price didn’t finish 2011 with quite the same flourish he started it with, tossing 10 TDs over his final seven contests. Still, his 33 TD passes shattered the school record of 28 by Cody Pickett in 2002, and his 9.11 TD percentage fell just shy of Huard’s 9.12 in 1997.
Four years later, another sophomore, Jake Browning, is threatening to grind Price’s 2011 burst into pulp. Price’s first six that year vs. Browning’s first six this season:
Keith Price, 2011
|E. Wash.||W 30-27||102||3||Completed 17 of 25 wearing knee brace|
|Hawaii||W 40-32||315||4||Two TDs went to WR Jermaine Kearse|
|at Nebraska||L 51-38||274||3||Two more TDs (38, 8 yards) to Kearse|
|California||W 31-23||292||3||Two TDs to TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins|
|at Utah||W 31-14||226||3||Completed 18 of 30 with one INT|
|Colorado||W 52-24||257||4||Hit on 21 of 28 with no interceptions|
Jake Browning, 2016
|Rutgers||W 48-13||287||3||TDs of 38, 50 yards to WR John Ross|
|Idaho||W 59-14||294||5||2 TDs to Dante Pettis, 2 to Ross|
|Portland St.||W 41-3||163||4||Completed 12 of 19 with no INTs|
|at Arizona||W 35-28||160||2||Also ran for a three-yard touchdown|
|Stanford||W 44-6||210||3||Completed 15 of 21 with no INTs|
|at Oregon||W 70-21||304||6||Set UW mark with 6 TDs, ran for a TD|
Browning, who has matched Price’s mark with three, 4-TD games in a season, has been responsible for 156 points (23 passing TDs, 3 rushing), the eighth-highest single-season total in UW history with six games remaining. His 26 per game, if it holds, will wipe out Price’s 16.6 mark in 2011 (Mark Brunell ranks No. 3 at 14.8 in 1990).
“We want him to keep playing like he’s been playing,” coach Chris Petersen told reporters Thursday when asked to compare Browning to other quarterbacks his age (20). “I think the really good players all have poise and mental ability, and Jake’s got that.”
Browning has 144 passes this season and completed 104, 72.2 percent (the UW record is 69.9 by Price in 2011). Twenty-three have gone for touchdowns, or 15.97 percent.
The Huskies have featured numerous quarterbacks — most notably Warren Moon, Chris Chandler, Hugh Millen, Brunell and Damon Huard — who went on to lengthy NFL careers, but none came close to throwing 15.97 percent of their Huskies passes for touchdowns, as Browning is doing:
|2016||Jake Browning||15.97%||23 TD passes among his 144 throws|
|1997||Brock Huard||9.12%||25 touchdowns in 274 attempts|
|2011||Keith Price||9.11%||33 touchdowns in 362 attempts|
|1991||Billy Joe Hobert||7.52%||24 touchdowns in his 319 attempts|
|1973||Chris Rowland||6.41%||5 of 15 TD passes came against Cal|
|1950||Don Heinrich||6.33%||Made 221 throws, tallied 14 touchdowns|
|1986||Chris Chandler||6.29%||20 touchdowns in 318 pass attempts|
Browning makes his next assault on the UW record book Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks) when the No. 5-ranked Huskies host Oregon State, a 36-point underdog.