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Originally published Friday, November 2, 2012 at 11:43 PM

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Seferian-Jenkins has monster game

When everything else failed in the 21-13 win at California, quarterback Keith Price knew he could rely on his big tight end to make a play.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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ASJ had a huge game, and on a bad ankle. He is the real deal. Those catches helped sa... MORE
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BERKELEY, Calif. — Washington's most productive play resembled a Hail Mary, which speaks to the problems in the air attack and the greatness of Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

When everything else failed in the 21-13 win at California, quarterback Keith Price knew he could rely on his big tight end to make a play.

"It's almost unfair to have his big body that's so athletic," Price said. "He's just a great presence. A defense has to know where he is. You just give him a shot and he's bound to come down with the ball."

Price and Seferian-Jenkins chatted on the sideline throughout the game and most of the conversations ended with Seferian-Jenkins telling Price: "Just give me a chance."

Late in the third quarter of a slugfest when UW receivers dropped passes and Price (16 of 29 passing for 235 yards) was forced to throw the ball away about as many times as he connected with downfield targets, the Huskies finally found something that worked in the passing game.

They lined up Seferian-Jenkins out wide and isolated the 6-foot-6, 266-pound tight end against 5-10, 185-pound cornerback Steve Williams.

Price scrambled before lofting a pass high in the air to Seferian-Jenkins, who boxed out Williams before leaping and grabbing the 43-yard pass at the Cal 9. It was UW's longest pass play this season.

After a penalty and a sack, UW faced a third-and-goal at the 29. Once again Price darted out of the pocket to his left and spotted Seferian-Jenkins posting up Williams in the end zone.

Price lofted another pass up high and Seferian-Jenkins came down with the touchdown grab, which gave the Huskies a 14-13 lead with 41 seconds left in the third quarter.

"From my angle, Steve went up with him, but it was a jump ball and the guy made a great catch," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "He is one of the best tight ends in the country. ... It wasn't a busted coverage; it was just a mismatch in personnel."

Or maybe it was a basketball play.

Seferian-Jenkins, who played on the UW basketball team last season as a freshman, said his skills on the hard court help him on the field.

"Keith does a great job of throwing it up, and it's basketball at that point," he said. "You just box the guy out and go up for the rebound. It's cool. It's pretty simple. In the Pac-12 (basketball) you've usually got a guy who's 7-foot or 6-8. In this case I just had a 5-10 point guard on me so I just went up and got the rebound. I mean touchdown."

Seferian-Jenkins finished with eight receptions for a personal-best 152 yards.

His final catch, which ended in a fumble, gave him 48 this season and put him in a tie with Jerramy Stevens atop UW's season receptions list for tight ends. He's first on the school's career list for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,170, passing Dave Williams (1,133). He's second in career receptions (89) by a tight end behind Mark Breuner (95).

"Like I've always said, I'm not really too concerned about my numbers," he said. "I'm not a numbers guy or a stats guy. I am actually a stats guy for the wins. I like to see our wins.

"As far as myself, I'm not concerned about myself. I want the team to do well. That's all that matters."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com


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