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It didn’t stay tied long. Ross returned the subsequent kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, the longest kickoff return in the bowl’s 12-year history.
"Really, the game was summarized by our kickoff coverage team [allowing] a touchdown, and another one back to the 30-ish," Mendenhall said.
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Washington’s third touchdown in the first half was also set up by a long kickoff return, 47 yards.
The Cougars answered with a decent drive after Ross’ TD, but it stalled after Ryker Mathews was flagged for holding, and Justin Sorensen kicked a 45-yard field goal, his longest of the season. Sorensen kicked two more field goals in the first half, from 31 yard and 32 yards, as promising drives stalled in the red zone. His 21 field goals in 2013 is a school record.
The Cougars faced the five-point deficit at the break despite having outgained the Huskies 152 yards and having picked up 18 first downs to UW’s 11. They couldn’t move the ball nearly as well in the second half, however, and fell to 13-17-1 as a program in bowl games.
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