After a sluggish first half, Washington put the game on the legs of its star running back and he responded to cap his record-setting junior season. Sankey bettered Corey Dillon's record of 1,695 yards set in 1996 and will have a chance in a bowl game to establish a mark that will be difficult to top. He also ran for a 7-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give the Huskies the lead for good at 17-10, a school-record 35th rushing TD of his career.
Sankey finished the regular season with 1,775 yards rushing.
Keith Price started the final home game of his college career two weeks after suffering shoulder injury against UCLA. Price and the Huskies offense slumped in the first half with two turnovers - a Price fumble and interception - leading to 10 Washington State points.
But outside of the interception, Price played well. He threw for 181 yards and an 18-yard touchdown pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the Huskies first drive of the second half to pull even at 10-10. His 2-yard TD keeper with 2:08 left clinched the victory for the Huskies.
Washington (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12) finally escaped the seven-win plateau that has clouded the tenure of coach Steve Sarkisian for the past three seasons. It's the Huskies first eight-win season since 2001 with a chance at a ninth win in a bowl game. The Huskies also erased the bad memories of a year ago in Pullman when they saw Washington State stage the biggest rally in the history of the rivalry coming from 18 points down in the fourth quarter for a 31-28 overtime win.
Washington State (6-6, 4-5) has the potential of being bowl bound as well. The 106th version of the rivalry between the two schools marked the first time in the last decade both schools entered the game bowl eligible. It's still to be seen where the Cougars may end up but after not going to a bowl game since 2003 it's likely they'll find their way into the postseason.
Connor Halliday threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns, but had two costly interceptions late in the fourth quarter trying to rally the Cougars. It was just the third time this season the Cougars failed to throw for at least 300 yards.
Down by 10 in the fourth quarter, the Cougars rallied. Halliday converted fourth-and-15 from the Washington 39 finding Dom Williams for 22 yards with a personal foul penalty tacked on. Halliday and Williams then connected on a 5-yard TD with 7:30 left to cut the deficit to 20-17.
Washington got a 30-yard run from Sankey on its next possession but the drive stalled just inside Cougars territory and the Huskies were forced to punt. Washington State took possession with 5:26 left at its own 13. On the second play of the drive Halliday threw behind Isiah Myers and was intercepted by Greg Ducre at the Cougars 37 with 5:15 left. It was Halliday's first interception in his previous 152 pass attempts.
Price then put the game out of reach with his 2-yard keeper.