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Pac-12 Rewards Powell for His Game-Changing Pick-6 Against ASU

The Husky nickelback went 89 yards to score with his interception.
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Mishael Powell hasn't stopped running yet, going nearly the length of Husky Stadium with an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown, into the University of Washington record book and now into Pac-12 weekly award territory.

His clutch fourth-quarter pass theft of a Trenton Bourguet pass with 8:11 left in the game helped make fifth-ranked and unbeaten the Huskies a 15-7 winner over Arizona State after they trailed most of Saturday night's game at Husky Stadium.

Once he touched down in the east end zone, Powell had come up with the sixth-longest interception runback in school history, with all except the longest one — 96 yards by Brandon Beaver in 2015 — resulting in a touchdown.

All of this brought the junior nickelback from Seattle the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Week award, the first for a Husky defender since Carson Bruener earned this recognition in 2021 for his play against Stanford.

"I was so excited for him," UW co-defensive coordinator Chuck Morrell said. "I challenged Meesh a couple of weeks ago to take the next step."

Powell took roughly 89 of them when he jumped the Arizona State pass route, caught the ball on the run, zipped up the left sideline and avoided a diving Bourguet who was the last man trying to bring him down.

The former walk-on, or non-scholarship player, also contributed a pass break-up and 3 tackles to the cause against the upset-minded Sun Devils.

"When guys are beginning to play at a high level, it's never a shock when they step up and make a critical play," Morrell said. "Obviously it came at a really important time in the game. They were in the red zone. We've got to get the stop, dealing with a lot of fourth downs lately, just to change the game."

Powell, who had his first UW career interception against Michigan State, is one of just five locally produced players in the starting lineup, adding to his accomplishment. 

"Looking at him, what a cool deal — you make the game-winning play, something that's going to go down in history," Morrell said. "Awesome, awesome job by him."

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