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Comeback kids Taylor win over Troy
by Malamute, 7 October 2001

Down 14-7 at half and minus their starting quarterback Cody Pickett for most of the game, the Huskies rode the arm of Taylor Barton, the running of Willie Hurst and the pass catching of Reggie Williams to post a comeback win over the Trojans in Seattle, 27-24.

In Barton's first major role of the season, it was a dream come true, although it's not the way he wanted it to happen, having to replace starting quarterback Cody Pickett, who suffered a right shoulder sprain in the second quarter. Kicked around like an old, wet shoe, Barton has been as peripatetic as a wandering nomad. Out of Beaverton, Oregon, he was recruited by Rick Neuheisel when he was the head coach at Colorado. After Neuheisel left Colorado, Barton became disenchanted with the Buffs, and ended up at San Francisco City College, where he played last year. The Huskies gave up two scholarships to get Barton since they had promised not to recruit former Colorado players when they hired Neuheisel. As it  turned out, it was two scholarships well spent. 

Barton threw for 197 yards, completing 11 out of 20 passes, with no interceptions. With the scored tied at 24, he engineered the final drive, which took the Huskies to Trojan 15, where John Anderson kicked a 32-yard field goal to win the game, with only 3 seconds remaining on the clock. Earlier, Anderson had missed from 35 yards out, with the score deadlocked. Oh, for the life of a field-goal kicker. 

Coming off a hamstring injury, having missed the California game, Willie Hurt's running was instrumental in the win, especially in the final drive, when he ran for 29 yards on 6 carries. He ended up with 102 yards rushing. 

Washington clearly dominated the second half; USC had only one possession in the third quarter and Palmer did not complete a pass. The only pass he completed in the second half was to Kareem Kelly, a 58-yard pass for a touchdown, with 3:47 left in the game. It was somewhat of a fluke, coming off a controversial pass interference penalty that kept the Trojan drive alive. On the pass to Kelly, there were five men in the area, three Huskies and two Trojans, all adding to the confusion as Kelly caught the ball. Omare Lowe gained a half-step or so on Kelly, in his attempt to catch up with him, but to no avail.

Comments and notes:

  • Washington’s come-from-behind wins remind me of the days when Jim Owens coached the Huskies, especially of his teams in the late fifties and early sixties, when they fourth-quartered their opponents due to better conditioning. This season, the dawgs have run the ball better than their opponents in the second half, while their defense has come to the fore. Let’s give Husky strength and conditioning coach Bill Gillespie some credit here.


  • Washington obviously misses TE Jerramy Stevens, who is out with a broken left foot. In its last two games, Washington has completed only two passes to its tight ends, one to Kevin Ware in the Cal game and one to Joe Collier in the USC game. The pass to Collier was deflected at the line of scrimmage. In the second quarter, with second and nine at his six yard line, Pickett badly overthrew Kevin Ware. Troy Polamalu gathered  the ball in and ran it in untouched, a 22-yard interception return. 


  • Freshman sensation Reggie Williams is a superstar in the making. He caught five passes for 101 yards. There are no cornerbacks in the Pac-10 who can cover him, the picture of him in the Los Angeles Times hauling in a pass over the outstretched arms of USC cornerback Kris Richard in the fourth quarter, telling.


  • Obviously nervous and out of synch with Kyle Benn, the Washington center, Barton fumbled three snaps from center after he took over for Pickett in the second quarter. To start the third quarter, the Washington coaching staff eased him into the game by letting him run two plays from the shot gun. Before working with the center again, Barton ran the ball twice, which took away his case of nerves. After that there were no problems with the center exchange.

Statistics:

USC 0 14 3 7 24
Washington 7 0 7 13 27

 

Statistics USC Washington
First Downs 15 22
Rushing yards 41-134 41-174
Passing yards 152 267
Sacked-yards  2-8 1-2
Return yards 44 2
Passes 8-14-0 19-34-1
Punts 6-36.0 5-40.2
Fumbles lost 1-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 3-25 10-77
Time of Possession 27:03 32:57
                     
Individual Statistics:
 
RUSHING: 
USC-McCullough 32-132, Palmer 7-1, Landrigan 2-1 
Washington-Hurst 19-102, Pickett 3-33, Alexis 8-20, Barton
10-18, Walker 1-1.

PASSING: 
USC-Palmer 8-14-0-152.
Washington-Barton, 11-20-0-197, Pickett 8-14-1-70.

RECEIVING: 
USC-Kelly 3-93, A Holmes 2-24, Colbert 2-14,
Landrigan 1-21.
Washington-Williams 5-101, Elstrom 3-36,
Arnold 3-30, Hurst 2-45, Hooks Jr 2-31, Wilson 1-9, Collier,
1-6, Walker 1-5, Alexis 1-4.
 

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