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The Bear market is over
Dawgs’ stocks close at 26, 19, and 17
By: Richard Linde, Posted 5 October 2002

With the numbers 26 and 19 sticking in their craw, the California Golden Bears beat the Washington Huskies, 34-27, on a cool, cloudy day in Seattle. The Bears last beat the Huskies in 1976 and ended a 19-game losing streak to the Dawgs. For good measure, they deep-sixed the Huskies’ 17-game home winning streak, while riding the arm of quarterback Kyle Boller who threw for 5 touchdowns and no interceptions.  Washington's offense twice coughed up the ball inside its own ten-yard line.

The Bears’ defense took advantage of Washington’s one-dimensional offense, putting tremendous pressure on the Huskies’ talented receiving corps, while running the ball just enough to keep Washington’s defense honest, all of this to the benefit of senior quarterback Kyle Boller who, for the most part, had all day to pass. The Huskies had 42-rushing yards on the game, half of which came on Braxton Cleman's 21-yard run that tied the score at seven a piece in the first quarter.

The Huskies won the statistical battle, piling up 441 total yards to Cal’s 391; however, they turned the ball over three times, twice inside of their own ten-yard line. Joe Igber had 92 rushing yards for the Bears.

Playing with heavily taped ankles, Rich Alexis ran the ball just once during the game, fumbling the ball to Cal on the Huskies' eight-yard line. Quickly, Boller passed 8 yards to Jonathan Makonnen for the score.

Near the end of the third quarter, the Huskies scored a safety, their first in three years. And then, in the key drive of the game, down 27-18 and and on their own 47-yard line following the ensuing kick, they went three and out. To start that drive, Cody Pickett was sacked for a 7-yard loss. 

John Anderson kicked four field goals, his longest being 51 yards that gave the Huskies their only lead (10-7) of the game. However, in the early going, the Dawgs traded field goals for touchdowns with the Bears, and in the end, that was an algorithm that led to defeat. 

Throwing 59 times in the game, Pickett seemed to lose some accuracy in the late going, and one wonders if his repaired throwing shoulder didn't tighten up and affect his rhythm down the stretch. Or maybe, like a pitcher in baseball, he just threw too many pitches. 

"I am as disappointed as I can be about the way we played. We're going to have to really do some soul-searching about what we're doing and how we're doing it," Coach Rick Neuheisel said.

A priori, the Huskies' problems are blatantly obvious.

They desperately need a running game, and their defense needs to step to the fore and take some pressure off what has been up to now a one-dimensional offense. At the least, the Huskies' defense needs to rescue the offense after it coughs up the ball and gives the other team a short field. It is expecting too much of Cody Pickett to make the right decision, each and every time he is under the throes of  a strong pass rush.

So desperate circumstances call for desperate measures.

Apparently, the Huskies have laid the option to rest for the time being, and one wonders if Coach Rick Neuheisel shouldn't have given freshman sensation Isaiah Stanback some reps during the Huskies' cupcake schedule, to see if he could effectively run the option in the red zone and give opposing defenses more to worry about. Running back Kenny James could have been tested as well, since Braxton Cleman, Rich Alexis and Chris Singleton all give the opposition the same look.

Of course, such hindsight would have been an expensive test bed for Neuheisel, since he would have to have burned James' and Stanback's redshirt year, under an outcome of uncertainty. In Stanback's case, he's the number four quarterback on the depth chart, and his insertion would have worked to the displeasure of backup quarterbacks Taylor Barton and Casey Paus. 

But some perspective is due Coach Neuheisel, especially after the shaky scenario I've presented. J

Of the Bears' two-deeps, there are a lot of seniors listed. That's the same formula UCLA used to overpower a young, Washington football team last season, and in these days of parity in college football, little things do mean a lot, like having a senior quarterback who is supported by a veteran cast. Washington is still a very young football team. 

Washington's receivers complained about the officiating, saying that they were being manhandled on their routes. Now that Pac-10 play is underway, expect the Dawgs' opponents to use that formula against the single-minded Huskies. You can't call a penalty on every play.

The Fox replay of the game may give Coach Neuheisel some consternation regarding his self-image. It repeatedly showed Coach Jeff Tedford, who designed the Bears' effective game plan,  referring to a notebook of diagrams, annotations and other miscellany as he stood on the sidelines. Like General Patton, he appeared to be in total control and in command of the game, which contrasted sharply to Rick Neuheisel's discouraged and puzzled look at times. But that's just TV imaging.

Not all is lost. Two years ago, the Huskies lost their first Pac-10 game, and went on to win the Rose Bowl. 

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
California 7 14 6 7 34
Washington 10 6 2 9 27

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q        
8:32 Cal TD Boller 40-yard pass to Makonnen; Jensen kick Cal 7-0
5:49 UW TD Cleman 21-yard run; Anderson kick 7-7
0:42 UW FG Anderson 51 yards UW 10-7
2nd Q        
10:45 Cal TD Boller 8-yard pass to Makonnen; Jensen kick Cal 14-10
9:11 UW FG Anderson 41 yards Cal 14-13
6:00 Cal TD Boller 55-yard pass to Vincent; Jensen kick Cal 21-13
0:20 UW FG Anderson 26 yards Cal 21-16
3rd Q        
11:22 Cal TD Boller 23-yard pass to Swoboda; Boller 2-point pass failed. Cal 27-16
2:22 UW Safety Boller intentional grounding in end zone Cal 27-18
4th Q        
10:13 Cal TD Boller 2-yard pass to Ward; Jensen kick Cal 34-18
4:03 UW TD Pickett 1-yard run; Pickett 2-point try failed Cal 34-24
1:54 UW FG Anderson 21 yards Cal 34-27

Statistic Cal UW
Total First Downs 17 26
  Passing 8 7
  Rushing 9 4
  Penalty 0 5
Total Net Yards 391 441
Net Yards Rushing 125 42
Net Yards Passing 266 399
Completions-attempted 35-59 13-24
Punts Average 42.3 38.0
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 2-1 3-37
  Kickoff Yards 3-32 5-92
  Interceptions Yards 2-7 0-0
Penalties Yards 10-02 8-70
Fumbles Lost 1 1
Time of Possession  29:08 30:52

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Kyle Boller 13 24 266 5 0
Cody Pickett 35 59 399 0 2
Rushing att yds tds    
Joe Igber 31 92 0  
Team -1 1 0  
Manderino 3 1 0
Williams 9 3 0
Boller 6 23 0
Rich Alexis 1 3 0
Chris Singleton 1 -1 0
Cody Pickett 12 -3 1
Braxton Cleman 12 42 1
Receiving rec yds tds
MacKonnen 4 70 2
Lashaun Ward 3 68 1
Vincent Strang 2 64 1
Joe Igber 2 21 0
Tom Swoboda 1 23 1
Brandon Hall 1 20 0
Reggie Williams 8 116 0
Joe Toledo 1 3 0
Pat Reddick 10 105 0
Kevin Ware 2 27 0
Braxton Cleman 7 46 0
Charles Frederick 2 19 0
Paul Arnold 5 83 0
Punting punts yds long
Derek McLaughlin

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