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Dawgs Sugg--hopefully, only Tempe…Rarely
By: Richard Linde, Posted 28 October 2002

Taking advantage of several short-field opportunities and a number of UW mistakes, the ASU Sun Devils beat the Huskies, 27-16, in a game played in Tempe, Arizona on Saturday night. Derrell Suggs had 4.5 sacks on the night. The Sun Devils (7-2, 4-0) held the Huskies (4-4, 1-3) without a touchdown until the final minutes. Washington’s predictable, one-dimensional offense, which gave up 8 sacks, contributed to the loss.

The game was typical of Washington's recent losses on the road. Suffering from poor field position in the early going, either because of mistakes and/or the lack of a running game, the Dawgs give their opponents too many short-field opportunities. Good teams cash them in for scores.

And ASU did just that, bolting to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, its first TD drives coming from 42 and 6 yards out. To start the second half, ASU ran the kickoff back 44 yards and turned it into a 56-yard drive for a touchdown that made the score 21-3. The Devils added two field goals in the fourth quarter, taking a 27-3 lead. The first field-goal resulted from a bad call from an official. Nate Robinson intercepted an Andrew Walter pass in the endzone, but it was ruled that he was not in bounds. On the next play, Mike Barth booted a 38-yard field goal.

In the last minutes of the game, Washington posted two concession touchdowns to make it a respectable final ending, 27-16. 

The much-maligned Washington defense confounded their critics, holding ASU to just 229 net yards on the night. But it was the ASU defense that dominated the evening, especially Derrell Suggs who had 4.5 sacks; the Devils racked up 8 sacks on the night.

What's wrong with the Huskies? Nothing. Other than USC, I think that the most of the Pac-10 teams are about equal in strength. Here are some factors we need to consider to put things in perspective. 

  • The Huskies are suffering an off-season like many notable powers have in recent years--for example, Notre Dame, USC, Penn State, and UCLA. Their start is really not that confounding when put in the context of other erstwhile perennial powers. 

  • Parity in college football has turned the have-nots into formidable opponents. This season, California ended 27 years of losing to the Huskies.

  • Mistakes in recruiting the right players can be costly. During the 2000 recruiting season, the Huskies undoubtedly missed on key players because the coaches' recruiting visits were restricted due to sanctions imposed by the quiet-day scandal of 1999.

  • The departure of Willie Hurst, Jerramy Stevens, and Larry Tripplett has hurt the Huskies this season. Hurst gained 185-yards rushing against the Sun Devils last season. People were doubling up on Tripplett, and it would have been nice to have had Stevens for one more year. Pickett did not complete a pass to a tight end in the ASU game Saturday night.

  • The Huskies are a very young football team, and have suffered from injuries. The Dawgs will only get better, and fans have to be patient, some not aware that the Don James era is over. Even James, a la Joe Paterno, would be struggling for breath in the thin atmosphere of parity, and he'd be the first to admit it.

  • Sensationalism and the law of averages contribute to fans' disgruntlement. The media put too much emphasis on the outcome of a single game or a string of bad games in college football, considering that only 11 or 12 games are played during a typical season. Besides have an off day, such factors as bad luck, mistakes, injuries and strength of schedule all can contribute to a loss. These variables would average out over a long season, but they don't in college football. Instead, they average out over several seasons. The Dawgs were lucky to win some games during their 12-game winning streak over the past two seasons, and now the law of averages has caught up with them. If the Huskies were a baseball team, playing a 161-game schedule, nobody in the media would be commenting on their lackluster start. If the Huskies should win their final four games, members of the media will be dumbfounded for days, wearing that Gomer Pyle look. It's all part of the act, and, really, it's all about money.

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
Washington 0 3 0 13 16
ASU 14 0 7 6 27

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q
8:06 ASU TD Hill 1-yard run; Barth kick ASU 7-0
0:09 ASU TD Hill 6-yard pass from Walter; Barth kick ASU 14-0
2nd Q
1:57 UW FG Anderson 40 yards ASU 14-3
3rd Q
10:01 ASU TD McDonald 15-yard pass from Walter; Barth kick. ASU 21-3
4th Q
14:49 ASU FG Barth 38-yard kick ASU 24-3
8:38 ASU FG Barth 40-yard kick ASU 27-3
3:47 UW TD Arnold 38-yard pass from Pickett; Pickett failed 2-point rush ASU 27-9
0:51 UW TD Singleton 1-yard run; Anderson kick ASU 27-16

Statistic UW ASU
Total First Downs 21 14
  Passing 8 9
  Rushing 7 5
  Penalty 6 0
Total Net Yards 252 229
Net Yards Rushing 42 45
Net Yards Passing 210 184
Completions-attempted 18-37 18-28
Punts Average 6-38.8 5-44.2
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 2-22 3-52
  Kickoff Yards 5-74 3-81
  Interceptions Yards 0-0 1-22
Penalties Yards 8-55 12-153
Fumbles, Lost 2-1 2-1
Time of Possession  32:53 27:07

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Andrew Walter 18 27 184 2 0
Cody Pickett 18 37 210 1 1
Rushing att yds tds    
Hakim Hill 13 35 1  
Mike Williams 5 24 0  
Cornell Candidate 11 21 0
Jermaine McKinny 3 -3 0
Andrew Walter 3 -28 0
Chris Singleton 8 33 1
Cody Pickett 11 -45 0
Braxton Cleman 5 40 0
Zach Tuiasosopo 5 18 0
Rich Alexis 8 9 0
Derek McLaughlin 1 -13 0
Receiving rec yds tds
Shaun McDonald 3 50 1
Cornell Candidate 3 29 0
Daryl Lightfoot 3 20 0
Mike Pinkard 2 26 0
Mike Karney 2 25 0
Justin Taplin 2 15 0
Hakim Hill 2 10 1
Skyler Fulton 1 9 0
Reggie Williams 3 68 0
Chris Singleton 1 -1 0
Pat Reddick 4 43 0
Eddie Jackson 1 14 0
Braxton Cleman 2 -1 0
Charles Frederick 2 12 0
Paul Arnold 3 52 1
Will Hooks, Jr.  1 16 0
Rich Alexis 1 7 0
Punting punts yds long Avg
Tim Parker 5 221 51 44.2
Derek McLaughlin 6 233 48 38.8

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