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Boilermakers out-duel Dawgs in the Sun--and run
Sun Bowl bodes ill for Dawgs' running game in 2003
By: Richard Linde, 31 December 2002

Some questions needed answering in the 69th running of the Sun Bowl, the nation’s second oldest bowl. For Washington, it needed to establish the run and find some Mojo for next season’s running game. Purdue needed to prove it could hang on to the ball, being minus 11 in turnovers for the year, having turned the ball over 25 times in its six losses.

With most of their starters back for next season, both teams needed to end 2002 on a positive note. Washington came into the game with a 7-5 record, while Purdue, though only 6-6 for the season, had established statistics mindful of a Big Ten champion, ranking seventh in the nation in total offense, a statistic that was mostly balanced between passing and running. Defensively, Purdue appeared just as strong, tying Ohio State for total defense in the Big Ten.

Of Purdue's two quarterbacks, who would do the most damage to Washington’s defense? That was the question for head coach Joe Tiller heading into the game. Would it be Kyle Orton, a drop back passer, who had started the first seven games for the Boilermakers or would it be Brandon Kirch, a scrambler, who started in four of the final five games? Both were expected to play.

The questions were mostly answered.

As it turned out, Orton went the whole way for the Boilermakers; the Boilermakers turned the ball over--but so did Washington; and Washington couldn't run the ball. Out-played on both sides of the line of scrimmage, the Huskies bowed down to Purdue, 34-24.

So much for Mojo.

With the game barely underway, Washington scored two touchdowns, capitalizing on two Purdue turnovers, both TDs occurring within the first 7 minutes of the game. The first touchdown came after a fumbled snap by the Purdue punter, Brent Slaton. Starting from the Purdue 8, Cody Pickett hit Pat Reddick for a touchdown, and the Huskies took a 7-0 lead. Subsequently, Marquis Cooper recovered a Kyle Orton fumble on the Purdue 21 and ran it in for a touchdown.

Later, John Anderson kicked a 38-yard field goal, and the Huskies took a 17-0 lead with 3:45 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Purdue scored its first touchdown, starting the drive from its own 9-yard line. The drive, aided by two Washington personal fouls, ended when Orton connected with  John Standenford on a 7-yard touchdown pass. After Berlin Lacevic's kick, the score was 17-7.

On the ensuing drive, the Huskies went three and out, and Purdue got the ball back on its own 35, with 2:57 left in the quarter. After driving to the Huskies' 11-yard line, Orton dumped a pass off to Brandon Jones who fumbled the ball in the end zone after taking a hit by Zach Tuiasosopo. Ray Williams recovered the ball for a touchdown, and Purdue trailed 17-14, with just seconds left in the half.

Purdue had negative yardage in the first quarter, however, the Boilermakers owned the second quarter, wherein Washington managed just 43 total yards. At the end of the half, Purdue had 203 total yards to Washington's 144. The Huskies had 28 net yards rushing up to that point. Purdue dominated time of possession in the half, 16:39 to 13:31. Although Washington led by three points, Purdue had established its dominance.

To start the second half, Purdue ran the opening kickoff back to the Husky 49, a 51-yard kick return by Anthon Chambers. On that drive, a third personal foul penalty against Washington for the game (a 15-yard face mask penalty against Nate Robinson) moved the ball to the Huskies' 23-yard line. After the drive stalled, Berlin Lacevic (from Sareavo) knocked in a 22-yard field goal, knotting the score at 17 all..

On the ensuing Washington drive, Nik Koutouvides intercepted Pickett at the Purdue 44; Purdue's drive stalled at the Husky 33, wherein Slaton punted the ball into the endzone.

Getting the ball back on its 20, the Dawgs managed just two yards on two running plays before a Pickett pass fell incomplete on third down. Without a running game to keep it honest, the Boilermakers' defense had its way with Pickett, disguising, blitzing and doing what was needed to confuse him--which it did for most of the game.

On Purdue's next drive Joey Harris legged it in from nine yards away, and the Boilermakers led 24-17, with 3:33 left in the third quarter.

On Washington's next drive, Gilbert Gardner stripped the ball away from Pickett on the Washington 19 and ran it in for a touchdown, making the score  31-17.

In the fourth quarter, Lacevic added a field goal from 29 yards out, giving Purdue a three-score lead, 34-17.

Thanks to Purdue's prevent defense, Washington added a "conciliatory" sixty-yard scoring drive to its total, Pickett passing to Reddick from 12 yards out, with 3:31 left on the clock.

Consolation TD or not, the game was not over in the minds of the Dawgs, which is somewhat of an oxymoron when you think about it, if not unrealistic.

With 58 seconds left and down by 10, the Huskies worked the ball to the Purdue 12 after starting from its own 30. After two passes, one incomplete and one complete for no gain, an offsides penalty took the Huskies to the 7. There,  they attempted a 14-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining in the game. Anderson's kick hit the crossbar, the ball whipping sharply to the left and on the wrong side of the goal post, an inauspicious ending to his fabulous Husky career, which also ended the game.

Because of Purdue's stingy defense, the Huskies had to be content with a short passing game. The longest completion of the game went for 28 yards, a pass from Pickett to Wilbur Hooks in the game's waning seconds. Prior to that completion, the Huskies' longest completion had gone for 19 yards.

Purdue won the time-of-possession battle, 34:24 to 25:36. Ironically, 34-24 was also the score of the game, and, in the last meeting between the two, the Huskies won 34-24 in the 2000 Rose Bowl. The Boilermakers held the Dawgs to just 317 yards of total offense, which is what Purdue was averaging on total defense prior to the game.

Ironies aside, the game is won up front, which this contest most dramatically illustrated. Purdue's impressive overall statistics for the season should have proved to us beforehand that the Boilermakers had all the weapons necessary to outgun the Dawgs, in this, the 69th duel in the sun.

One question remains unanswered for the Huskies. Will Washington's loss in the Sun Bowl, coupled with coach Rick Neuheisel's NCAA-imposed-house confinement, negatively impact its recruiting activities for the remainder of this recruiting season? The Huskies desperately need a high-profile running back, such as a Reggie Bush. A couple of 5-star wide bodies would help too.

Rich Alexis suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter and had to leave the game.

After the game, Sophomore punter Derrick McLaughlin left for a two-year Mormon mission in Argentina. 

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
Washington 17 0 0 7 24
Purdue 0 14 17 3 34

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q
10:13 UW TD Pat Reddick 8-yard pass from Pickett; Anderson kick. UW 7-0
8:40 UW TD Marquis Cooper 31-yard fumble return; Anderson kick. UW 14-0
3:49 UW FG Anderson 38 yards. UW 17-0
2nd Q        
5:09 PU TD Orton 7-yard pass to Standenford; Lacevic kick. UW 17-7
:35 PU TD Williams 0-yard fumble return. Lacevic kick. UW 17-14
3rd Q        
12:10 PU FG Lacevic 22 yard kick. Tie 17-17
3:33 PU TD Harris, 10 yard run; Lacevic kick PU 24-17
2:08 PU TD Gardner, 19-yard fumble return; Lacevic kick. PU 31-17
4th Q        
5:52 PU FG Lacevic 29-yard kick. PU 34-17
3:31 UW TD Pickett, 12 yard pass to Reddick; Anderson kick. PU 34-24

Statistic Purdue UW
Total First Downs 24 22
  Passing 16 16
  Rushing 5 3
  Penalty 3 3
Total Net Yards 398 317
Net Yards Rushing 115 45
Net Yards Passing 283 272
Completions-attempted-int 25-37-0 25-54-1
Punts Average 39.5 36.4
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 2-13 1-21
  Kickoff Yards 3-51 3-29
  Interceptions Yards 1-0 0-0
Penalties Yards 13-117 5-44
Fumbles, Lost 4-1 3-1
Time of Possession  34:24 25:36

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Kyle Orton 25 37 283 2 0
Cody Pickett 25 54 272 2 1
Rushing att yds tds    
Chris James 1 1 0  
Kyle Orton 7 17 0  
Joey Harris 22 95  
Brandon Jones 8 25 0
Team 2 -23 0    
  att yds tds
Braxton Cleman 7 14 0
Cody Pickett 8 8 0
Zach Tuiasosopo 2 4 0
Rich Alexis 7 29 0
Receiving rec yds tds
Ray Williams 4 35 1
Anthon Chambers 1 4 0
T. Stubblefield 6 87 0
Brandon Jones 2 42 0
John Standeford 10 105 1
Charles Davis 2 10 0    
Washington rec yds tds
Reggie Williams 5 63 0  
Patrick Reddick 6 64 2  
Paul Arnold 1 10 0  
Charles Frederick 3 35 0  
Rich Alexis 1 14 9  
Zach Tuiasosopo 1 10 0  
Kevin Ware 1 12 0  
Khalif Barnes 1 9 0    
Braxton Cleman 1 9 0    
Wilbur Hooks, Jr. 2 28 0    
Eddie Jackson 3 18 0    
Punting punts yds long Avg
Brent Slaton 4 158 49 39.5  
Derek McLaughlin 5 182 44 36.4  

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