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Wolf Pack wolf down choking Dawgs
Nevada hungry after losing to UNLV
By: Malamute, 11 October 2003

Coming off a disappointing loss to UNLV, the Nevada Wolf Pack, a 17 point underdog, feasted on the Washington Huskies, wolfing them down 28-17 on a dismal, rainy day at Husky Stadium. Washington QB Cody Pickett was sacked 8 times, the Huskies turned the ball over 5 times, and Nevada blocked 3 Husky field-goal attempts.

The highly favored Huskies started off as slowly as a Sherman tank tracking through a mud hole, and they finished the game like a PT cruiser mired in a pig sty.

So, what's new about a slow start in the first half for the Huskies?

Well, for one, a couple of interceptions, one inside the red zone, two blocked field goals, and a penalty negating a long punt return by Charles Frederick low-lighted the Dawgs' start. Taking its queue from UCLA's defensive effort against the Huskies, the Wolf Pack sacked QB Cody Pickett 4 times in the half.

DE Jorge Cordova was the Ball/Leisle incarnate. Remember that pair (UCLA's Dave Ball and Rodney Leisle) from last week when they combined on a touchdown of their own making?

And, as usual, the Huskies' red zone offense (8th in the Pac-10) sputtered--this time, inopportunely, in the early going, when it meant so much for the demoralized Huskies to take an early lead.

On its first drive, Washington drove 80 yards to the Wolf Pack 10, when Cody Pickett was intercepted by Derek Kennard, who was stopped on his own 10. Capitalizing on the turnover, the Wolf Pack drove 90 yards for a touchdown, to take a 7-0 lead.

Then, on Washington's next drive, the turnover bugaboo struck Pickett again, when he was intercepted by Chris Handy for a 37-yard touchdown return, giving the Wolves a 14-0 lead.

At the start of the second quarter, the UW had a chance to cut the lead, but Evan Knudson's field-goal try was blocked by Chris Handy (the Wolves handyman?).

Knudson had his second field goal blocked in the quarter, when Chris Barry blocked his 38-yard effort, stopping a UW drive. 

Despite two blocked field goals and two picks there was still life in the Dawgs.

With just 35 seconds left before the break, Rich Alexis capped a 15-play drive, running the the ball in from two yards out, and Washington trailed 14-7.

Statistically, the Huskies dominated the first half, with 19 first downs to 5 and 207 total yards to 132. Time of possession favored Washington, 18:46 to 11:14, but Nevada dominated the most important statistic, the one on the scoreboard.  

After the break, two turnovers and a blocked field goal marred the start of the second half; fortunately, for the Dawgs, the Wolf Pack suffered one of the turnovers. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, Knudson ignominiously had his third field-goal blocked, a 42-yard effort that was batted down by Jorge Cordova.

To wit, on the first play of the second half, Talib Wise knocked the ball away from the UW's Roc Alexander on the kickoff return, and Ran Landingham recovered the ball on his own 41. CB Derrick Johnson intercepted Andy Heiser at the UW 35, but the subsequent drive led to Knudson's blocked field goal.

Capitalizing on the forced error, the Wolf Pack scored on a 65-yard drive, when Heiser rifled the ball to his tight end Pudewell for 8-yards, and the Wolves took a two touchdown lead, 21-7.

On the subsequent UW drive, Pickett was sacked on the Nevada 25 on a third and 10. This time, Knudson nailed a 42-yard field goal, to cut the score to 21-10.

Nevada traded the field goal for a touchdown of its own, when Heiser hit Wise on a 7-yard pass, capping a 93-yard, 5-play drive.

Trailing 28-10, the UW needed a big play and got it, when Pickett hit WR Reggie Williams on a short pass that he turned into a 52-yard pass/run for a touchdown.

It went to no avail. The third quarter ended with the UW trailing 28-17, and a scoreless last quarter put the game mercifully to bed.

After the game, words were tough to come by for head coach Keith Gilbertson, who responded to questions in a subdued, quiet voice. "I want to be mad at this  (game) for a while...Another good day moving the ball and another bad day getting into the endzone...Biggest question will be Justin Robbins, who re-injured that knee. Justin's probably out. We're hurting in a number of spots and getting thinner. For three years in a row now, we've turned the ball over in October. We've been in the rain all week. We couldn't get back in (the game) with our passing game. We did a real terrible job on our pass protection today. We got one guy blown out three times in a row (blocked field goals)...We looked like we were off balance all day."

"I think it's fair to say that it is the biggest win of my career as a head coach," winning coach Chris Tormey said.

As The Seattle Times reported, the last time the two teams met, "It was an important contest, beside which the corruption of the steel trust, the robbery of a canal or the polypus in an emperor's larynx sinks into insignificance,"

One hundred years later, it was an important win for the Wolf Pack, a win gained at the expense of the Washington Huskies. 

------------------------------

Pickett was sacked 8 times, while Heiser was hauled down 3 times. 

Knudson has suffered four blocked field goals this season, one against Ohio State.

The Wolf Pack posted 257 total yards in the second half.

Nevada DE Jorge Cordova had 16 tackles (11 solo, 5 assisted) and was credited with 5 sacks (4 solo, 1 assisted) for 26 yards.

Nevada had 14 tackles for a loss.

Although RB Rich Alexis ran for 120 yards, he netted just 22 yards in the second half. Last week, UCLA stopped the Dawgs' running game in the second half.

Although the UW reported an attendance of 70,149, many of the seats were empty, and the normally raucous stadium was eerily quiet for most of the game.

The Huskies are 3-3 for the season, and the Wolf Pack are 4-2.

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
Nevada 14 0 14 0 28
Washington 0 7 10 0 17


Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q
5:07 UN TD Andy Heiser pass complete to Maurice Mann, 25 yards. Damon Fine kick. UN,  7-0
4:34 UN Int TD Interception return by Chris Handy for 37 yards. Fine kick. UN, 14-0
2nd Q        
0:35 UW TD Rich Alexis two-yard run, Knudson kick. UN, 14-7
3rd Q        
8:50 UN TD Heiser 8-yard pass to A. Pudewell; Fine kick. UN, 21-7
5:44 UW FG Knudson 42-yard field goal UN, 21-10
3:55 UW TD Heiser 7-yard pass to Talib Wise; Fine Kick UN, 28-10
3:11 UW TD Pickett pass to Reggie Williams, 52 yards. Knudson kick. UN, 28-17


Statistic UW Nevada
Total First Downs 29 18
  Passing 14 11
  Rushing 8 5
  Penalty 7 2
Total Net Yards 447 397
Net Yards Rushing 110 98
Net Yards Passing 337 299
Completions-attempted-int 19-37-3 19-30-1
Punts Average 50 41.4
Sacks by 3 8
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 4-61 1-5
  Kickoff Yards 5-147 3-68
  Interceptions Yards 1-0 3-37
Penalties Yards 6-65 17-149
Fumbles, Lost 3-2 0-0
Time of Possession  31:06 28:54

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Nevada          
Andy Heiser 19 29 290 3 1
           
Washington          
Cody Pickett 19 37 337 1 3
           
Rushing att yds tds long  
Nevada          
B. J. Mitchell 21 84 0 19  
Andy Heiser 5 -4 0 8  
C. Kretschmer 4 12 0 8  
Talib Wise 2 8 0 7  
         
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Rich Alexis 30 120 1 18  
Shelton Sampson 1 -1 0 -1  
Z. Tuiasosopo 3 17 0 13  
Reggie Williams 1 4 0 4  
Cody Pickett 13 -30 0 8  
           
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Nevada
Maurice Mann 7 168 1 50
Dell McGee 5 54 0 29
A. Pudewell 3 26 1 13
N. Flowers 2 31 0 17
B. J. Mitchell 1 3 0 3  
Talib Wise 1 7 1 7  
           
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Reggie Williams 3 77 1 52
Charles Frederick 4 65 0 23
Sonny Shackelford 3 47 0 26
Rich Alexis 5 59 0 25  
Justin Robbins 1 24 0 24  
Jon Lyon 2 62 0 34  
Isaiah Stanback 1 3 0 3  
           
Punting punts yds long Avg
Nevada
Derek Jones 8 331 50 41.4  
Washington          
Garth Erickson 2 100 54 50  
Attendance 70,149          

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