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Huskies caught in Bell Curve
Dawgs simply mediocre and average like all the rest
By: Malamute, 8 November 2003

Scoring on 67, 69 and 37-yard touchdown runs, running back Mike Bell led the Arizona Wildcats to a 27-22 upset win over the Washington Huskies in a game played at Tucson. Bell rushed for 222 yards on 26 carries.

Washington is 5-5 on the season and 3-3 in conference play. Pretty average numbers, courtesy of Mike Bell.

Who says that piddling teams can't smote a sixteen-and-one-half point favorite? Sloppy play by Washington, marked by fumbles, missed field goals and penalties, kept an underdog Arizona in the game for three quarters. Entering the fourth quarter, the UW clung to a slim 14-13 lead thanks to a missed two-point try by Arizona after its first touchdown.

Washington widened its lead in the fourth quarter, 16-3, on a safety that trapped Mike Bell in the UA endzone, and the Huskies seemed headed for victory because of a defense that had been stingy most of the night. Making just 22% of its field goals, UA needed a touchdown to take the lead.

And Bell did just that, strutting his stuff by scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns on long runs. Going into the game, the Wildcats ranked sixth in the conference in rushing, averaging 119 yards per game.

While the 'Cats running game went east and west towards the goal lines, the Huskies running game went south in the last half, which put QB Cody Pickett in too many predictable situations. The Huskies netted just 14 yards rushing in the second half. Not many quarterbacks can survive that paltry number, in a way to impress their fans at game's end.

Not even a Casey Paus. Perhaps, an optioning Isaiah Stanback, with some passing accuracy that he has not shown thus far. Experimenting at quarterback is risky business for a team that needs two victories to close out its season and finish 7-6.

On his second long run of the night, Bell scored on a 69-yard touchdown that gave Arizona a 20-16 lead with 7:28 left in the game. He scored again on a 37 yard run to make the score 27-16 with 4:38 left in the game.

On a four-play, 77-yard drive Cody Pickett finished the scoring on the night when he hit Corey Williams on a 3-yard pass to make the score 27-22.

Near the game's end, seemingly hope was left for the Huskies, as they trailed by 5 points.

With 2:42 left, Washington got the ball back on its own 39-yard line and drove to the Arizona 29. After two 5-yard false start penalties, Pickett missed on three straight passes to end Washington's hopes.

"I am damn embarrassed," Huskies coach Keith Gilbertson said. "It was a terrible way for a Husky team to play."

So embarrassed are many Husky fans, especially considering the humiliating loss to Nevada earlier in the season. A losing season seems eminent for the Dawgs.

Instead of becoming the Florida State of the west, the Dawgs are becoming the Notre Dame of the west, both teams trapped in college football's quicksand of parity.

Or maybe the Dawgs are becoming the 'Cats of the north, with both teams going to the Dawgs, to phrase a bad pun. Washington and Arizona have matched up evenly over the past six years, with each game decided by a close margin. The past six encounters have been decided by 26 points.

Only whistled twice against Oregon last week, Washington began the game with an impressive opening drive, which was eventually stalled by a personal foul at the Arizona 37-yard line.

After stopping Arizona on a three and out, Washington roared back from its own 12-yard line, driving to the Arizona 3, from where QB Cody Pickett nailed FB Adam Seery with a scoring pass. Pickett was 4 of 5 for 44 yards on the drive.

On Arizona's second possession of the game, Mike Bell matched the UW touchdown with a 67-yard run, but a failed two-point try made the score 7-6, Washington.

Near the end of the first quarter, Washington CB Derrick Johnson intercepted a Kris Heavner pass--Arizona's nineteenth interception of the season--and took the ball to the UA 22. Shelton Sampson capped a 22-yard scoring drive from one yard out with 13:13 to go in the second quarter.

UA had its second long run of the half, when on a third and 8 on the Arizona 22, Nic Costa, who replaced freshman Heavner at quarterback, ran for 23 yards to the UA 45. The drive stalled at the UA 48 yard line.

Midway in the second quarter, Washington's James Sims blocked a Danny Baugher punt, which he recovered on the 'Cats 25. However, after the UW drive stalled, Evan Knudson missed a 34-yard field goal, leaving the Dawgs to come away empty. On that drive, WR Corey Williams dropped a Pickett pass on the goal line.

With 2:30 left before the break, the Huskies (leading 14-6) drove from their own 20 to the Arizona 31, where on a pass completion to Charles Frederick, the 'Cats' Gary Love stripped of the ball away and ran it back to midfield. Heaver capped a 50-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Biren Ealy. The UW held a precarious 14-13 lead at half, owned the total yards stats, 250 to 189, and led in time of possession, 17:19 to 12:41. However, Arizona had the momentum.

Sensing an upset, Coach Keith Gilbertson bemoaned the Huskies' sloppy play at halftime.

To start the second half, the teams traded three and outs. Arizona threatened to take the lead on its second possession when Heavner struck Ricky Williams with a 52-yard pass that carried to the Washington 19. But Arizona missed a 32-yard field goal wide left, leaving them 2 for 10 on the season.

Washington's subsequent drive stalled on the UA 49. Late in the third quarter, a block in the back by freshman Dre Simpson wiped out a 56-yard punt return by Charles Frederick who had crossed the goal line, and the UW clung to a one-point lead at the end of the quarter. The teams each had 13 rushing yards in the third quarter, in a quarter dominated by the defenses.

In the fourth quarter, Washington's Garth Erickson, punting from the UA 32, pooched the ball to the UA one. From there Evan Benjamin nailed Mike Bell for a safety and the Huskies led 16-13.

Getting the ball back on its 39, the UW went three and out and Arizona got the ball back on its own 22, its best starting point of the half. After working the ball to the 31, Mike Bell ran 69 yards for a touchdown to give the 'Cats its first lead of the game.

After a Pickett fumble, Bell scored on a 37-yard run to put the game on ice for the 'Cats.

As with so many of its losses over the past two years, not being able to run the ball effectively, this time in the second half,  put too much pressure on Cody Pickett and the passing game. Pickett threw 51 passes on the night.

Injuries struck the UW in the first quarter when TE Ben Bandel suffered a shoulder separation, and Safety Owen Biddle went out with a shoulder stinger.

The UW was looking to post its sixth win to become bowl eligible, while Arizona needed its first win in conference play to avoid an ignominious season, a season  marked by the firing of Coach John Mackovic at the midway point. Previously, Arizona has lost 13 consecutive conference games at home.

Fans stormed the field after the game.

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
Washington 7 7 0 8 22
Arizona 6 7 0 14 27

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q        
6:02 UW TD Pickett 3-yard pass to Seery. 12 play, 88-yard drive; Knudson kick. UW, 7-0
4:05 UA TD Mike Bell 67-yard TD run. Two point try failed. UW, 7-6
2nd Q        
13:13 UW TD Shelton Sampson 1-yard run; Knudson kick. 6-play, 22-yard drive. UW, 14-6
0:26 UA TD Heavner 10-yard pass to Ealy. 4 play, 50-yard drive. Nicholas Folk kick. UW, 14-13
4th Q        
9:58 UW Safety Mike Bell thrown for 1-yard loss for safety. UW, 16-13
7:28 UA TD Mike Bell 69-yard run; Folk kick. 3 plays, 88 yards. UA, 20-16
4:38 UA TD Mike Bell 37-yard run; Folk kick. UA 27-16
3:49 UW TD Pickett 3-yard pass to Corey Williams; 77-yards, 4 plays. Knudson kick. UA 27-22

Statistic UW UA
Total First Downs 24 11
  Rushing 8 5
  Passing 14 5
  Penalty 2 1
Total Net Yards 452 377
Net Yards Rushing 101 256
Net Yards Passing 351 121
Completions-attempted-int 31-51-0 11-26-1
Punts Average 43.7 36.8
Sacks by 6-17 5-16
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 4-17 1-18
  Kickoff Yards 4-76 2-27
  Interceptions Yards 1-0 0-0
Penalties Yards 8-69 5-47
Fumbles, Lost 0-0 2-19
Time of Possession  32:58 27:02

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Kris Heavner 10 21 152 1 1
Mike Bell 1 1 0 0 0
Nic Costa 0 4 0 0 0
Cody Pickett 31 51 351 2 0
Rushing att yds tds long  
Mike Bell 25 222 3 69  
Nic Costa 2 23 0    
Kris Heavner 6 9 0    
Beau Carr 3 3 0    
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Shelton Sampson 9 27 1 9  
Kenny James 16 77 0 10  
Cody Pickett 6 -6 0 10  
Zach Tuiasosopo 3 7 0 4  
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Ricky Williams 2 55 0    
Mike Jefferson 2 42 0    
Biren Ealy 3 34 1    
Steve Fleming 2 14 0    
Syndric Steptoe 1 7 0    
Nic Costa 1 0 0    
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Reggie Williams 13 121 0    
Charles Frederick 2 34 0    
Corey Williams 1 4 1
Kenny James 3 22 0    
Zach Tuiasosopo 1 32 0    
Ben Bandel 1 7 0    
Jon Lyon 1 13 0    
Isaiah Stanback 4 81 0    
Adam Seery 1 3 1    
Jordan Slye 3 29 0    
Punting punts yds long Avg
Danny Baugher 8 412   51.5  
Garth Erickson 7 316   45.1  
Sean Douglas 2 120   60  

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