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Room for optimism?
YES! 5-6 a possibility. (Stats from Stanford game)
By: Malamute, October 3, 2004

While seated in Stanfordís rickety Ė but venerable Ė stadium Saturday, I thought about the effects of an earthquake event. Next Saturday, seated high in the UW press box, Iíll most likely be thinking earthquake again. As for the Washington Huskies, they took a 6.5 Richter beating at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal, 27-13, on a beautiful, warm, sunny day -- leaving us Husky fans quaking in our boots at the thought of what lies ahead.

Considering the statistics, the score was closer than it should have been. For most of the game, the Huskies looked darned near inept, with little room for optimism. Stanford had an off-day and so did its quarterback, Trent Edwards, who threw three interceptions. It may have been that the Cardinal were looking ahead to Notre Dame at South Bend next Saturday, or, perhaps, they were a bit down after losing a heartbreaker to USC, 31-28, the week before.

"This was the ugliest game I think I've ever seen, and, unfortunately, I coached in it," Stanford coach Buddy Teevens said. "Our guys were very disappointed in our performance. We didn't make plays that were there to be made and we turned the ball over a bunch.

"I told the guys to take some satisfaction in the fact that we played poorly and came out on top."

Big plays loomed large again for Phil Snowís matador-like defensive corps. Stanford had runs of 58, 54 and 44 yards and passes of 44 and 28 yards. If it isnít Maurice Drew one week, itís J.R. Lemon the next. Stanfordís Lemon rushed 19 times for 162 yards and scored three touchdowns, one of them coming on a 58-yard run.

The fact the Washington was unable able to run the ball effectively doomed Carl Bonnellís debut as a starting quarterback for the Huskies. Bonnellís pass efficiency for the game was a miserable 67.6, where PE is a function of pass completions, total yards, touchdowns and interceptions, all per pass attempt. 100 is considered an average rating, and the PE formula is weighted in that direction. Casey Paus' PE was 136.5 and Edwards' was 109.5, his three interceptions subtracting from the rating. Their stats are shown in the table below.

A number of passes went in and out of the hands of Husky receivers. However, Stanford's pass coverage was excellent, with cornerbacks draped across UW receivers like cheap suits for most of the game.

The Huskies were in the game to start things off. Dashon Goldson intercepted a pass thrown by Edwards on the Cardinal's first possession. Thereafter, the teams traded the ball and, on the Huskies' third possession of the game, they moved the ball to the their own 48 -- winning the field position battle, but stalling at that point.

Stanford scored on its next possession thanks largely to passes thrown to 6-foot-7 Evan Moore for 15 and 28 yards. From the Huskies' three, Lemon scored his first touchdown and Stanford led 7-0.

Stanford scored again on Lemon's 58-yard run, taking a 14-0 lead. The young offensive line opened a huge hole for Lemon and one of the wide receivers threw a beautiful block to spring him.

After Lemon's two touchdown runs, the Huskies managed to score on a 1-yard run by Kenny James, which capped a 63-yard drive. Circling from the right side, TE Jon Lyon, who added some beef to the blocks of  Joe Toledo and  Khalif Barnes, helped clear the way for James into the end zone. For the Huskies, that drive was the highlight of the game. Only down 14-7 to start the third quarter, they appeared to have some life.

After Stanford missed a try-for-point, taking a 20-7 lead in the third quarter, not all seemed lost, although no one in the stadium thought the Cards would lose, unless, maybe, he was on the loose from Atascadero. All you had to do was look at the scoreboard and notice the UW's paltry stats--which told the unfolding story.

The last nail in the coffin was delivered when Brandon Harrison blocked a Sean Douglas punt and Nick Sanchez returned the ball for an 11-yard score.

The Huskies scored last when Paus hit Sonny Shackelford on a 28-yard pass play, which was somewhat of an afterthought.

During the pre-game festivities held at the Frost Amphitheater, University President Mark Emmert spoke to the gathering of Husky fans, assuring us that the football program would move forward. My wife (Audrey) and I sat with the Emmert's after his talk, our shady spot having lured them our way. Mrs. Emmert (DeLain) is very knowledgeable about football, as is Dr. Emmert, and both spoke of their success at LSU, which involved taking a team with just 3 wins five years ago to the national championship last season. They also spoke of the program for improving football graduations rates at LSU, which was 40% for football student/athletes entering school in 1996/97. The rates are computed at the end of a six-year period.

The UW graduates 73% of its football players, second in the conference to Stanford.

On the sidelines during the game, President Emmert chatted with Athletics Director Todd Turner, somewhat animatedly at times, his passion for the game being quite evident.

Should optimism rule the day? Yes, the Huskies (0-4, 0-2) are fully capable of winning 5 of their 7 remaining games, particularly games against San Jose State, OSU, Oregon, Arizona and WSU. A 5-6 season is certainly a possibility. Thus far, the four northwest schools are 5-12 on the season, somewhat of a namby-pamby lot. A 5-6 Gilby would likely coach the Dawgs next season, and most deservedly so.

Because of the shaky QB situation, I never expected anything more than 5-6 this season. In fact, I told sportswriter Bob Condotta I'd take a 5-6 season when we were at Olympia. Currently, the UW has no proven playmakers on either side of the ball. Stanford had a ton of them.

At times, the Husky fans were noisier than Stanford's. Most of the Cardinal seemed subdued, especially as the Giants' and Athletics' scores were announced. The Dodgers' and Angels' victories over the Bay area twosome were all we had to cheer about. One wonders if the Huskies aren't taking the Stanford road -- more of these inept performances costing them, as to what heretofore has been, a  loyal fan base.

Photos of University President Mark Emmert are shown above, as taken at the Frost Amphitheater on October 2, 2004, Palo Alto. Coach Dick Baird (on stage) and Husky legend Greg Lewis (far right) attended the warm-up gala. Lewis hosted the event and told me he is 50 pounds over his playing weight. That's truly amazing because he looked fit as a fiddle to me, carrying his weight well. I wish we could suit him up.

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
UW 0 7 0 6 13
Stanford 14 0 13 0 27

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st quarter        
2:10 SU TD J. R. Lemon 3-yard run; Michael Sgroi kick. SU 7-0
0:00 SU TD J. R. Lemon 58-yard run; Sgroi kick SU 14-0
2nd quarter        
5:01 UW TD Kenny James 1-yard run; Michael Braunstein kick. SU 14-7
3rd quarter
3:38 SU TD Lemon 1-yard run; missed kick. SU 20-7
0:00 SU TD Nick Sanchez 11-yard blocked punt return; Sgroi kick. SU 27-7
4th quarter        
4:45 UW TD Casey Paus 28-yard pass to Sonny Shackelford; missed kick SU 27-13

Statistic UW Stanford
Total First Downs 16 15
  Rushing 7 6
  Passing 8 9
  Penalty 1 0
Total Net Yards 302 456
Net Yards Rushing 91 202
Net Yards Passing 211 254
Completions-att-int 17-39-1 23-25-3
Punts Average 37.2 38.3
Times sacked (yards) 3-30 3-17
Return Yardage 37 123
  Punts Yards 0-0 7-72
  Kickoff Yards 3-50 2-50
  Interceptions Yards 3-37 1-51
Penalties Yards 7-35 8-77
Fumbles, Lost 2-0 1-1
Time of Possession  31:25 28:35

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Trent Edwards 23 35 254 0 3
Casey Paus 8 13 83 1 0
Carl Bonnell 9 25 118 0 1
Stanford Att yds tds long  
J. R. Lemon 18 162 3 58  
Kenneth Tolon 4 36 0 44  
David Marrero 1 7 0 7  
Trent Edwards 6 0 0 7  
Ray Jones 4 -3 0 5  
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Shelton Sampson 2 5 0 3  
Kenny James 15 40 14 1  
Casey Paus 1 -1 0 -1  
Carl Bonnell 9 6 0 11  
Louis Rankin 2 7 0 5  
James Sims 11 34 0 7  
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Mark Bradford 5 79 0 44  
Alex Smith 4 46 0 16  
J. R. Lemon 4 25 0 8  
Evan Moore 3 68 0 28  
Justin McCullum 2 13 0 7  
Kenneth Tolon 2 12 0 7  
Greg Camarillo 2 12 0 6  
David Marrero 1 -1 0 -1  
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Shelton Sampson 3 34 0 25  
Jon Lyon 4 38 14 0  
Bobby Withorne 1 14 0 14  
James Sims 1 3 0 3  
Kenny James 1 4 0 4  
Sonny Shackelford 5 54 1 28  
Quintin Daniels 3 64 45 0  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Jay Ottovegio 4 153 59 38.2  
Sean Douglas 8 372 55 46.5  
Attendance: 27,550          

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