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Let me Autzen here!
"Nancy, was Autzen an hallucination?"
By Malamute, Posted 31 October 2004

Cartoon by Max Waugh & Toby Nelson, courtesy of www.maxwaugh.com

Autzen Stadium is schizophrenic, or maybe a nightmare. The last time I saw her, she looked like a fortress, dug deep into the side of a hill. Now she could be a funny farm. "Nancy, was Autzen Stadium just a pre-Halloween hallucination?" Hallucination or not, as our football fortunes worsen, we fans may need some electro-shock to survive the remaining three games. Which reminds me, the Ducks zapped the Dawgs 31-6.

Held to two field goals on the game, the UW (1-7) hasn't scored a touchdown in 9 consecutive quarters. The Huskies came close to scoring one in the third quarter, down on the Ducks' one yard line; however, UW quarterback Casey Paus was intercepted after Kenny James was thrown for a loss on the five. Paus, who quarterbacked the whole game, connected on 14-of 36-passes for 211 yards, with four interceptions and an efficiency rating of 65.9. The Huskies suffered 7 turnovers on the game, which included 3 lost fumbles.

Posting their fourth-straight win, the Ducks held the Dawgs to just 45 yards net rushing, which put QB Casey Paus in untenable, predictable passing downs. Sometimes, however, it wasn't readily apparent to whom he was throwing. On a couple of the picks, Oregon's defenders seemed to be clueing on Paus and his intended receiver, at least from my vantage point on the ESPN game-play broadcast.

The UW defense kept the Huskies in the game. But with the U-Dub trailing by just 11 points (17-6, with 4:12 left on the game clock), its struggling offense coughed up a score, giving one to the wrong guys. Former Husky verbal DE Chris Solomona intercepted Paus and took it to the house from 10 yards out, sealing the Huskies' fate.

Oregon, which dominated the first half, took the opening kickoff and scored as Kellen Clemens hit Cameron Colvin on a 20-yard pass, finishing a 14-play, 80-yard drive. During the drive, a drenching downpour symbolized enfolding events for the 'Dub, its pending turnovers washing away any chance for a win. 

To buttress a struggling offense, Washington’s defense and special teams stepped to the fore, allowing the Huskies to score its first points after five scoreless quarters, having been shut out by USC the week before and blanked by OSU in the fourth quarter two weeks ago.

After punter Sean Douglas pinned Oregon back on its 1-yard line, the UW defense held the Ducks to a three-and-out. Starting from the UO 26, Washington struggled for a net two yards’ gain in three plays. To get the UW on the board, Evan Knudson booted a 41-yard field goal, making the score 7-3, Oregon. 

In the second quarter, Jared Siegel connected on a 46-yard field goal to give Oregon a 10-3 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Anthony Russo fumbled the ball, giving the UW horrible field position on its 5. After running for a first down, Paus fumbled on the next play, and Oregon’s Matt Toeaina recovered the ball on the UW 12. Dashon Goldson intercepted Clemens in the end zone to end the red zone opportunity. 

Going three and out, Washington had a short-field opportunity after Oregon fumbled Douglas’ punt away, but the Huskies failed to move the ball, starting from the UO 43.

Running a fade route, late in the second quarter, Colvin hauled in a TD pass from Clemens to give Oregon a 17-3 lead at the intermission, completing a 10-play, 65-yard drive.

Oregon won the time-of-possession battle in the first half, 20:55 to 9:05. The Huskies were 1 for 6 on third-down opportunities (up until then, 1 of 20 in their last six quarters) and had 83 total yards to the Ducks’ 220.

To open the second half, the UW mounted a 55-yard drive, capped by a 37-yard Knudson field goal, which brought the Huskies within 11 points, now trailing 17-6.

On its second possession of the second half, the UW moved the ball from its own 20 to the Oregon 47, but on a second and 9, Aaron Gibson intercepted Paus on the Ducks’ 35. WR Craig Chambers caught a 34-yard pass, which highlighted the UW’s drive. 

Once more, the UW defense stopped the Ducks, holding them to a three and out, something that was de rigueur for most of the second half.

Not being able to run the ball on first down – a repetitive, obvious play call – hurt the Huskies and Paus, putting him in untenable situations -- especially on a goal-line opportunity in the third quarter. During the drive, Chambers hauled in a 30-yard pass, taking the ball to the Oregon 43. Paus connected with Chambers again on a 31-yard pass that ended up on the Ducks' one, completing the forward momentum for a drive that started from the Dawgs' 27.

But then Kenny James was thrown for a loss back on the 5. Forced into an obvious passing situation, Paus threw an interception to Ramone Reed, who ran the ball back to the Ducks’ 15.

The Huskies held Oregon to a three-and-out and, on the next series, got the ball back on their 49; however, Paus was intercepted again, his third time of the game, the Huskies’ fifth turnover at that point, and Oregon got the ball back on their 25.

For the second week in a row, Washington's defense played a good game, holding Oregon to five straight three and outs in the second half.

For insurance purposes, Oregon turned to the Dawgs' offense for help.

On a third and 12 on the Huskies' 19, with 4:12 left in the game, Paus was intercepted by Solomona, who ran the ball in for a score, the extra point making it 24-6.

A couple of minutes later, Terrence Whitehead capped the scoring on a 30-yard touchdown run, and the game ended with the Ducks prevailing, 31-6.

Opining, not whining

UW Coach Gilbertson in a post game interview seemed lethargic and withdrawn, the bitter loss to a bitter enemy not setting well with him. One wonders if the Internet rumors aren't true, that he's a dead man walking for next season.

"I'm sick about it," a despondent Gilbertson said, his team 0-5 in conference games. "It's exhausting. It's disappointing for our team."

If Gilbertson should stick around, one also wonders if Craig Chambers, who has finally come into his own, won't be the last high-profile recruit coming out of the state of Washington to play for the Huskies for some time in the future.

The 6-foot-3, 205 pound redshirt freshman out of Mill Creek caught four passes for 106 yards. He hauled in some difficult third-quarter grabs of 34, 30 and 31 yards and poses a deep, elusive threat for next week's opponent, Arizona, in what will be a match up that features the league's panty-waists. "What a tiff it should be," said Alice to the hare.

Chow for coach?

Offensive coordinator Norm Chow has installed a quintessential college-football West Coast Offense at USC. Those Husky fans unhappy with Keith Gilbertson’s offense of 2002 would definitely not be happy with Chow if he should assume the leadership role at the UW, in the event Gilbertson is fired at the end of the season.

Nitpicking at the media and LoRo

Now that the recruiting fence has been opened -- the fence that once protected the Huskies from out-of-state poachers when Rick Neuheisel coached the Dawgs -- readers should take notice of those local writers and columnists that give Neuheisel credit for recruiting UW basketball phenomenon Nate Robinson. Of course, none of them do. Robinson single handedly started the UW down the road that leads towards basketball competence, and UW basketball coach Lorenzo Romar needs to give Rick some credit, too, although Lo Ro deserves the lion's share of the credit for building a team. Neuheisel recruited Robinson to play football; however, Robinson opted for a rounder ball.

Besides Robinson, give Neuheisel credit for landing some talented football players, both in-state and out-of-state, such as Reggie Williams, Paul Arnold (Lambo helped), Charles Frederick, Cody Pickett, Nathan Rhodes (never played but was highly rated), Rich Alexis, Zach Tuiasosopo, Jerome Stevens (Lambo helped), Kevin Ware (Lambo helped), Marquis Cooper, Roc Alexander, Khalif Barnes, Derrick Johnson, Manase Hopoi, Joe Lobendahn, Kenny James, Isaiah Stanback, Sean Douglas, Carl Bonnell, Terry Johnson, Scott White, C. J. Wallace and Chambers. Most of them are either playing for the pros or have pro-potential.

The NCAA finds Neuheisel innocent on all counts

It has always been our position that the Neuheisel imbroglio has been much ado about nothing. The NCAA's slap on the wrist only proves our contention that Seattle is not a reasonable place to be running a big-time college sports program. The whole city needs to be put on a suicide watch; that is, until rational behavior can be restored.

As for the NCAA, it needs to modify its gambling bylaw with the simple phrase, "no sports pools, please."

-- Some solace flares for fans

In a parallel universe, Rick Neueheisel still coaches the Huskies, who are ranked number one in both polls.

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
UW 3 0 3 0 6
UO 7 10 0 14 31

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Qtr        
8:05 UO TD Cameron Colvin 16-yard pass from Kellen Clemens. Jared Siegal kick. UO, 7-0
1:53 UW FG Evan Knudson 41-yard kick. UO 7-3
2nd Qtr        
12:11 UO FG Siegel 46-yard kick UO 10-3
0:15 UO TD Clemens pass to Colvin, 7 yards. Siegal kick. UO 17-3
3rd Qtr        
9:32 UW FG Knudson 37-yard kick. UO 17-6
4th Qtr        
4:12 UO TD Chris Solomona 10-yard interception return. Siegal kick. UO 24-6
2:36 UO TD Terrence Whitehead 30-yard run. Siegel kick. UO, 31-6

Statistic UW UO
Total First Downs 14 22
  Rushing 4 11
  Passing 10 7
  Penalty 0 4
Total Net Yards 256 292
Net Yards Passing 211 134
Net Yards Rushing 45 158
Completions-att-int 14-36-4 21-35-1
Punts Average 6-257-42.8 8-306-38.3
Times sacked (yards) 2 (-10) 4 (-16)
Return Yardage 18 45
  Punts Yards 3-18 3-27
  Kickoff Yards 6-129 1-2
  Interceptions Yards 1-0 4-28
Penalties Yards 7-70 5-52
Fumbles, Lost 4-3 1-1
Time of Possession  23:23 36:37

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Kellen Clemens 21 34 134 2 1
Garren Strong 0-1 0 0 0 0
Casey Paus 14 36 211 0 4
Terrence Whitehead 25 122 1 30  
Kellen Clemens 9 22 1 17  
Kenny Washington 4 8 0 3  
Ryan Shaw 2 3 0 2  
Dante Rosario 1 3 0 3  
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Shelton Sampson 8 29 0 18  
Kenny James 14 12 0 13  
Casey Paus 6 2 0 4  
James Sims, Jr. 2 2 0 2  
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Tim Day 6 46 0 12  
Cameron Colvin 6 45 2 16  
Terrence Whitehead 4 21 0 13  
Garren Strong 2 15 0 10  
Demetrius Williams 1 7 0 7  
Ryan Shaw 1 2 0 2  
Dante Rosario 1 -2 0 -2  
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Craig Chambers 4 106 0 34  
Joe Toledo 1 9 0 9  
Sonny Shackelford 1 6 0 6  
Bobby Whithorne 4 35 0 14  
Anthony Russo 3 50 0 29  
Cody Ellis 1 5 0 5  
Punting punts yds long Avg
David Dittman 8 306 52 38/2  
Sean Douglas 6 257 49 42.8  
Attendance: 58,101          

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