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Go directly to cellar; do not pass go
UW loses one for the Gilber
By Malamute, Posted 6 November 2004

Washington won the time-of-possession battle and accumulated the most yardage on the game, but gave up 4 turnovers in the second half, two of them leading to 14 Arizona points. With its 23-13 victory, Arizona (2-7, 1-5) broke a seven-game losing streak.

With its loss, the UW (1-8, 0-6 Pac10) continues to lead the nation in turnovers, finishing minus one on the game and minus fifteen overall, accumulating 34 turnovers this season. And the Dawgs go directly to the Pac-10 basement, without collecting a cent, and, most likely, will remain imprisoned in the pseudo-dungeon for the remainder of the season.

Let me Autzen here! Oh, that was last week against Oregon.

For most of the afternoon, drizzle, three-and-outs and punting dominated the game. Washington punted the ball 8 times to the Wildcats' 10 times. The Huskies were a horrid 2 of 18 on third down conversions, while Arizona didn't fare much better, going 3 for 14.

The Huskies’ defense, led by LB Evan Benjamin, who accrued 12 tackles, delivered another good game, holding the 'Cats to just 251 total net yards. However, Washington's offense wasn't as stingy. For example, in the third quarter, Wilfrey Fontenot returned a Shelton Sampson fumble for 33 yards and a Zona TD for the game-winning points.

Collectively, QBs Casey Paus and Isaiah Stanback, who shared duties behind center, completed 16 out of 47 pass attempts for 197 yards with 2 interceptions.  Paus had the better of it, posting an ugly efficiency rating of 67.0 compared to Stanback's nothing-to-write-home-about 37.7. No, you can't add those two numbers together to get an over-all P. E., which, by the way, is 60.74.

The Huskies' longest run from scrimmage, during the wet afternoon at Husky Stadium, was posted by punter Sean Douglas, who sprinted for 28 yards on a fake-punt situation. Starting on the Arizona 35, thanks to Sean, the UW got as far as the 'Cats' 12, where on a second and nine, Stanback fumbled the ball away. Subtract Douglas' number and the Huskies rushed for just 72 yards -- a number that put both UW quarterbacks in untenable situations for its lack of balance with the passing stats, 197 yards total net yards.

UA's Mike Bell rushed for 82 yards and scored two touchdowns, which combined with extra points was enough to ensure victory.

Lame-duck coach Keith Gilbertson got his walking papers earlier in the week, agreeing to resign at the end of the season after having had three weeks of discussion with AD Todd Turner.  

Since Arizona went into the game having dropped 7 games in a row, it was a chance for the Huskies to win one for the Gilber. Instead, a spineless effort on behalf of the UW's worst offense in 35 years lost one for the Gilber; his Dawgs are now facing a 1-10 season, the worst in Husky history.

All in all, it was a battle of girlie men, an anemic offensive performance by both teams, although the 'Cats were hardly pussies on their first possession.

The Huskies started the game with a three-and-out, QB Casey Paus throwing three times, connecting once with Craig Chambers for 7 yards.

On the Wildcats’ first possession, they scored their first first half touchdown in 5 weeks. On a flea flicker play, QB Richard Kovalcheck completed a pass to Syndric Steptoe, who, on the 50-yard play, ended up on the UW 1. Mike Bell vaulted over the top for the score, completing the 64-yard, 4-play drive.

The Huskies failed to move for a first down on their second possession, and the Wildcats blocked Sean Douglas’ ensuing punt for a safety, giving them a 9-0 lead. Douglas, the special teams hero, officially averaged 48.0 yards per punt.

Washington scored its first touchdown in 10 quarters when Shelton Sampson ran the ball in from the Arizona 5, completing a 68-yard drive in 6 plays. The drive was highlighted by a screen pass to Sampson who ran the ball 57 yards to the Arizona 11. The redzone attempt was initially stopped on the ‘Cats’ 9, from where Evan Knudson booted a 26-yard field goal. The UW took the score off the board as Knudson was roughed on his kick, giving them a first down; Sampson took it to the house on the next play.

With the clock at 6:57 in the first quarter, Arizona led 9-7.

Capitalizing on two Arizona turnovers, the UW scored two field goals, to take a 13-9 lead early in the second quarter, Knudson booting kicks from 42 and 34 yards out.  Three UW holding penalties collectively (2 on one drive and 1 on the other) killed the two short-field opportunities that started from the Arizona 41 and 37 yard lines.

However, Arizona was victimized by its own penalties in the first half.

Two holding penalties nullified two Arizona touchdowns, one on a kick-off return and another on a punt return.

The UW took a 13-9 lead into the locker room at the half.

Stopping to chat, Gilbertson thought that Washington should have scored more points and said they’d visit the lack of pass completions during the intermission, Paus having gone 6 for 20 for 105 yards, with no interceptions and no touchdowns.

Both teams were greeted by a drizzle to start the second half, as if the Gods of football were throwing water on the girlie-man teams. Paying homage to the deity, Arizona went three-and-out on its first possession. Naturally, Washington went three-and-out on its first possession, the teams swinging wildly at one another and missing at the opening bell.

On Washington’s second possession in the second half, Isaiah Stanback replaced Paus at quarterback. Paus left the game, completing 6 of 23 passes for 105 yards, 57 of those yards coming on the screen pass to Sampson. 

Stanback ran for one first down and passed to Joe Toledo for another before the Dawgs went three-and-out on the Washington 43. Arizona got a hand on Douglas’ subsequent punt to get the ball back on its own 42, slowly but surely, winning the field-position battle.

Seemingly making good on its accumulated real-estate, Arizona drove to the UW 25-yard line; however, Bell fumbled the ball, giving the UW another chance to post another first down or two, Joe Lobendahn recovering the ball on the Huskies’ 26. 

Then the dawghouse collapsed and the disheveled Huskies, their fur curled up in a rain-soaked mat, hit rock bottom, landing in the Pac-10 basement with a mushy thunk.

To wit: On the Huskies' next possession, Wilrey Fontenot recovered a Sampson fumble in mid-air and scored on a 33-yard run. The extra point gave the Wildcats an insurmountable 16-13 lead. After all, the Huskies were averaging a perfunctory 13 points per game and had reached their bogey. Why do more?

After both teams posted three-and-outs, the mistake-prone Stanback threw into coverage and was intercepted by Kirk Johnson on the UW 40. Mike Bell scored from 13 yards out to give the Wildcats a 23-13 lead, which was all the scoring the lifeless game needed.

The UW and Stanback continued with their error-prone ways in the fourth quarter.

On fourth and seven on the UW 38, punter Douglas ran 28 yards to the Arizona 34.

Stanback hit James on a wheel route, Kenny upended on the Arizona 13. Trying to do too much, Stanback fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Marcus Smith on the Arizona 17.

On Stanback’s first four possessions, Washington coughed up the ball three times – two fumbles and an interception, leading to 14 Arizona points, not all Isaiah's fault.

Paus, who left the game with the Dawgs leading 13-9, returned to lead the Huskies with 8:08 left in the game, starting on the UW 16. Managing to work the ball to the Arizona 29, Paus was intercepted by Antoine Carter, ending one of the UW’s best offensive efforts in the game.

The game ended mercifully with Arizona on top, 23-13.

Coach Gilbertson said, “It was just another one of those days.” Yes, it was.

Read the stats at your own risk. Husky Stadium was about two-thirds full, belying the official attendance figure (63,225). Not everyone showed up, and rightfully so.

Lord, help me, I've got to stop writing like this. Go, Dawgs!

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

In the main, the local media, arguably the most hostile in all of college football, is as responsible as anyone for the Huskies' collapse. Ironically, AD Todd Turner is searching for a coach who has some pizzazz. For a moment, I thought he was talking about Rick Neuheisel.

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
UA 9 0 14 0 23
UW 10 3 0 0 13


Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Qtr        
12:34 UA TD Mike Bell one-yard run; Nicholas Folk kick. UA, 7-0
11:36 UA S Team safety UA, 9-0
6:57 UW TD Shelton Sampson 5-yard run; Evan Knudson kick. UA, 9-7
:33 UW FG Evan Knudson 42-yard kick. UW 10-9
2nd Q
12:05 UW FG Knudson 34-yard kick. UW 13-9
3rd Q        
3:58 UA TD Wilrey Fontenot 33-yard defensive fumble return. Folk kick. UA 16-13
:32 UA TD Bell 13-yard run; Folk kick. UA 23-13


Statistic UA UW
Total First Downs 13 17
  Rushing 6 7
  Passing 7 8
  Penalty 0 2
Total Net Yards 251 297
Net Yards Passing 164 197
Net Yards Rushing 87 100
Completions-att-int 11-25-0 16-47-2
Punts, yards, average 10/392/39.2 8/308/38.5
Sacks by (number, yards) 5-35 1-10
Return Yardage 99 0
  Punts Yards 5-43 2-0
  Kickoff Yards 4-111 3-56
  Interceptions Yards 2-23 0-0
Penalties Yards 4-36 8-55
Fumbles Lost, yardage 2-33 3-0
Time of Possession  27:41 32:19

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Arizona          
Richard Kovalcheck 11 25 164 0 0
           
Washington          
Casey Paus 13 37 164 0 1
Isaiah Stanback 3 10 33 0 1
           
Rushing att yds tds long  
Arizona          
Mike Bell 24 82 2 13  
Chris Henry 10 13 0 11  
B. J. Dennard 1 6 0 6  
Richard Kovalcheck 1 -10 0 -10  
           
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Shelton Sampson 7 29 1 8  
Kenny James 19 64 0 10  
Casey Paus 5 -24 0 6  
Sean Douglas 1 28 0 28  
Isaiah Stanback 4 8 0 7  
Louis Rankin 1 3 0 3  
Sonny Shackelford 1 -7 0 -7  
           
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Arizona        
Steve Fleming 3 51 0 25  
Ricky Williams 3 38 0 27  
Syndric Steptoe 4 45 0 50  
Clarence McRae 1 15 0 15  
Mike Bell 1 11 0 11  
Brad Wood 1 4 0 4  
           
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Joe Toledo 6 62 0 15  
Sonny Shackelford 1 7 0 7  
Bobby Whithorne 3 33 0 13  
Kenny James 2 25 0 17  
Craig Chambers 3 13 0 7  
Shelton Sampson 1 57 0 57  
           
Punting punts yds long Avg
Arizona
Danny Baugher 10 392 53 39.2  
           
Washington          
Sean Douglas 6 288 55 48.0  
           
Attendance: 63,225          

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