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UW's quest left swirling in a dust devil
Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

The Huskies (1-7, 0-5) hoped to snap a 12-game conference losing streak Saturday at Arizona State; instead, the Sun Devils (4-4, 2-3) proved bewitching and beguiling, bewildering the Dawgs with a 44-20 pasting.  Making his first career start, ASU red-shirt freshman Rudy Carpenter completed 27 of 34 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns.

Trailing by just four points in the fourth quarter, the Huskies had their chances to win. But, as in almost every game this season, fatigue and a lack of depth smote the Dawgs when it counted most. With just 5:04 left in the game, the Sun Devils took a 31-24 lead, one that was never seriously threatened, thereafter.

However, four Husky turnovers (minus 4 on the game) were as instrumental as any other factor in contributing to the loss. Washington's depleted corners were another factor. The inexperienced Carpenter, replacing the injured Sam Keller, completed 79.4% of his passes, setting a school record. He finished with a pass-efficiency rating of 207.6 on the game.

Going into the game, with the season down the tube and no bowl game in the offing, the Huskies needed to demonstrate that a turnaround in their fortunes was near: a quest of helping recruiting, mollifying fans and exasperating a few enemies. Instead, the loss only deepened the frustration the Husky nation is feeling, including that of the coaches who desperately needed a win to prove -- what we're all feeling -- that better times lie ahead. Instead, the loss to Arizona State left that mission swirling in a dust devil that slowly etched the acronym DAWGS into the stark landscape of the Arizona desert. 

The acronym DAWGS?

Depending on the fullness or emptiness of your feelings for the current state of affairs, the acronym Dawgs may have two representations.

The glass is half empty representation: In his blog on Oct 28, AD Todd Turner wrote that the athletics department had adopted the acronym DAWGS to represent its mission, where D = Dream and A = achieve. So what does W. G. S. stand for, he writes? We're supposed to guess. Right now the "W" stands for Woeful as an adjective describing the Dawgs last 13 consecutive losses in conference games, which leaves some fans feeling Grievous about the future and Sad about the present.

Turner's acronym is premature. In spirit it imitates former UCLA coach John Wooden's "Pyramid of Success," only Wooden had already won a number of NCAA championships when he constructed the pyramid, which was built on a solid foundation, not a foundation of sand.

The glass is half full representation: Dream, Achieve, Woof, Go Sled-Dawgs

I like the last representation better.

Turner's Dream? The UW is just six first-round NFL draft picks away from having a brighter future and making Turner's dream come true. Say, two defensive linemen, one who can push up the middle and one who can rush from the outside. Add a lock-down corner and big hitter at free safety. On offense, how about the equivalency of a Reggie Bush or a Maurice Drew? Top it all off with a QB that has NFL potential. I'm talking six five-star recruits.

The Good:

-- Isaiah Stanback continues to contribute positively to the rushing total, where, in the past few years, Husky quarterbacks' rush numbers (positive yardage minus sacks) usually subtracted from it.

-- The Huskies' defense held the Sun Devils scoreless in the third quarter.

-- Senior tailback James Sims rushed for 140 yards on 24 carries, a career high.

-- The Huskies were penalized only 5 times for 25 yards.

-- The Huskies' D recorded 7 sacks.

-- To cut the ASU lead to 14-10, the Huskies scored on a 74-yard, 9 play drive, with all 9 plays on the ground.

The Bad:

-- Four turnovers, via 2 picks and 2 fumbles. The 2 picks led to ASU touchdowns, one an interception return, albeit the last play of the game.

-- For the game, Stanback's pass-efficiency rating of 101.8 was unacceptable.

-- Scoring more than 20 points in any one game seems to be a monumental task for the Huskies' offense, this paucity of points playing out anemically in a conference loaded with high-scoring machines.

-- The two poor recruiting years of 2004 and 2005 contribute to the lack of depth of the squad, becoming significant factors during the course of the season as injuries take their toll.

-- Washington's defense (TOP 25:24) was on the field too long.

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Washington 3 14 3 0 20
ASU 14 10 0 20 44

Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
13:03 UW FG Evan Knudson 30-yard kick. UW,3-0
8:49 ASU TD Rudy Carpenter 1-yard run. ASU, 7-3
2:03 ASU TD Matt Miller 12-yard pass from Carpenter; Jesse Ainsworth kick. ASU, 14-3
2nd qtr
13:23 UW TD James Sims 1-yard run; Knudson kick. ASU, 14-10
12:08 ASU TD Carpenter 69-yard pass to Miller; Ainsworth kick. ASU, 21-10
1:48 UW TD Sims 3-yard run; Knudson kick. ASU, 21-17
0:99 ASU FG Ainsworth 21-yard kick. ASU 24-17
3rd qtr        
9:14 UW FG Knudson 35-yard kick. ASU, 24-20
4th qtr        
5:04 ASU TD Miller 24-yard pass from Carpenter; Ainsworth kick. ASU, 31-20
1:09 ASU TD Preston Jones 10-yard run; Ainsworth kick. ASU, 38-20
0:00 ASU TD Josh Golden 58-yard interception return. ASU, 44-20

Statistic UW ASU
Total First Downs 23 26
  Rushing 10 7
  Passing 8 18
  Penalty 5 1
Total Net Yards 398 478
Net Yards Passing 185 401
Net Yards Rushing 213 77
Completions-att-int 10-26-2 27-34-0
Punts, yards, average 1-42, 42 3-125, 41-7
Times sacked (number, yards) 1 (-5) 7 (-54)
Return Yardage 82 189
  Punts Yards 1-9 3-125
  Kickoff Yards 3-73 3-110
 Interceptions returns Yds 0-0 2-58
Penalties Yards 5-25 13-91
Fumble: number, lost 2-2 2-0
Time of Possession  25:24 34:36

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Rudy Carpenter 27 34 401 3 0
Isaiah Stanback 8 20 171 0 1
Johnny DuRocher 2 6 14 0 1
ASU Rushing att yds tds long  
Rudy Burgess 19 67 0 9  
Preston Jones 12 45 1 10  
Keegan Herring 3 9 0 6  
Rudy Carpenter 9 -44 1 9  
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Isaiah Stanback 8 47 0 19  
Kenny James 4 16 0 10  
Mark Palaita 1 1 0 1  
James Sims 24 140 2 19  
Anthony Russo 3 9 0 9  
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Derek Hagen 9 115 0 24  
Matt Miller 5 139 3 69  
Rudy Burgess 4 29 0 8  
Zach Miller 3 48 0 26  
Terry Richardson 3 24 0 9  
Moey Mutz 1 38 0 38  
Keegan Herring 1 5 0 5  
Preston Jones 1 3 0 3  
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Cody Ellis 1 7 0 7  
Anthony Russo 2 95 9 61  
Johnie Kirton 1 10 0 10  
Sonny Shackelford 3 43 0 24  
Craig Chambers 1 15 0 15  
James Sims 2 15 0 8  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Jesse Ainsworh 3 125 50 41.7  
Sean Douglas 1 42 42 42.0  
Attendance: 57,678          

Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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