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Isaiah is a warrior, Tui
Stanback mimics 2K Tui in win over Fresno State
Malamute, 17 September 2006

With his passing and running and some déjà vu, Isaiah Stanback led Washington to a 21-20 win over Fresno State at Husky Stadium in Seattle. Accounting for 242 total yards, Stanback passed for 2 touchdowns and ran for another, his performance  reminiscent of Marques Tuiasosopo, when he led the Huskies to the 2001 Rose Bowl.

Not that the Huskies (2-1) will go to the Rose Bowl this season, but they are two steps closer to a six-win season, a goal set out for them before the season began by coach Tyrone Willingham.

But Stanback had some help to secure the win.

With 4:30 left and Fresno State ready to tie the game at 21, third-string defensive end Ceasar Rayford leaped high in the air to block the try-for-point.

With 2:36 left, the Bulldogs got the ball back a final time, but UW's Mesphin Forrester intercepted Tom Branstater and ran it back to the Bulldogs' 1 with1:19 showing on the clock. Stanback took a couple of knees and the clock ran out. 

After his poor game against Oklahoma last week, Stanback's role as a starter had been debated all week by fans on a couple of Internet message boards. This week, Stanback's 242-total yards (87% of the Dawgs' total yards) carried the Huskies, who most assuredly would have lost the game without him.

Isaiah, racing for his life at times -- an incarnation of a swifter version of Fran Tarkington (or maybe Tui) -- was able to escape the rush and either throw on the run for a completion or head down field and turn a broken play into positive yardage. He zagged while his pursuers zigged, and vice versa.

Finishing fifth in the Pac-10 100 meters, Stanback is arguably the fastest quarterback in NCAA football. Leadership, decisiveness, poise and a strong arm make him the complete package. Hasn't he earned some hyperbole after this win? Maybe, the self-effacing quarterback needs to grow some facial stubble, a la Brett, and look the part of a rugged leader, who won't take any guff from anyone.

But most importantly, in his fifteen starts as a Dawg, Stanback has a remarkable history of not giving games away. And that's important to Willingham who is as conservative as his good friend Condoleezza Rice.

Playing on a team that has won 5 games and lost 20 since the start of the 2004 season, Stanback has thrown more touchdowns (15) than interceptions (10), which is quite an accomplishment. Former quarterback Casey Paus would be the first to applaud him.

His career pass efficiency is 125.65.

The good:

-- Isaiah Stanback's pass efficiency on the game: 131.9

-- Ceaser Rayford's blocked punt.


-- UW's defense, which held FS to 297 net yards, Dwayne Wright's 136-yards rushing notwithstanding. 

Marcel Reece's 3 catches for 62 yards. He's beginning to look like a tightend to me, but I'm still not sure about that without getting a better handle on his speed.

Sean Douglas' punting: 6 punts, 44.3 yards per punt.

"The crowd helped us the whole game,” senior safety C.J. Wallace, who led all defenders with 17 tackles, told a reporter. “Especially on third down the crowd really got into it; and when the crowd gets into it, it gives a special energy to us.”

The Bad:

Subtract Stanback's 91 yards' rushing and UW only had 37 yards on the ground. Louis Rankin was the nation's eighth leading rusher going into the game. He's number 30 now, accumulating 19 yards during the contest.

The offensive line, which needs to play better next week against UCLA (2-0). Isaiah can't do it alone against a strong team like UCLA. If the Bruins beat the Dawgs next Saturday, look for the nega-dawgs to be back on Isaiah's case.

Our headline: "Isaiah is a warrior, Tui" (You know, "too.")

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
FS 7 0 7 6 20
UW 7 7 0 7 21

Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
11:21 FS TD Dwayne Wright 1-yard run; Clint Stitser kick. FS 7-0
0:58 UW TD Johnie KIrton 5-yard pass from Isaiah Stanback; Michael Braunstien kick. 7-7
2nd qtr        
3:00 UW TD Stanback 6-yard kick; Braunstein kick. UW 14-7
3rd qtr
12:16 FS TD Paul Williams 38-yard pass from Tom Brandstater; Stitser  kick 14-14
4th qtr        
9:54 UW TD Sonny Shackelford 8-yard pass from Stanback; Braunstein kick. UW 21-14
4:30 FS TD Wright 1-yard run; try-for-point blocked by Ceaser Rayford. UW 21-20

Statistic FS UW
Total First Downs 17 16
  Rushing 11 9
  Passing 6 7
  Penalty 0 0
Total Net Yards 297 279
Net Yards Passing 140 151
Net Yards Rushing 157 128
Completions-att-int 11-21-1 15-26-0
Punts, yards, average 5-181-36.2 6-266-44.3
Sacks by  (number, yards) 1,-2 1,-4
Return Yardage 111 102
  Punts Yards 1-27 2-23
  Kickoff Yards 3-84 2-43
 Interceptions returns Yds 0-0 1-36
Penalties Yards 3-15 4-47
Fumbles: number/lost 1-0 0-0
Time of Possession  29:38 30:22

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Tom Brandstater 11 21 140 1 1
Isaiah Stanback 15 26 151 2 0
FS Rushing att yds tds long  
Dwayne Wright 28 136 2 13  
Lonyae Miller 5 8 0 6  
Paul Williams 2 8 0 7  
Tom Brandstater 2 5 0 9  
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Isaiah Stanback 12 91 1 36  
Kenny James 8 7 0 3  
Louis Rankin 9 19 0 9  
Marcel Reece 2 9 0 8  
Marlon Wood 1 4 0 4  
Sonny Shackelford 1 3 0 3  
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Paul Williams 6 85 1 38  
Shannon Dorsey 2 33 0 25  
Roshon Vercher 1 11 0 11  
Dwayne Wright 1 7 0 7  
Jaron Fairman 1 4 0 4  
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Anthony Russo 4 34 0 12  
Johnie Kirton 2 10 1 5  
Marcel Reece 3 62 0 38  
Quintin Daniels 3 16 6 0  
Sonny Shackelford 3 29 1 12  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Robert Malone 4 150 49 37.5  
Clint Stitser 1 31 31 31.0  
Sean Douglas 6 266 52 44.3  
Attendance: 57,012          

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

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