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From Blue to Howell-ing
Dan Howell seals Bruins' fate
Malamute, 24 September 2006

UW  linebacker Dan Howell intercepted Ben Olson with 6:02 left and took it 33 yards  to the house. Washington (3-1) had easy sledding the rest of the way, beating UCLA 29-19 at Husky Stadium.

Isaiah Stanback tossed three touchdown passes and ran for 48 yards, providing most of Washington's offense for the second week in a row. In last week's game against Fresno State, he accumulated 87% of the Huskies' total yards. This week Stanback accounted for 248 of the Huskies' 265 total yards (249 net).  He completed 18 of 29 passes, for 200 yards and one interception, with a pass efficiency of 147.2.

But it wasn't all that hunky-dory for UW, which managed -4 yards in the first quarter and didn't get a first down by run or pass until there was 2:48 left in the first half.

With his offense accumulating just 3 total yards with five minutes to go in the first half, UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano junked his two-back offense and turned to the spread offense, with three and four receiver sets. 

It took a second half explosion -- and the spread offense -- to subdue the stubborn Bruins, which won many of the game's battles but lost the war, mostly dominating the Huskies in the final stats, except for the final score. "Bruins let this one get away," read the headline in one of the local Southern California papers.

Over his career, Stanback has tossed 18 touchdown passes and has been intercepted just 11 times, which is a remarkable stat when you consider the Huskies' won/lost record over that time (6 wins, 20 losses).

The Bruins held the Huskies' running game in check, allowing just 49 total net yards. Kenny James ran for 15 yards on 8 attempts and Louis Rankin had 1 yard rushing.

Sonny Shackelford caught 9 passes for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.

After the game, a disconsolate Olson said he saw Howell in the flat but, as he threw the ball, it slipped out of his hand. Okay, I'll go along with that.


Quarterbacks do many things, both good and bad, but the one thing they cannot do, to see and play another day, is to give a game away.

The Good:

Going back to last season, the Huskies have won 4 of their last 6 games.

Sean Douglas' punting: 48.8 yard average.

The Huskies were penalized just 3 times for 15 yards. A Tyrone Willingham team is never penalized much.

Ben Olson's pass efficiency of 81.7, contrasted with Stanback's, 147.2

The Bruins were in the Dawgs' redzone 5 times but managed just 1 touchdown, on a drive that started from the 6-yard line.

The game turned from Blue to Purple when the defense stopped UCLA after it recovered a fumble on the UW 31 late in the first half. The ensuing drive that closed the gap to 16-7 with 1:05 left in the half solidified the momentum that surged after the defense left the field.

The Husky crowd was a big factor in the victory.

The UW defense held the Blue to just 83 total yards in the second half.

Credit Rick Neuheisel's recruits for the win, along with some of Gilby's. A local media that have bashed Neuheisel constantly -- since 1999 and beyond -- have never given him full credit for his recruiting abilities. That's why they all picked UW to finish last in the Pac-10, having been hoisted by their own petards (i.e., their bias).

The Bad:

-- In their last two games, the Huskies' offense has been three-dimensional: Stanback, Stanback, Stanback. To win on the road, the Dawgs must support Stanback with a running game, which really is cliché to say. This is not to say that Sonny Shackelford and Johnie Kirton didn't play key roles on Saturday.

In reality, going against teams in the Pac-10 that are strong against the run, Lappano needs to go with the spread (shotgun) offense right off the bat. Why? Answer: Isaiah Stanback and his inexperienced offensive line. The spread offense, with a mobile quarterback running it, masks a lot of weaknesses. That's why, with their "inferior talent," the Huskies beat the Bruins. Some of the Bruin players said the Huskies had inferior talent and that they shouldn't have won. 

Let's see more empty-backfield, five receiver sets. It really opens the running lanes for Stanback.

-- Our headline, "From Blue to Howell-ing." Husky fans felt Blue (a pun the UCLA uniforms) for much of the first half, but were Howell-ing (a pun on Howell's name and the Dawgs' howls of joy after his interception return) the rest of the way.

--I got stuck in traffic on I-91 and had to listen to much of the game on UCLA radio, where the announcers mixed up Stanback's and Shackelford's names at times. Also, they called Donny Ma-te-a-ki Donny Ma-teek-ee. (Duh, look at the UW media guide). They made me appreciate Bob Rondeau and Chuck Nelson all the more. Fortunately, I had Tivo-ed the game and was able to watch the replay, sans commercials, when I got back home. 

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
UCLA 13 3 3 0 19
UW 0 7 7 15 29

Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
11:11 UCLA FG Justin Medlock 28-yard kick. UCLA 3-0
8:25 UCLA TD Chris Markey 1-yard run. Medlock boot. UCLA 10-0
4:51 UCLA FG Medlock 23-yard kick UCLA 13-0
2nd qtr
11:48 UCLA FG Medlock 51-yard kick. UCLA 16-0
1:05 UW TD Sonny Shackleford 23-yard pass from Isaiah Stanback. Michael Braunstein kick. UCLA 16-7
3rd Qtr        
13:00 UW TD Shackelford 28-yard pass from Stanback. Braunstein kick. UCLA 16-14
0:42 UCLA FG Medlock 22-yard kick. UCLA 19-14
4th qtr        
7:32 UW TD Johnie Kirton 4-yard pass from Stanback; Kirton 2-point pass from Stanback UW 22-19
6:02 UW TD Daniel Howell 33-yard interception return; Braunstein kick. UW 29-19

Statistic UCLA UW
Total First Downs 13 14
  Rushing 4 4
  Passing 9 9
  Penalty 0 1
Total Net Yards 278 249
Net Yards Passing 135 200
Net Yards Rushing 143 49
Completions-att-int 18-31-2 18-29-1
Punts, yards, average 5-179-35.8 5-244-48.8
Times sacked (number, yards) 3, -20 3, -9
Return Yardage 130 121
  Punts Yards 2, 80 4, 17
  Kickoff Yards 4-50 5-71
 Interceptions returns Yds 1-0 2-33
Penalties Yards 6-33 3-15
Fumbles: number/lost 1-0 4-3
Time of Possession  32:02 27:58

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Ben Olson 18 31 135 0 2
Isaiah Stanback 18 29 200 3 1
UCLA Rushing att yds tds long  
Chris Markey 19 124 1 63  
Kahil Bell 9 24 0 12  
Brandon Breazell 1 13 0 13  
Ben Olson 5 -18 0 2  
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Isaiah Stanback 13 48 0 17  
Kenny James 8 21 0 8  
Louis Rankin 3 1 0 1  
Sean Douglas 1 16 0 -16  
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
Matt Willis 4 30 0 15  
Brandon Breazell 3 30 0 11  
Chris Markey 3 -4 0 1  
Andrew Baumgartner 2 26 0 16  
Ryan Moya 2 11 0 7  
Logan Paulsen 1 14 0 14  
Gavin Ketchum 1 14 0 14  
Junior Taylor 1 8 0 8  
Marcus Everett 1 6 0 6  
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Anthony Russo 2 29 0 23  
Johnie Kirton 2 10 1 6  
Marlon Wood 1 12 0 12  
Quintin Daniels 1 17 0 17  
Sonny Shackelford 9 120 2 35  
Cody Ellis 1 6 0 6  
Louis Rankin 1 6 0 6  
Kenny James 1 0 0 0  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Aaron Perez 5 179 43 35.8  
Sean Douglas 5 244 64 48.8  
Attendance: 58,255          

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

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