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Carpenter Rudy-ly hammers Huskies' bowl hopes in OT
Huskies were Devil may care, then emphatic
Malamute, 29 October 2006

Controlling both sides of the line of scrimmage for the first three quarters and in overtime, when it counted, Arizona State beat Washington 26-23, as Rudy Carpenter connected with Brent Miller on a 25-yard TD pass in the extra stanza, most likely ending the Huskies' bowl hopes.

Trailing 20-6 and appearing hopeless beaten on both sides of the line of scrimmage, Washington got back into the game with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to take a 20-20 tie into overtime, the first overtime game in Husky Stadium history. 

In the extra stanza, Michael Braunstein gave the Huskies a 23-20 lead with a 47-yard field goal, the longest of his career.

But then it was the Solar-Sixers' turn, this time ratcheting up the misery index for UW fans, in this a homecoming game.

With all of the time in the world to throw, Rudy Carpenter connected with H-back Brent Miller, who had LB Daniel Howell hopelessly beaten, on a 25-yard TD pass on the Sun Devils' second play of overtime. 

It was another heartbreaking loss for the Dawgs, who lost their second consecutive game in overtime, losing to Cal the previous week. Three weeks ago, they were on the USC 15-yard line with two seconds to go, trailing by six points when the clock ran out midst total confusion on the field on behalf of the referees and both teams. 

A Bowl? The Devil, you say.

With this Husky loss, its remaining bowl possibilities -- the Las Vegas Bowl, the Emerald Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl – most likely have gone down the drain, which would leave Washington (4-5, 2-4 Pac-10) bowl-less for the fourth consecutive year. Winning its three remaining games in the conference is a possibility, but two of the games are on the road, at Oregon, as in “let me Autzen here,” and at Washington State, as in “taking you to the cleaners for a Martin-izing.” UW should be favored to beat winless Stanford at home. Winning two of the three remaining games would give UW a 6-6 overall record and bowl eligibility. Not all hope is lost.

The fourth quarter comeback reminded me of the 1959 team coached by Jim Owens, who fourth-quartered his opponents.

Just as Owens brought the spirit of the “Junction Boys” to Washington, Tyrone Willingham has brought the spirit of “Semper Fi” to Montlake, without the Owens “Death March.” Willingham grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is located just south of Camp Lejeune, the Marine Corps base.

The ever vigilant soldier, Willingham keeps the media at bay, limiting them to just the first 25 minutes of practice and, at times, calling them “outside forces.” He speaks mostly in platitudes to them, giving out not much more than his name, rank, and serial number.

Thus, Willingham plays the percentages by keeping distractions to a minimum; his players are highly motivated, disciplined, believe in him and think they can win any game, even if it's against the conference's elite.

The Good:

-- Under tremendous pressure on the game, Carl Bonnell's scrambling ability.

-- Just 50 yards in penalties, compared to ASU's 127 yards.

-- UW's time of possession: 32:36.

-- Sonny Shackelford's touchdown pass to Anthony Russo in the fourth quarter. Momentum returned to the Dawgs, spirited by a crowd that got back into the game.

-- Soundly whipped on both sides of the line of scrimmage for the first three quarters, the Huskies managed to tie the score in the fourth quarter. This speaks volumes for Willingham's coaching methods, his game plan and the support fans bring to the game. 

-- Rick Neuheisel's recruits, who have gone through three different head coaches, going from a free-wheeling, to a grumpy, to a military environment. They have soldiered well, especially under Willingham.

-- Sonny Shackelford's pass efficiency: 774.4. :)

-- Johnny DuRocher's (our pick to backup Bonnell on Molly Yanity's' blog last week) performance. He completed 4 of 8 passes for 40 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions.

-- Braunstein's 47-yard field goal in OT.

-- Washington's loyal fans, which have supported the Dawgs doggedly over the last three years, despite the Huskies' 7-24 record.

-- Some perspective is needed: At the front of the season, the Pac-10 media brigade picked the Sun Devils to finish fourth in the conference race; they picked UW to finish tenth. For a tenth pick, the Dawgs have played amazingly well, considering their games against UCLA, USC, California and now Arizona State.

The Bad:

-- Rudy Carpenter's passing efficiency: 167.6; Carl Bonnell's 46.2.

-- Bonnell's two interceptions. Also, add the concussion, which forced him to leave the game in the fourth quarter. Bonnell has thrown 7 interceptions in his two starts this season. In his 7 starts, Isaiah Stanback threw just 3 picks. Over his 36-game career at Washington, Stanback's touchdown to interception ratio is 22-12, truly an amazing stat when you consider the mediocre support he was given by his offensive lines. The difference between Bonnell and Stanback? Answer: athleticism, which goes to Isaiah, not that Carl is a shabby athlete.

-- The offensive line's inability to protect Bonnell on 3-man rushes. Before the season started, Willingham said that the offensive line would be the most important ingredient in his recipe for a successful season. He was right.

-- Where were the swims, the bulls, the rips, the clubs and the spins from the defensive linemen? Just kidding; I'm in the throws of learning this terminology. Manase Hopoi told me that Rob Meadow was fooled by his tricks in a Spring scrimmage several years ago, motivating my interest. Better late than never, as a post on a message board reminded me of the task.

-- You can expect more gloom and doom from the local media if the losses continue, since they lack perspective. This kind of coverage affects public opinion and will make it harder for Willingham to recruit some big guys up front and add a few offensive and defensive playmakers. Meanwhile, the message boards will go bonkers.

Team 1 2 3 4 OT Total
ASU 0 14 6 0 6 26
UW 0 3 3 14 3 23

Time Team How Player (s) Score
2nd qtr        
8:53 ASU TD Jamal Lewis 12-yard pass from Rudy Carpenter, Jesse Ainsworth kick. ASU 7-0
2:18 UW FG Michael Braunstein 27-yard kick. ASU 7-3
:58 ASU TD Keegan Herring 19-yard run; Ainsworth kick. ASU 14-3
3rd qtr
1:34 UW FG Braunstein 25-yard kick. ASU 14-6
:11 ASU TD Herring 65-yard run. 2-point pass failed. ASU 20-6
4th qtr
11:04 UW TD Anthony Russo 41-yard pass from Sonny Shackelford; Braunstein kick. ASU 20-14
2:19 UW TD Shackelford 4-yard pass from Johnnie DuRocher; Braunstein kick. Tie 20-20
0:00 UW FG Braunstein 47-yard boot. UW 23-20
0:00 ASU TD Brent Miller 25-yard pass from Rudy Carpenter. ASU 26-23

Statistic ASU UW
Total First Downs 15 16
  Rushing 5 7
  Passing 10 5
  Penalty 0 4
Total Net Yards 360 274
Net Yards Passing 170 148
Net Yards Rushing 190 126
Completions-att-int 16-23-0 14-32-2
Punts, yards, average 7-270-38.6 5-193-38.6
Times sacked (number, yards)    
Return Yardage 92 90
  Punts Yards 1-6 6-27
  Kickoff Yards 3-46 3-63
 Interceptions returns Yds 2-40 0-0
Penalties Yards 16-127 7-50
Fumbles: number/lost 2-0 1-0
Time of Possession  27:24 32:36

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Rudy Carpenter 16 22 170 2 0
Carl Bonnell 9 23 67 0 2
Johnie DuRocher 4 8 40 1 0
Sonny Shackelford 1 1 41 1 0
ASU Rushing att yds long tds  
Ryan Torain 23 98 23 0  
Keegan Herring 6 98 65 2  
Rudy Carpenter 5 -6 6 0  
Washington Rushing att yds long tds
Mark Palaita 1 2 2 0  
Louis Rankin 25 67 9 0  
Johnie Kirton 1 1 1 0  
Carl Bonnell 6 44 16 0  
Johnie DuRocher 1 -3 0 0  
Marlon Wood 1 15 15 0  
ASU Pass Receiving rec yds long tds
Keegen Herring 3 43 22 0
Chris McGaha 3 31 13 0  
Ryan Torain 3 30 13 0  
Zach Miller 2 8 8 0  
Brent Miller 1 25 25 1  
Jamal Lewis 1 12 12 1  
Nate Kimbrough 1 12 12 0  
Michael Jones 1 7 7 0  
Kyle Williams 1 2 2 0  
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds long tds
Anthony Russo 2 64 41 1  
Quintin Daniels 1 -3 0 0  
Sonny Shackelford 3 18 7 1  
Cody Ellis 2 23 16 0  
Lous Rankin 6 46 16 0  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Jonathan Johnson 7 270 55 38.6  
Sean Douglas 5 193 50 38.6  
Attendance: 58,822          

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

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