underdog Stanford came into Husky Stadium and broke an 11-game losing streak,
upsetting Washington 20-3. Last in the nation in rush defense, Stanford held
Washington to just 39 yards rushing on 28 attempts.
Ironically, kicker Michael Braunstein, who has not been
invited back to finish his fifth year with UW, scored its only points, booting a
28-yard field goal in the second quarter. (Braunstein, photo above).
Washington had excellent field position for
the first 16 and one half minutes of the game, but managed just 3 points --
which held up for the rest of the game.
Stanford received the opening kickoff and
was held to a three and out. After a 24-yard punt which gave the Huskies
possession on the Stanford 41, UW worked the ball to the Stanford 27. However,
after two plays that went for losses, one a sack on QB Carl Bonnell, the Huskies
punted the ball away.
The Huskies’ second possession started on
the Dawgs’ 48, but once again they failed to score, moving the ball to the
A third possession started on the Huskies’
49, which ended on the Tree 11-yard line, from where Michael Braunstein
connected on a 28-yard field goal with 13:32 left in the second quarter.
In for the drive that led to the field goal,
Johnny DuRocher took over for Bonnell, who suffered a thigh bruise late in the
The field-position advantage continued,
when, with 5:03 left in the half, the Dawgs began a drive starting on the Tree
23. After a penalty took them back to the Stanford 38-yard line, the Huskies
punted the ball away.
Feeding off Washington’s offensive
ineptness, Stanford capped a 68-yard drive with a 29-yard field goal to tie the
score at 3-3 on the last play of the half.
Except for some nice runs by Bonnell,
Washington failed to run the ball effectively in the first half -- against a
team that ranks last in the country in run defense. In the first half, the UW
managed just 38 yards rushing and 77 yards in total offense. Its defense,
however, limited the Tree to minus 11 yards on the ground.
Offensively in the first half, the Huskies’
mirrored their running game against Stanford two years ago, when the Huskies
managed just 91 yards rushing in a 27-13 loss at Palo Alto. As it turned out,
that comparison held true for the remainder of the game.
Johnny DuRocher started the second half and
was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage, giving Stanford the ball at
mid-field. Not surprisingly, the Tree went three and out, in a game featuring
offensive ineptness up to that time on behalf of both teams.
Another DuRocher interception was run back
49 yards for a touchdown by Bo McNally to give Stanford a 10-3 lead with 6:49
left in the third quarter. A key interception, momentum swung to the Tree
for the rest of the game.
After the touchdown, Bonnell replaced
DuRocher on the next series, but managed just one first down. DuRocher was held
out of the game, thereafter, having suffered a concussion.
After a botched punt attempt by the Tree, UW got the
ball back on the Stanford 34 near the end of the third quarter but, after going
backwards, had to punt the ball away at the Stanford 46.
Washington had zero
total yards during the third quarter.
Stanford took a 17-3 lead early in the
fourth quarter after freshman Richard Sherman hauled in a 74-yard touchdown pass
from T. C. Ostrander.
On UW's next series, Stanford got the ball on the UW 26 after
Chris Horn intercepted Bonnell and happily settled for a 37-yard field goal to
take a 20-3 lead, the final score of the game.
So much for the game.
After losing QB Isaiah Stanback to injury,
this team has looked very much like the 2004 team that finished 1-10 on the season
under former coach Keith Gilbertson, pass efficiency offense and rushing
numbers being key
indicators for this comparison. Because of Stanback’s elusiveness and exceptional
athleticism, he emboldened the offensive line, masking its deficiencies during the team’s 4-1 start on the season. With
his running and passing, Stanback accounted for most of the Huskies’ offense up
until the time he was injured. Most importantly, Stanback was not interception
prone, surrendering only 3 picks in his 7 games.
Although the offensive line as a unit
has played almost all of the season, the backups to its five mainstays have to
be well rested. In part, I guess, you could make an excuse for the line’s being
worn down by the rigors of 11 games, but still it wasn’t expected to do much
before the season began.
To those fans who are growing impatient
with Willingham, unless something drastically changes for the worse, I am
afraid we’re locked into him for the remainder of his contract
(approximately 3 years).
and replacing him with a new coach at this time would be a public relations disaster, considering the local media's obsession with UW's past
problems, both minor and major.
Moore of the P-I will surely roast the Huskies this week in his column, and
I'm looking forward to reading him, the balm of humor sorely needed.
the loss of 26 seniors this year, Willingham and his staff need to recruit
new and better talent, both out of high schools and junior colleges, in an
unparalleled endeavor to rebuild UW football.
AD Todd Turner and Coach Willingham are
committed to recruiting student athletes who will make good leaders, be
model citizens, and who will fulfill the UW graduation requirements, all of
which is the general direction the NCAA is headed in its quest to graduate
better student athletes.
ahead of other schools in its commitment to achieving that goal. That’s a
positive, in my opinion.