Washington Husky Preview

It's Dad's Weekend in Beaver Country as Oregon State hosts the University of Washington Huskies. The Huskies (3-3, 1-1 Pac-10) have lost the last two weeks, first to UCLA, then to Nevada. They are definitely in search of some answers at this point in their season. Can new Coach Keith Gilbertson right the ship against the Beavers or will his Huskies continue their downward spiral?

If you follow college football at all you know who leads the Washington offense. Quarterback Cody Pickett has completed 41 passes for 597 yards and six touchdowns to Reggie Williams to lead a potent offense that averages a little over 400 yards per game. Obviously I am not a coaching expert, but if I were on the OSU coaching staff I would definitely put six-foot-four-inch Brandon Browner on the six-foot-four-inch Williams all day.

Pickett’s second favorite target is Charles Frederick. He has hauled in 26 passes for 313 yards. The junior from Florida is having a good season so far and is hoping to come up big against the Beavers. The Washington running game is averaging 130.8 yards per game, but
only 3.2 yards per carry. Senior tailback Rich Alexis leads the team with 540 yards (90 yards per game). Other than that there really isn’t anything to say about the U Dubb running game. The Beavers should have no problem shutting it down.

As most of us know by now, OSU is on a four-game winning streak and are tied atop the Pac-10 standings. Oh, did I mention they are ranked 21 in the Coaches’ Poll. While national recognition may be nice, lets not have it go to our heads. This team can, and will, improve.

Steven Jackson has been solid, if not spectacular from game one, and with that said he didn’t even break a big run until the last game against Cal. Jackson has had games of 129, 128, 166, 122, 105, and 227 yards. He has scored 10 touchdowns and in the current ESPN.com Heisman poll he is ranked fifth in the country. With this game being on national television he could get some more votes in next weeks poll with a solid performance. What is Jackson up against in this weekend's game?

The Husky defense is giving up an average of 118 yards per game on the ground. The most yards given up to a single back thus far was 104 to Zach Gerstner of Idaho. If good ol’ Zach can rack up 104 yards, Steven should easily reach triple digits.

Who do the Beavers look to when they go to the passing game? Big game James. J-New is having another phenomenal year. After sitting out the first game, Newson has had at least four catches in each of the last five games. Against Boise State Newson was true to his Big Game James nickname catching nine Derek Anderson passes for 208 yards. On the season Newson has caught 34 balls for
629 yards. Senior Kenny Farley has been stepping up lately in the passing game. He only has eight catches on the season, but he has two per game in the past two games, including a 61-yard touchdown against Arizona State.

The OSU tight ends have been having a great season and have been getting more and more involved in the offense as the season has been going on. Three tight ends, Tim Euhus, Joe Newton, and Pat Loney, have combined for 28 receptions resulting in 386 yards and four touchdowns. The Huskies pass defense has been giving up an average of 200.7 yards per game. In their last game against Nevada the Dawg pass defense gave up 298 yards through the air, including seven catches for 168 yards by Marcus Mann.

The game is being televised on TBS at 7 PM local time, so if you can’t be part of the sell-out crowd tune in.


Last week.
It was a huge win for the Nevada Wolf Pack - and an even bigger victory for coach Chris Tormey. Andy Heiser threw three touchdown passes, defensive tackle Chris Barry blocked two field-goal attempts and rush end Jorge Cordova had five sacks as Nevada stunned Washington 28-17 on Saturday...Huskies Downed by Nevada 28-14.


Last year versus Oregon State.
November 9, 2002, the Huskies began their season-ending stretch of games vs. Northwest rivals with a 31-29 win over Oregon State at Husky Stadium. The Huskies, who entered the game 4-5, on the verge of not qualifying for a bowl game and in danger of breaking its streak of 25 straight .500-or-better seasons, would finish the year with consecutive wins over Oregon State, Oregon and Washington State. The game against the Beavers was close through much of the game. After an exchange of field goals, Oregon State took a 10-3 lead when Derek Anderson hit James Newson with a 60-yard pass. The Huskies, however, tied the game on an 11-yard pass from Cody Pickett to Reggie Williams and then took the lead for good on a pair of interception returns for scores. Late in the first, Derrick Johnson's 42-yard runback gave the UW a 17-10 lead before Chris Massey, early in the second, took another pick back 25 yards to make it 24-1. OSU closed the gap to 24-22 on two Kirk Yliniemi field goals and a 13-yard run from Steven Jackson. Washington answered with a a pair of long drives, both capped by one-yard, Rich Alexis touchdown runs. After another Jackson TD late in the third drew OSU two within nine points at 38-29, John Anderson's 52-yard field goal accounted for the only fourth-quarter points for either team. Pickett finished the game 22-for-43 for 262 yards, no interceptions and one TD. Williams caught nine passes for 94 yards and a score. Jackson led the Beavs with 135 yards an two touchdowns on 25 carries while Anderson was 15-for-40 for 250 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. Johnson finished with two of those interceptions while Massey, Nate Robinson and Ben Mahdavi had one each.

The series.
Washington leads the overall series 56-27-4. The Huskies are on a one-game winning streak as a result of winning 41-29 at Seattle last year. OSU won 49-24 at Corvallis in 2001. The Beavers are 7-17-0 in games played at Corvallis, 5-7-1 in Portland and 0-0-1 in Albany. Washington is 32-15-2 over OSU at Seattle. Mike Riley is 0-2 vs. the Huskies, including losing a heart-breaking 35-34 game at Seattle in 1998 when OSU elected to go for the 2-point conversion and win on the last play of the game. Current OSU assistant coach, Nigel Burton, then a cornerback for UW, batted the ball away from Beaver receiver Roddy Tompkins for the win.

2003 media/coaches outlook.
Washington is not receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll or the Associated Press poll. The Huskies were picked to finish third in the Pac-10 by the media.

2002 Recap.
Washington went 7-6 last year, 4-4 in Pac-10 play. The Huskies lost to 34-24 to Purdue in the Sun Bowl.

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