Cody Pickett had his toughest day as a Husky, completing just 13 of 32 for 160 yards and throwing a very key interception with the game still in the balance.
Washington was out-gained 497 to 281 by Oregon State. The Beavers racked up 216 on the ground to Washington's 88 and the home team owned the football for over 30 minutes this afternoon.
Oregon State showed very early that their passing game would be in gear. On just their second play from scrimmage OSU caught the UW safeties off guard. Jonathan Smith dropped back and found a wide-open WR Cole Clasen for a 47-yard gain. Husky cornerback Chris Massey came over to save the touchdown. Jamaun Willis was flagged for a late hit on Smith on the next play, setting up the Beavers on the Husky 11-yard line. Three Ken Simonton carries later and the Beavers were on top 7-0.
Washington answered right back. Using a Kevin Ware 18-yard reception down the middle of the field, Washington advanced the ball into Beaver territory. Beaver LB Richard Seigler stopped the Husky drive when he burst through the middle and stuffed Hurst for an 8-yard loss. Pickett was able to get seven back on a scramble and John Anderson came on to kick his longest field goal of the season, a 47-yarder that split the uprights.
The Beavers made it two for two on their next drive, scoring easily. A 15-yard reception by OSU tight end Tim Euhus put the ball near midfield. Facing third and eight, OSU QB Jonathan Smith was able to coax Larry Tripplet to jump offsides, setting up a third and three from the Husky 45. Washington came with an all out blitz and OSU made them pay when Smith hit Simonton on an inside screen and once the senior tailback broke safety Owen Biddle's tackle, he ran untouched down the middle of the field and into the end zone for a 45-yard TD and 14-3 first quarter OSU lead.
Washington got the first break of the game when freshman punter Derek McLaughlin hammered a punt out of his own end zone 70 yards in the air and OSU return man Josh Hawkins misjudged it, allowing it to bounce off of his foot. Wilbur Hooks caught the ball off the bounce but could not advance the muff, so Washington took over on the OSU 28. Washington was unable to capitalize and John Anderson's 44-yard field goal attempt sliced wide right.
Two plays later Ken Simonton gave the ball right back to the Huskies on a fumbled exchange with Smith. Ben Mahdavi recovered at the Beaver 30. This time the Dawgs took full advantage. Pickett picked up 11 on a scramble to move the chains and then fooled the entire Beaver defense with a gorgeous ball fake to Hurst, who was sweeping right, and then the Husky QB tucked the ball and ran around left end through the vacated OSU zone and into the end zone for the seven-yard score.
The Beavers didn't waste time answering the Husky score. A pass interference penalty on Ben Mahdavi kept the Beaver drive alive, allowing Smith to find Clausen again, this time on a nifty play where he was the slot back in a three-wide receiver set to the left of the formation. Clausen picked up blocks from the two other wide outs and rumbled 29 yards downfield. On second down Simonton carried around right end through perfect blocking to score his third TD of the half, this one from eight yards out to push the Beaver lead back to 11.
Then came the key point in the game, resulting in a huge 14-point swing. The Huskies were driving effectively to get right back into the game as Pickett found Reggie Williams for an 11-yard pickup. However he was hit on the play on his sore right shoulder. That belt would come back to haunt the Husky signal caller. As the Dawgs moved the ball into the OSU red zone with help from a personal foul penalty, everything looked in order.
On second down from the OSU 14, Pickett attempted to throw a long out route to Elstrom at the OSU five. Pickett's sore shoulder didn't allow him to get the zip he normally gets on those dangerous throws and Beaver cornerback Dennis Weathersby stepped in front of Elstrom to pick it off and race down the sideline. Pickett finally pushed him out of bounds but only after he'd picked up 68 yards.
Three plays later the Beavers were back in the end zone as freshman Steven Jackson bolted in from one yard out to increase the OSU lead to 28-10 early in the second quarter. Washington was never able to overcome that turnaround.
Oregon State salted the game away on their next drive, converting four straight third down situations against a tired Husky secondary. The first came on a 20-yard slant pattern to Shawn Kintner, the second came on a 12-yard slant in to James Newson, and the third came on a screen pass to Steven Jackson who gathered in the ball in the left flat past a blitzing Husky defense and took the ball all the way to the Husky two. A roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the one. Three plays later Jackson was in the end zone to push the Beavers out to a commanding 35-10 halftime lead.
Washington drew first blood in the third quarter but it took them far to long to find pay dirt. After a botched deep snap resulted in OSU punter Carl Tobey not getting his punt away, Washington only needed to drive 23 yards to the end zone. However it took them over four and a half minutes and 9 plays before Hurst finally bulled in from three yards out to make the score 35-17. By then the third quarter was 10 minutes old.
The Husky defense then collapsed for good. It started by giving the Beavers a new set of downs when Greg Carothers threw a late hit after Jamaun Willis had a running play stuffed. Instead of facing a third and long, OSU took the 15-yard penalty and went to work. Smith found Seth Trimmer on two big third down completions, one in front of Roc Alexander and the other in front of Omare Lowe. Jackson capped the drive by scoring his third touchdown of the game on a 15-yard sweep, avoiding Marcus Roberson and Greg Carothers en route to making the score a 42-17 blowout with still a few ticks left in the third quarter.
The Beavers would add to the carnage with a Smith to Kintner 20-yard touchdown pass on a slant pattern on third down early in the fourth quarter to balloon the Beaver lead to 32 points.
Taylor Barton entered the game at quarterback for Washington with five minutes remaining. It was his first action since being abused physically by UCLA to the point where he required hospitalization. He was able to lead the Huskies to their final score, a 5-yard fade to Patrick Reddick.
Washington drops to 7-2, 5-2 in conference play, and faces WSU in Husky Stadium next Saturday. WSU has lost just once and plays ASU on the road this evening.
Notes and Quotes from the Husky locker room will be posted later on this site.
GAME RECAP AND STATS
It's been a while: The last time OSU defeated Washington was back in 1985 in Husky Stadium. The Beavers won on a blocked punt when Lavance Northington recovered it in the end zone. Current UW defensive coordinator held that same post for the Beavers during that game.
Roc but no roll: Roc Alexander set the Huskies up for their initial second half drive on the Husky 49 with a long kickoff return but the Huskies went three and out. They followed that up with another three and out and the clock ticked away.
Ducks quack loud: Oregon moved into first place today when UCLA's Chris Griffith's 50-yard field goal attempt with no time left was wide right, giving the Ducks a 21-20 win on the road. Oregon only needs a home victory over OSU to find themselves in the Fiesta Bowl. Ironically if Washington could've won out, they could very well have been the Duck's opponents.
Sweet redemption: OSU lineman Lee Davis had given an oral commitment to come to Washington out of high school, but the staff he wanted to commit to had been fired. Davis, a junior, was the starting tackle in today's game for Oregon State.
Tough Dam: The 49 points the Huskies gave up today are the most that a Rick Neuheisel coached Husky team has given up, and is the most the Huskies have given up since 1974.
Cody's Reser Nightmare: Cody Pickett made his Pac-10 debut two seasons ago in Reser Stadium. He went three and out on three consecutive possessions in 1999. Today he had a tough go as well.
Man's best friend: OSU Quarterback Jonathan Smith absolutely loves playing the Huskies. His four game total against the Dawgs comes to 1339 passing yards and 9 touchdowns. Today was his first win over Washington in four tries.
Check out Dawgman.com for more OSU-Washington coverage.