Huskies Vandalize Idaho's Special Teams

Washington rode a 37-point outburst in the first half to crush the Idaho Vandals 53 - 3 this afternoon in Husky Stadium. After Idaho tied the game 3-3 on a Brian Pope 38-yard field goal, the Huskies ran off 50 unanswered points to put any doubts of the final outcome to rest early.

"Our speed took over," said Rick Neuheisel after the game in the media room. "The game got out of hand when we scored 21 points without taking an offensive snap."

Washington got going early when Ben Mahdavi smacked Welsh as he was throwing, causing him to misfire right to Roc Alexander who easily made his second pick of the season. It looked like the Huskies would take advantage of the miscue when Hurst picked up a key third down by taking a swing pass and making a nifty move to get free and move the chains. Pickett then threw a touch pass that Stevens laid out for and grabbed in the endzone for what looked like a 12-yard touchdown but it was nullified by a holding penalty on the left side of the Husky line. Two plays later Pickett thew to Hurst but the ball bounced off of his chest and into the arms of Vandal defensive lineman Brandon Kania.

A Hurst 38-yard punt return set up the Huskies first and goal from the Idaho 10 but three running plays could only net six yards and John Anderson was summoned to put the Huskies on the board with a 21-yard field goal. To make matters worse, Hurst strained his hamstring on the return and left the game for good.

Idaho tied the game on their next possession without the benefit of an offensive first down. A personal foul penalty on the kickoff return followed by two more personal fouls on the defense that moved Idaho close enough for Idaho placekicker Keith Stamps to hook one in from 38-yards out.

The tie would last 17 seconds.

Roc Alexander received Stamps' kickoff on the five. He cut toward the middle of the field, got past the wedge, split two Vandals and cut back to the south sidelines and by the time he had reached the 35-yard line it was apparent to everyone in Husky Stadium that the score was now 10-3 Washington.

Idaho's special teams would get a break next. Charles Frederick fielded his first punt as a Husky but only got six yards upfield before knocking the ball loose with his knee. It rolled out of his grasp and into Patrick Libey's hands, setting up the Vandals on the Husky 35-yard line.

Welsh would pay the price two plays later. He hung in the pocket long enough to find Chris Lacey open for 21-yards but Washington's Terry Johnson belted Welsh hard to the turf just after he released the ball. Welsh would not return to the game, suffering a separated right shoulder. Walla Walla native Brian Lindgren entered the game and was unable to move the chains. Kai Ellis knocked down a screen pass on third down to force the Vandals to line up for a 31-yard field goal.

The snap was high and the kick was low enough for Larry Tripplett to get his mitt on the ball. Just as it had occurred two weeks ago against Michigan, the blocked pigskin squirted toward the Husky bench. Chris Massey scooped the ball and raced 69 yards for the touchdown to end the first quarter. Finally.

Idaho was forced to punt on their next possession and once again the Washington special teams fireworks were ignited. Downes punted to Frederick who caught the ball at his own 13, doubled back to his right and picked up an amazing wall of blockers. He ran free up the north sideline and had but the punter to beat. He faked back toward the middle of the field and then quickly juked back outside to get around Downes and into the endzone to complete an 87-yard touchdown return. At that point in the game Idaho had held the ball for over 15 minutes to Washington's 4:47. Score: Washington 24, Idaho 3.

Washington's offense finally got the ball back and scored their first touchdown of the season in Tui-esque fashion. Pickett faced third and six on the 25-yard line. He took a five-step drop and then kept the ball up the middle. After cutting around Libey, Pickett was able to run to the southwest pylon and into the endzone. They would follow that up by punching it back into the endzone on their last drive of the half. Braxton Cleman scored from seven yards out on a bounce play that culminated a 10 play, 80-yard drive that ate up most of what was left of the first half and pushed the Huskies to a 37-3 commanding lead.

After Jamaun Willis intercepted Lindgren and returned it 21 yards to the Vandal 43, Neuheisel put backup quarterback Taylor Barton into the game. On third down and 15, Barton found Reggie Williams on a deep slant to move the chains. He got in front of Ighe Everlo, who hung on to the tall freshman's ankle to prevent him from scoring. It wouldn't matter, as on third and eight from the 15-yard line, Barton threw a strike to Paul Arnold for a touchdown.

Rich Alexis added to the onslaught by leaping into the endzone on fourth and goal from inside the one-yard line to push the lead to 50-3.

John Anderson added the final points of the day when he connected from 34-yards out.

On defense, Larry Tripplett led all Huskies in tackles with six, five for loss and one sack. Marquis Cooper, Jamaun Willis, Anthony Kelley, and Wondame Davis all had five tackles apiece. Kelley had three tackles for loss, while Terry Johnson, Sam Blanche, and Matt Lingley all had a sack.

For the Vandals, running back Blair Lewis rushed 18 times for 104 yards, while back up quarterback Brian Lindgren was 7 of 19 for 80 yards but was sacked three times. Washington sacked Welsh once as well. On defense, freshman defensive lineman Brandon Kania and senior Ryan Knowles led the Vandals with nine stops apiece.
Next Up: at California – 2:00 pm kickoff.
Washington  17  20  7  9  -  53
Idaho        3   0  0  0  -   3

1st  7:13 - UW Anderson 21 FG
1st  3:38 – UI Pope 38 FG
1st  3:21 – UW Alexander 95 kickoff return (Anderson PAT)
1st  0:00 – UW Massey 69 yard missed FG return (Anderson PAT)
2nd 11:55 – UW Frederick 87 punt return (Anderson PAT)
2nd  5:40 – UW Pickett 25 run (kick failed)
2nd  1:14 – UW Cleman 7 run (Anderson PAT)
3rd  4:06 – UW Arnold 14 reception from Barton (Anderson PAT)
4th 13:40 – UW Alexis 1 run (kick failed)
4th  4:41 – UW Anderson 34 FG

[ More Game Stats ]

Husky Notebook:

ET Electric: Charles Frederick's 87-yard punt return for a touchdown was the 5th longest in school history and was the first one since Joe Jarzynka sprinted 91-yards against Cal in 1998.

Bang your head: Braxton Cleman had one of the more impressive runs of the game in the fourth quarter when he shot through a hole and smacked head on into linebacker Jason Williams. Williams dropped in his tracks and Cleman raced down field for a 41-yard gain. Unfortunately, it was on that play that Cleman broke his clavicle and will be out for 8 weeks. Stevens out: Tight End Jerramy Stevens left the game in the first quarter with what was believed to be a sprained foot. When he returned down the tunnel in sweats and on crutches, it was confirmed that Stevens had fractured his foot and will be out indefinitely.

Red zone woes continue: Washington's first two trips inside the 10-yard line resulted in an interception and three runs for six yards that resulted in a 21-yard John Anderson field goal. Braxton Cleman's touchdown was the first time the Huskies had found the endzone from inside the 10-yard line.

Welsh whitewash over: When Roc Alexander picked off Idaho's John Welsh, it marked the first time in 75 attempts that he had been intercepted. He was forced to leave the game in the second quarter when Terry Johnson ear-holed him on a pass rush. Welsh fell hard enough to separate his right shoulder.

Streaking: Washington has the third longest winning streak in the nation. Entering this weekend, Oklahoma had won 15 straight while Miami (FLA) won 11 in a row since losing to the Huskies in Seattle last year. Washington's current winning streak is now at 10.

Stirring pre-game: At today's band day pre-game show, the Washington Marching band performed their flag drill with a special twist. As the flag came unfurled, the band marched it to half-mast and the flag was then surrounded by Officers of the Police and Fire Department from the State of Washington. Then 31 High School bands played along with the Washington and Idaho bands to the Star Spangled Banner.

Captain Nick-O: Today's game captain was special teams terror Nick Olszewski. He was rewarded for his work this week in practice. He joined tri-captains Larry Tripplett, Kyle Benn, and Willie Hurst at midfield for the coin toss. Much too personal: Washington had four personal foul penalties this afternoon, three of them whistled on the defense. Their aggressiveness showed up in other areas as well, as the Huskies had 10 tackles for loss with 9:22 still remaining IN THE THIRD QUARTER.
Washington Statistics:

Rushing: Alexis 19-83 (1TD), Cleman 4-61 (1 TD), Pickett 6-35 (1 TD), Singleton 7-12, Barton 2-8, Walker 2-7, Hart 2-4, Hurst 1-3, Wilson 2-(-1).

Passing:Pickett 15-20-1, 158 yards, Barton 4-6-0 64 yards (1 TD)

Williams 5-77 (long 33)
Reddick 3-53 (long 31)
Collier 3-21 (9)
Elstrom 2-17 (11)
Cleman 2-13 (8)
Arnold 1-14 (TD)
Stevens 1-13
Hurst 1-8
Alexis 1-6

Kickoff Returns:
Alexander 2 – 109 (95 TD)

Punt Returns:
Frederick 3-102 (87 TD) Hurst 1-38

Alexander: 1- (-3) Willis: 1- 22

Tripplett 6, Cooper 5, Davis 5, Willis 5, Kelley 5, Tuiasosopo 4, Galloway 4, Mahdavi 4, Ellis 3, Alexander 3, Blanche 3, Lingley 3, Massey 3, Carothers 3, Cunningham 2, Johnson 2, Green 2, Newell 2, Roberson 1. Top Stories