Defensive End Jorge Cordova manhandled the Husky line and dropped Pickett four times on his own, as Washington was exposed over and over again.
1st Quarter – "Pack"ing a wallop - The Wolf Pack intercepted Cody Pickett twice to pretty much make this the worst first quarter of the season for a Husky team that is still trying to solve a slow-starting problem. Washington had a solid drive going until Pickett was intercepted by Derek Kennard at the Wolf Pack 10 yard line. Nevada drove 90 yards, culminating in a 25-yard Andy Heiser to Maurice Mann touchdown to put Nevada on top 7-0. Pickett's next misfire would cost the Dawgs seven points, as Chris Handy picked off a screen pass and took it 40 yards for a score to make it 14-0 and the boo birds were out in full lust.
2nd Quarter – Not so special teams - Washington had two field goal attempts blocked by Nevada as they continued to struggle mightily to their WAC foe. Knudson's 37-yarder was stuffed and recovered by Handy. Later the Husky place kicker was blocked from 38 yards out by Chris Barry.
A long Charles Frederick punt return that went all the way to the Wolf Pack 25 was nullified by a penalty, as the wheels continued to come off of the Husky special teams.
Washington rallied for a score just before half, fueled by a 25-yard Rich Alexis reception and run, with a personal foul penalty tacked on by a late Nevada hit. Alexis finished the drive, scoring from two-yards out to close the gap to 14-7 with 35 seconds left in the half.
Washington racked up over 230 yards of offense and 18 first downs at the halfway point, but efficiency in the red zone and turnovers killed the Dawgs. Cody Pickett was sacked 4 times and Reggie Williams was held without a catch in the first 30 minutes.
3rd Quarter – More of the same - Washington's special teams woes continued to haunt them as Roc Alexander fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half. It would be a foreboding of things to come, as Nevada blocked Washington's third field goal attempt of the game, this one from 43 yards out.
That took the wind out of the Huskies, and with 8:50 remaining in the quarter, the visitors went up 21-7 on a 65-yard drive, capped by an 8-yard Heiser to Anthony Pudewell touchdown pass.
After Nevada's fifth sack of the game, a 28-yard Pickett to TE Jon Lyon connection finally got the Huskies moving in the third quarter. He found Lyon on the next play for 34 more yards and Washington was in business at the Wolf Pack 22. Again the offense struggled in the red zone, as a holding penalty and another Cordova sack killed the drive. A Knudson 42-yard field goal finally found its way through the pipes to make it 21-10.
With the crowd making noise and Nevada backed up deep in their own territory, a Jimmy Newell interception was wiped out by a defensive holding penalty. It would prove to be a killer as Heiser found Maurice Mann for a 50-yard completion, who had beaten Chris Massey. Nevada scored two plays later the 93-yard drive ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Talib Wise to put the ball game pretty much out of reach.
Pickett finally looked to Reggie Williams to make something happen, and the junior from Lakewood, Washington responded, breaking several tackles on a 52-yard pass and catch for a touchdown to close the deficit back to 11 before the fourth quarter began.
A familiar demon reared its ugly head, as Heiser found Mann for a 25-yard gain on third and 19 from deep in their own territory to keep a drive alive. The play came against a two-deep zone with Alexander and Newell failing to execute the coverage.
4th Quarter – Where do we go from here? - A 35-yard punt return by Frederick got the Huskies to mid-field with 11:00 remaining, but yet another sack of Pickett resulted in a fumble and Nevada recovery to end that threat, Washington's final one.
Washington falls to 3-3, but are still 1-1 in the Pac-10, but faces a very difficult road game in Corvallis next week where they'll likely be double digit underdogs.
Washington finds itself in the same position as it was last year, in danger of a losing season with their backs against the wall. Keith Gilbertson will have his hands full in getting his team to believe in itself after such a hard stumble.
Say it Ain't So: Nevada's last win over a Pac-10 school was in 1947 when they beat Arizona State 33-10 and Oregon 13-6, though it would be 31 years later before ASU joined the Pac-10.
Juan Not Gone: It was learned Saturday that Juan Garcia has been added to the team as a partial qualifier and will begin practicing on Monday.
Where's Williams?: After talking all week about wanting the ball thrown his way more often, Reggie Williams didn't make his first catch Saturday until the 12:16 mark of the third quarter. Williams finished with three catches for 77 yards, his biggest play coming on a 52-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. Williams has now caught a pass in all 31 games he's played in at the UW, good for the longest current streak in the Pac-10.
Rich gets Richer: Senior tailback Rich Alexis' second-quarter touchdown today moved him into a third-place tie on Washington's career rushing touchdown list with 28. The score tied Husky great Hugh McElhenny (1949-51) and moved him five short of Napoleon Kaufman's school record of 33.
Movin' up the Charts: The mind-boggling loss for Washington didn't prevent quarterback Cody Pickett from moving up the all-time Pac-10 passing charts. Pickett (19-37, 3 INT, 1TD) moved up two spots to No. 8 on the conference's career passing yards list, moving by USC's Rob Johnson and Arizona State's Jake Plummer. Pickett has now thrown for 8,805 yards in his career.
For Lyon out Loud: With the Huskies down 21-7 midway through the third quarter and facing third-and-26 at the UW-16, Cody Pickett found an unlikely target over the middle, tight end Jon Lyon. The highly-touted junior college transfer worked his way over the middle for a 28-yard gain and a Husky first down. On the very next snap, Pickett hit Lyon again on what looked to be the same play for a huge 34-yard catch. Those catches were Lyon's only two of the day, but it was nice to see the Huskies utilizing the tight end in the passing game.
ET looking Extra Terrestrial: For the first time in a long while, Charles Frederick looked dangerous on special teams. The junior receiver from Florida finished with four punt returns for 61 return yards, the longest going 35 yards. His best return, in which Frederick changed directions three times deep in Husky territory before taking the ball past midfield, was called back due to a holding call.
Block that Kick Washington's first three field goal attempts of the game, from 37, 38, and 43 yards out respectively, were each blocked by Nevada, prompting a progressively loud chant of boos after each attempt. The three blocked attempts were a new record for a Husky opponent. Chris Barry, the Wolf Pack junior from Tacoma's Franklin Pierce High, broke through the middle of the Husky line to block each of the first two attempts. Jorge Cordova, who had a monster game, raced through and swatted away Evan Knudson's third attempt.
Jorge's Revenge: Nevada's defensive lineman Jorge Cordova put forth an effort Saturday that many Husky fans won't soon forget. It was one of those Marquis Walker or DeShaun Foster type of performances, each of which need no further explanation. By game's end, Cordova finished with a game-high 16 tackles, five (count em - five) sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. Maybe the Dawgs should have given him a look when he was coming out of high school a few years back. As a team, Washington had only three sacks, just one coming from a defensive lineman (Manase Hopoi).