In the first half, rushing yards were hard to come by. The Dawgs had only 35 yards on 17 attempts. Rich Alexis netted 26 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter with a leg injury. Kenny James went 5 yards on 4 carries, but did break through to score his first touchdown of his career.
In the second half, rushing yards were still hard to come by. James had the rock and picked up gains of 11 and 13, helping the Huskies score a touchdown on their opening drive. James finished with a game high 42 yards, and Shelton Sampson also added 22 yards. The Dawgs finished with 89 yards on 37 carries.
Third-Down Conversions Given Up:
2002: Opponents converted 40% of their third-down attempts.
2003: Opponents have converted 35.8% of their third-down attempts.
On third and long (6 or more yards), the number of big plays given up are:
|10-19 yds||20-29 yds||30-39 yds||40-49 yds||50+ yds|
OSU came into the game leading the conference in third-down conversions, with a percentage of 43.6. This evening, they only converted 29.4% on third down. Setting the tone for things to come, on the first third-and-long of the game, from the UW 31-yard line, Jimmy Newell broke up a pass (his first of many). The Beavers were forced to attempt, and missed, a field goal.
On the Beavers' first touchdown drive, the Dawgs gave up two crucial third-and-longs. On third and 12 from the UW 40, Chris Massey interfered with WR James Newson. After pushing TB Steven Jackson backwards, on third and 16, the defense gave up a 30-yard pass play to the UW one-yard line. QB Derek Anderson scored on a keeper two plays later.
On a positive note, two of the Huskies' interceptions came on third and long and they also had a couple of sacks to boot.
2002 total: +1
2003 to date: –4 (+3 today)
In the first quarter, Derrick Johnson picked off an Anderson pass on third and seven, giving the Huskies the ball on their 28-yard line. The Huskies marched down in 12 plays, culminating in Kenny James scoring his first touchdown as a Husky. Dawgs were up 14-0 with 12:13 left in second quarter.
On third and 10, Pickett threw an interception to Richard Seigler, who returned the ball 30 yards to the UW 14 with just over five minutes remaining in the half. After a holding penalty stalled the drive, the Beavers settled for a FG to draw to 14-10.
In the second half, with the Beavers pinned at their own 9-yard line, facing third and 21, Anderson threw the ball right to Marquis Cooper, who returned it to the four-yard line. Oh, another personal foul penalty by the Beavers didn't cost them much as the ball was moved to the two, and the Dawgs went to the house on the next play. Huskies added to their lead 28-10.
In a rather odd series of events, the Beavers blocked a Garth Erickson punt, but when they tried to advanced the ball, fumbled it and the Dawgs took it right back. The Huskies were unable to capitalize, and the ensuing punt was a seven-yard shank.
Greg Carothers joined the fun when he picked off a pass just before the end of the third quarter, but again the Huskies couldn't take advantage.
Okay, since there is no love loss between these two teams, let's talk about the penalty fest that we had. The Beavers had big play after big play nullified from penalties. Penalties from personal fouls to holding, you name it. The Beavers were penalized 15 times for 141 yards. Was Dennis Erickson somewhere in the house tonight?
The Huskies didn't exactly play clean either, they were flagged 11 times for 105 yards. After one play, Nick Newton was retaliating after he was being choked. He was tagged for a 15-yard personal foul penalty, had to be contained on the field by Khalif Barnes, OL Coach Dan Cozzetto walked all the way out to the hash mark to retrieve his heated player, then proceeded to give Newton a stern lecture on the sidelines. Francisco Tipoti was sent in to take over.
It seemed as though whenever the Beavers would made a big play, the defense would tighten up. For example, after Jackson broke a 16-yard pass play, the Dawgs sent the house and sacked Anderson for an 8-yard loss. After Newell broke up another pass, the Beavers were for forced to punt. In the second half, after the Beavers gained 34 on their first play, Greg Carothers broke through for a 7-yard sack to break their momentum. OSU couldn't convert on third and 17, and they were forced to punt.
A week after the special teams gave up three blocked kicks, Charles Frederick returned a punt 86 yards in the most electrifying fashion. It was the sixth longest in UW history and ET's second longest of his career. Frederick was the player of the game. He was all over the field, catching 9 passes for 216 yards, had 101 yards in punt returns, and 54 in kickoff returns. Frederick's other highlight was an 87-yard TD pass down the sidelines to put the Dawgs up 38-10 in the fourth quarter. Frederick's 371 all-purpose yards is a new UW record, breaking Hugh McElhenny's record of 362.
In the first half, the defense did a good job setting the tone and stopping the nation's second leading rusher. At the break, Jackson had 38 yards on 15 carries, although 19 yards came on one run. The Dawgs stopped Jackson for "no gain" three times, and tackled him for a loss five times. After the Beavers turned to the pass, Jackson gained only 11 yards in the second half.
Offensively, the Huskies were 36.8% on third-down conversions, and they really hit them when it counted. Trying to keep momentum going in the second half, they converted two crucial third downs on their first scoring drive of the third quarter. On third and six, Pickett hit Reggie Williams for an eight-yard gain. Then on third and six from the OSU 35-yard line, Pickett held the ball until the last second, then hit ET, who broke a tackle or two and took it into the endzone. Pickett had to peel himself off of the turf and could barely walk off the field after the hit he took on that play.
Aside from the shifting of personnel on the defensive line, probably the most significant change was seeing offensive coordinator John Pettas on the sidelines. It was a move to try to keep Cody Pickett calmer on the sidelines as Pettas is also the quarterbacks' coach. In his place in the booth was WR coach Bobby Kennedy. The offensive plays were being called on the field and Gilbertson thinks he'll keep things that way for awhile.
After the game, the team went over to celebrate with the few thousand purple and gold fans that still had faith in this team. The fans were definitely thinking ahead to next week, as they were chanting "Beat SC! Beat SC!" Keith Gilbertson stood outside of the building where his players were heading to the locker room and congratulated each one of them. He had to wait a few minutes for Cody Pickett, who was stopped along the way by dozens of fans.