Young Guns lead Huskies to 42-10 rout of Oregon

Behind backup quarterback Casey Paus and a break-away running game, the Washington Huskies spotted the Oregon Ducks two first-quarter scores for a second-straight season, then repeated the 42-consecutive point performance they achieved last year in stunning the visitors from Eugene.

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  • Paus, who started the second half when Cody Pickett took a head ding late in the second quarter, led Washington on four straight scoring drives coming out of the locker room. The sophomore completed five-of-eight passes for 117 yards and his first two career touchdowns. Kenny James and Shelton Sampson both broke the 100-yard barrier for the first time in their careers, combining for 241 yards on 24 carries, with Sampson scoring three times and Reggie Williams adding a 63-yard touchdown among his seven catches for 130 yards.

    Paus, who found out during the break he would be starting the second half for a queasy Pickett, led Washington on one of their sweetest drives of the season coming right out of the blocks. He hit Reggie Williams on a nice 8-yard drag route, then watched James bolt 56 yards two plays later. Shelton Sampson cleaned up on the next play, taking it in from eight-yards out and the Huskies were off and running, seizing a 13-10 lead that would continue to grow long into the rainy night.

    "That settled me right down," said Paus of that first drive. "When I hit Reggie the nerves were gone and I just started playing."

    "It felt good to get in there - I was having a lot of fun."

    Though Evan Knudson would miss the extra point, it was clear that the Husky sideline elevated ten-fold. Following an Oregon three-and-out, Washington chipped off a 10-play, 50-yard drive, resulting in a Knudson 30-yard field goal. Then following a poor Paul Martinez punt, Sampson made his presence felt, bolting up the right side for 37 yards. Charles Frederick , whose starting presence was an obvious lift to Washington, caught a little drag from Paus and took it in from 10 yards, and the Huskies had a 22-10 lead with only five minutes gone in the third.

    Oregon would show small signs of life on the next drive, but as was their wont in the second half, penalties took them right back out of it. Two holding penalties left them with another punt.

    And then the late-night blitz began in earnest.

    After a botched pitch resulted in a 16-yard loss, Washington faced third-and-29 from their own 37. But Paus threw a perfect pass to Williams on a skinny post, and Reggie out-ran two defenders to paydirt. It was 29-10 Huskies, and the 72,000 fans were really beginning to feel it. The ears were pinning back and the Ducks were on their last breath.

    Which lasted about 56 seconds.

    For on Oregon's next possession, Duck QB Kellen Clemens was rushed hard by Greg Carothers, and tried to throw. The ball slipped right into Carothers' waiting arms, who took an easy 55-yard stroll into the end zone.

    Game, set, and match.

    The final straw came with 6:38 remaining, as Sampson bolted up the right side for a 77-yard touchdown bolt, pulling away as he went in untouched. Washington had out-scored Oregon 35-0 in the half, and only the on-field celebration remained.

    Sampson ended up with 134 yards on six carries - that's a 21.8-yard average, folks. James - who suffered a mild ankle sprain late in the third, but would return - took 18 carries for his 107 yards. And the defense joined in on the fun, too ... Washington forced three turnovers, had seven sacks - from seven different players - and 14 tackles-for-loss. Tim Galloway and Owen Biddle enjoyed their finest hours as Huskies, as did Sam Cunningham , who several times was forced to make open-field tackles on Oregon isolation plays.

    "For our guys to go out there and play like that," beamed Husky coach Keith Gilbertson, "with backups everywhere and freshman running backs and receivers - what a great courageous effort by these guys tonight."

    "It was a marvelous night for us."

    Marvelous to the tune of an entire squad of Huskies dancing on their own "W" as the clock struck 11.

    And nary a Duck was to be found.

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