Washington started slowly in the running game - Kenny James didn't touch the ball until the Huskies were down 10-0. Most of their first 83-yard scoring drive happened on the ground, capped by Sampson's dive. The Huskies went harder to the ground in the third quarter, and the results were astounding. James and Sampson both bolted for huge yards – most coming on outside sweeps that left Duck defenders flagging. No question about it – Husky fans have to consider the future much brighter this weekend than they did even one week ago. Washington ran 10 running plays in each of the first three quarters, breaking the string by rushing it 11 times in the fourth.
Third-Down Conversions Given Up:
2002: Opponents converted 40% of their third-down attempts.
2003: Opponents have converted 37.3% 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|
The Huskies held "third-and-six or longer" conversions to 2-for-10, but both third-conversions in the first quarter resulted in scores for the Ducks, including the scrambling bomb to Williams. Oregon converted two out of their first four third downs, but only went 3-for-12 the rest of the way, and none had any further bearing on the outcome.
2002 total: +1
2003 to date: –2 (+3 today)
The first two Oregon turnovers resulted directly in Husky scores, while the third just ended the Ducks' misery. Fierce pass rushing by Johnson, Stevens, and Hopoi were the primary cause of Washington's plus-three turnover night. Three turnovers, 14 Husky points. And more importantly, Washington kept a clean sheet.
Of course, there were many firsts for Washington on the night. Sampson, James, and Paus all set personal bests for their performances. The Huskies had two 100-yard rushers for the first time since the 2000 Apple Cup, when Rich Alexis and Braxton Cleman did the deed. And Reggie Williams moved into the No. 2 spot on the PAC-10 career receiving yards list, surpassing Bobby Wade. Williams also has caught at least one pass in every one of his 34 career games.
Charles Frederick was a surprise starter at wide receiver. He said later he was "sore, but this was as much fun as I've had in a long time."
Scott White wore number 15 on special teams, allowing Shelton Sampson to wear his number 7 on kick returns.
A Husky second-quarter flea-flicker didn't pan out when Cody Pickett overthrew a streaking Reggie Williams after accepting a pitch-back from Kenny James. This after Oregon botched their own piece of trickery, quick-subbing their punt-team leaving Washington without a deep man – and then shanking the punt.
Jason Fife entered the contest with 6:15 remaining in the second quarter, immediately rushing for 50 yards on three carries. But another two-yard carry and two sacks later, Oregon was forced to punt. Fife also started the third quarter, but was ineffective, as was the entire Duck offense.
For supposedly heated rivals, the first half might as well have been flag football. Oregon committed three penalties in the opening 30 minutes – and Washington didn't commit a single infraction. In fact, the Huskies wouldn't be flagged for their first penalty until there were 10 minutes remaining in the game. The second half was a different story, as Khalif Barnes nailed Oregon's Keith Lewis from behind late in the game, nearly starting a full-scale brawl. Lewis responded with a head slap, and both players were penalized. Order was quickly restored.
For the game, the penalty count was Oregon 10 (for 75 yards), Washington 2 (for 25).
Kenny James was thought to have suffered a high ankle sprain early in the third quarter, but would return in the fourth.