Huskies overcome turnovers, remain tied for first

Washington used three Willie Hurst touchdowns and held the ball over 10:17 in the fourth quarter alone to send the Stanford Cardinal to a 42-28 defeat in Husky Stadium this afternoon.

Cody Pickett was 15 of 28 for 291 yards and no interceptions for the game. The win is Washington's 13th consecutive victory at home and keeps them in a tie for first place in the Pac-10 conference.

With three games remaining, Washington is now 5-1 in conference play, 7-1 overall, with a road game at Oregon State and a home contest with Washington State remaining on the conference schedule before a November 24th trip to Miami.

Stanford falls to 4-2 in conference play and is likely out of the Pac-10 race.

The visitors from Palo Alto jumped out to a 3-0 lead on their first possession of the game. The Cardinal moved the ball across midfield and converted a fourth and four with a nifty lateral play from a scrambling Cardinal QB Chris Lewis to tailback Kerry Carter. Washington limited the damage to a field goal when linebacker Jamaun Willis filled the hole and stuffed Stanford tailback Kerry Carter short on third down deep in Husky territory. Mike Biselli converted a 30-yard three-pointer.

The Huskies replied quickly. Offensive Coordinator Keith Gilbertson opened the first Husky drive with Willie Hurst's legs and it paid immediate dividends. Their first play from scrimmage went for 16 yards on an option. He would pick up 44 yards in seven carries on the drive. To go with Hurst's work, a 21-yard Pickett to Elstrom connection was key. Washington found the endzone on a three-yard run by fullback Ken Walker to cap the 11-play 76-yard drive and vault the guys in purple to a 7-3 lead.

Stanford answered right back to take the lead with a 12-play 89-yard drive. The visitors were a little lucky when on the 2nd play of the drive, Carter rumbled up field for a 20-yard gain and then had the ball slapped away by Husky OLB Zach Tuiasosopo. The ball rolled forward and was recovered by Cardinal wide receiver Ryan Wells. A 20-yard reception by Columbia River native Brett Pierce moved the ball into Husky territory. Lewis connected with former Mariner High School standout Teyo Johnson on a 12-yard pickup on a slant pattern to put the Cardinal on the Husky two. Carter scored on the next play on a sweep to move back in front 10-7 on the first play of the second quarter.

The punters finally made their first appearances of the game in the second quarter and the Huskies used that exchange to their advantage. Washington freshman Derek McLaughlin did what he does best, pinning the Cardinal back on their 9-yard line with his punt.

When Stanford punted back to the Huskies, Washington began their next drive on their own 49-yard line. It took them exactly two plays to retake the lead. The first play was a simple out route to freshman Reggie Williams. Williams made the catch on the sideline, made a move on cornerback Gary Cobb and ran free down the sidelines for a 43-yard gain. On first and goal Pickett executed the option to perfection, faking to Hurst and taking it in for an 8-yard scamper for the score.

The Husky defense forced the Cardinal three and out again and took over once again on their 49-line. Once again Pickett looked to Reggie Williams and found him for a 23-yarder to move the sticks immediately. After Pickett was sacked for a seven-yard loss, Washington executed a beautiful screen to tailback Rich Alexis. The sophomore followed big Nick Newton and Khalif Barnes perfectly and took the completion 26 yards all the way down to the Stanford 8. Washington scored on the next play when Pickett spotted Williams on a slant, open in the middle of the end zone, to push the Husky lead to 11 at 21-10.

Stanford stopped the 14-point Husky streak with a 37-yard field goal by Biselli. The key play on the drive came when Lewis found Teyo Johnson free behind Owen Biddle's zone. Johnson fumbled at the end of the play but Stanford's Matt Wright alertly fell on the ball. The play and fumble recovery went for 54 yards and put them into Biselli range.

It looked as if Washington would only need one play to answer. Pickett dropped back and unleashed a bomb for Paul Arnold, who had sprinted by Reuben Carter. Arnold was wide open but the ball bounced off of his facemask at the 40-yard line, preventing an 80-yard Husky score before halftime.

Washington drew first blood in the second half. Cody Pickett threw deep to Arnold who made up for his earlier drop by making an acrobatic grab over Reuben Carter, good for a 48-yard completion. From the Stanford 21 facing third and 10, Pickett found Todd Elstrom on a quick look-in that went for 18-yards. Hurst somersaulted over his line and into the end zone from three yards out to push the Husky lead to 28-13 with 9:44 to play in the third quarter.

Stanford didn't do anything fancy on their next drive, but it was enough to make the Husky Stadium crowd to go silent. Tailback Brian Allen took a toss sweep pitch to the right side of the Husky defense, broke through the line and once into the Washington secondary he easily outran Owen Biddle to the end zone for an 80-yard score. Washington's linebackers were caught aggressively edging in toward the line of scrimmage and were unable to get good angles on Allen.

The Stanford defense would then come up big and force back-to-back Husky turnovers. The first came when cornerback Reuben Carter stripped Rich Alexis of the ball. The Cardinal took over at the Husky 26. Three running plays netted zero yards and the Cardinal field goal attempt that was to be 42 yards became a 48-yarder after an illegal substitution penalty was called. The kick fell well short. Washington would quickly turn it over again when Pickett was sacked by Pfeiffer and lost the football before hitting the ground. Stand out Cardinal linebacker Coy Wire recovered at the Husky 48-yard line but Stanford once again was stopped. Husky cornerback Chris Massey was able to separate Ryan Wells and the football to prevent a third-down conversion inside the Husky 20-yard line. It would turn out to be huge as Stanford's ensuing field goal attempt was a disaster. Holder Eric Johnson bobbled the snap and Massey was Johnny-on-the-spot and bulldogged him to the turf for a 16-yard loss. The Husky lead stood at 28-20.

The third time was the charm for the Stanford offense as they used two big third-down plays to help tie the game. Brian Allen took a third down and one handoff, avoided Larry Tripplett and Owen Biddle and ran 16 yards to move the ball into Husky territory. Facing a third and 10 on the Husky 34, Lewis stood in against and all-out blitz, took a shot from UW linebacker Jamaun Willis, and fired a strike to Wells for 27-yards. One play later Allen ran it in from 8-yards out. A successful two-point conversion pass to Teyo Johnson knotted the game at 28 with 10:01 left in the game.

The Husky offense that had been stifled for three straight possessions finally answered the bell. A Pat Reddick 10-yard reception on third down kept the drive alive. Willie Hurst followed it with a 14-yard run. After Alexis picked up two on third down to move the chains again, Pickett went to an unlikely target. He found Kevin Ware for 18 yards and again for 11 more to set up first and goal on the Stanford three. On third down Hurst followed Kyle Benn and Nick Newton into the endzone from two-yards out to propel the Huskies back into the lead. The drive took 14 plays and ate up nearly 7 minutes of clock. Stanford faced a 35-28 deficit with 3:39 remaining and one time out.

Stanford was unable to do anything with the ball. On fourth and three from their own 24, Lewis threw a jump ball to Teyo Johnson that fell incomplete in tight coverage from Marquis Cooper. Washington took over on downs.

Willie Hurst would score the game's final points with four seconds remaining on a fourth and one carry from the Stanford 15-yard line. It was his third trip to the endzone for the afternoon and the Husky senior captain finished the game with 108 yards on 22 carries.

For Stanford, Brian Allen finished with 138 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown. Quarterback Chris Lewis went 19 of 34 for 234 yards and threw one interception.
Game Statistics: UW vs. Stanford RECAP

Dawn Van Diest will have player quotes from the Husky locker room later this evening.
Husky Notebook:

Got the time? - Washington was 20-1 in games where they won the time of possession in the past three seasons. It is always the most crucial statistic for Husky teams to control under coach Rick Neuheisel. Washington held the ball for over 10 minutes in the fourth quarter today.

Sticky fingers: When Rich Alexis was stripped and lost a fumble in the third quarter this afternoon, it marked the first time a Husky running back had lost a fumble this season.

Hodari injured: Play was stopped for 15 minutes in the third quarter when sophomore safety Simba Hodari went down during a 9-yard Cody Pickett scramble. He was taken to UW Medical center via ambulance on a backboard with what looked like a very serious head injury. It was an eerie parallel to last year's game in rainy Stanford Stadium when Curtis Williams was transported off the field in similar fashion. The good news was that Hodari's injury appears to be nothing more serious than a concussion.

Lee's big mitts: Stanford DL Austin Lee knocked down three passes in the fourth quarter this afternoon.

Willie moves up: With his 108 rushing yards this afternoon, Willie Hurst moved up to #8 all-time on the UW rushing list, passing Toussaint Tyler.

Hooks, Williams injured: Wilbur Hooks suffered a dislocated shoulder and Reggie Williams suffered a painful thigh bruise today. In their place Pat Reddick and Charles Frederick took more reps that usual. Top Stories