Notes from Reser Stadium's Press Box
- Fan Friendly: Boy, what a difference 30 miles can make! Along our most circuitous route trying to find the proper parking lot we received directions from friendly Beaver fans. After finding our the far-off parking lot, I asked a friendly man dressed in all orange and black for the quickest way to the Stadium. He proudly announced that he attended OSU at one time and ran us threw some bushes for his secret way to the stadium. Good fans those Beavers!
- Kick-off returns: With plenty of opportunities for the Huskies to return kick-offs, the speed of Charles Frederick and Roc Alexander was one of the few bright spots of the afternoon. Alexander had a 30-yard return in the first half and a nifty 49-yarder to open the second half. Frederick had returns of 28, 29, and 38 yards and looked more like he did in high school with the ball in his hands. The bad news is that Washington couldn't capitalize on any of the drives despite great field position.
- The Alaskan Special: A separated shoulder must translate into special teams nastiness for Wilbur Hooks, as he made his presence known today. In the first quarter he picked up a muffed punt return by Josh Hawkins deep in Oregon State territory and took it in for an apparent touchdown, but it was ruled that he couldn't advance the ball. On two consecutive punts by the Huskies in the second quarter, Hooks was the man there for the Huskies on coverage. Then on Washington's Huskies' first punt of the second half, Hooks nailed Hawkins again, but that time was called for a halo violation. After a bad snap to the OSU punter in the third quarter, Hooks was in his face, taking him down for a 20-yard loss and giving the Huskies the ball at the OSU 23-yard line.
- Getting schooled: OK, I couldn't find a great deal of good on the field so instead I have to give kudos to the guy I was seated next to in the press box. This guy had an uncanny ability to break down each play, and to describe what each player did to either make or break the play. Watching the game through the eyes of this guy was definitely a memorable experience. His name? Dick Baird.
- Getting WAY TOO personal: The Huskies finished with game with 9 penalties for 78 yards. Even though Oregon State was also penalized seven times for 75 yards, the Huskies just couldn't overcome their penalties. There were four personal fouls through the third quarter, two of which were roughing the passer penalties. With Oregon State's offense on the field for most of the game, handing them so many extra yards was not a good strategy.
- Sad Sack: The Husky defense was unable to keep the Beaver offense off of the field today. The Beavers won the time of possession battle by a 36:10 to 23:50 margin. Definitely missing from this game was pressure in the backfield as the Huskies did not record a sack. Jonathan Smith was able to once again have another Heisman-type performance again the Huskies, passing for 317 yards and two touchdowns. And there was no stopping Simonton either - three TDs in the first 16 minutes and 30 seconds of the game. Simonton had his first career reception for a touchdown, hauling down a 45-yarder to put the Beavsers up 14-3.
- Don't take offense: Cody Pickett wasn't himself today. His passes were off-target for most of the afternoon. Pickett finished the game completing only 13 passes on 32 attempts, giving up one very costly pick as the Huskies were driving to a sure score in the beginning of the second quarter. By halftime, Oregon State had almost doubled the offensive output of the Huskies, as they were out-gained 298 to 158 for total yards. The Huskies, hoping to start another miracle comeback after the half, had only six net yards in the third quarter. Not a good way to try to turn things around.
Third down woes: Trying to establish some rhythm on offense, the Huskies ran into too many long third-down situations. On the Huskies' first series, an eight-yard loss on a Hurst run left the Huskies with a critical third and 18, as they were trying to answer the Beavers' opening scoring drive. Pickett got 11 yards back on a scramble, and the Huskies came away only with three points. After starting on the 35-yard line on their second possession, Huskies ended up with a 3rd and 18 after a Pickett fumble and had to punt. In the second quarter, the Huskies were left with a 3rd and 26 after personal foul and false start penalties. The Huskies would again have to punt. The Huskies finished the game with only three successful third-down conversions out of 15 attempts.
- A sea of orange: The Beaver faithful showed up in masses today. It was evident from the get-go that a big win over the #8 Huskies could restore a season gone bad for the Beavers. The fans behind the Oregon State sidelines were standing the entire game, performing endless cheers of "OOOOO" "SSSSSS" "UUUUU". After the Huskies' second personal foul called against them in the second quarter, the student section was chanting "$^*# the Huskies!!" (Hint, the word rhymes with truck.) The Huskies did nothing that would warrant an end to the chants. Of course, the game finished to the tune of "Over-Rated!" Who was Sports Illustrated's #1 team at the beginning of the season? Oh yea . . .
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