Notes from the Press Box

It was an incredible bowl game that had everything. There were over 60,000 spectators, over 1000 yards of offense, Navy Seals parachuting into the stadium during pre-game festivities, fireworks at halftime, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow when you realize Washington blew a 19-point lead.

Instead of dwelling on that, I decided to look for things that you may not have seen on television or heard on the radio.

For instance, During the pre-game warm-ups, a Texas yell king was warming up on the sidelines. He was practicing his back flips. He tried a gainer … but gravity won out. He landed flat on his back. After seeing that ominous sign, the Dawgman staff claimed victory for the Dawgs!! Little did we know, how close this game would turn out to be.

As we were enjoying our pre-game meal of fried chicken and potato salad in the press box, dawgman spilled his diet coke all over Assistant Sports Information Director Jeff Bechtold. There were no punches thrown, as Jeff handled the situation very gracefully. But if dawgman isn't allowed back around these parts, we all know why. Also, dawgman, who claims to hate country music, knows the words to "Raw-Hide" and I was lucky enough to be sitting to his right as he proudly sang to the Texas marching band halftime show. Dawgman claims that the only reason why he knew them was because he's seen the Blues Brothers movie about 100 times. Yeah, right.

The Navy Seals Leap Frog team descended from the heavens, first carrying the Texas flag onto the field to the roar of the Longhorn faithful. The next act was Danny Tucker singing "God Bless America," leaving Husky fans wondering "where in the heck is our flag??" As Tucker began the second strain, lo and behold, the Husky flag arrived safely. Although Husky fans tried to remain respectful of the song, they couldn't hold in their excitement when the flag finally hit the Qualcomm turf.

I'm a little bit country …: The Longhorn cannon fired right when Texas kicked to open the game. Oddly enough, it fired right behind the back of Roc Alexander. It must have scared him ever so slightly, as he flew past the Longhorns and burst for a 43-yard run. At the end of the first quarter, a gentleman in a bright yellow jacket hit the turf in terror when that cannon made another appearance. The four "cowboys" operating that dangerous weapon received a talking to from one of the red-jacketed staff members. It must not have been a warning though because they kept on firing away, much to the chagrin of most of us. And I thought the cannon made my heart skip a beat. The halftime fireworks show rivaled that of Gasworks Park on the Fourth of July.

Why do I keep hearing, "I've Been Working on the Railroad …?" I never knew there were so many versions of that song, and do they have that many railroads in Texas? Before the game started, we had heard three versions already, including the standard stock arrangement and a vampy retard version (musical terms provided by Dawgman). During a time out in the first quarter, along came the jazz version.

Just how many railroads are there in Texas?

After a 0-0 first quarter, the offenses finally were able to put some points on the board. The teams combined for a total of 37 points in the second quarter. That broke a Holiday Bowl record for the most points scored in a quarter. The previous record was 35 points, which was set in both 1995 and 1998. It was also obvious by the second quarter that the Dawgs had won the hearts of the non-partisan fans in attendance. Most of the crowd, those not clad in burnt orange, were showing their support for the underdog Huskies.

During a timeout in the third quarter, fans in the endzone were batting around a blow-up doll. The men were quite entertained, but the Holiday Bowl staff was not. They were waiting in the aisle when one fan took an over-zealous swipe at the doll and the staff whisked the young lady away through the nearest tunnel. The crowd bellowed out their loudest ‘boos' of the night.

Bevo, the Texas steer, made his entrance onto the Texas sidelines with 6:20 left in the third quarter. He was hauled away in his white and orange trailer before the game started and we were worried about where he was taken. I don't know what they fed that Longhorn because when he came back out, Bevo hardly moved. He stood at attention, and didn't even flinch during all the canon firings. Tranquilizers, anyone?

Washington's defense really showed their teeth in the second quarter. In that stanza they had three tackles for losses, and one no-gainer. The Dawgs had three interceptions in the second quarter (Mahdavi, Johnson, Cooper). They came into the game with just nine.

Senior impact: The Husky seniors came forward this evening and contributed a great deal. Todd Elstrom had four catches in the first half for 49 yards, Larry Tripplett busted through the line on two consecutive plays, stopping Victor Ike in the backfield for losses in the first quarter to set the tone. He also batted a pass on Texas' first drive of the second half, and forced the Longhorns into a pooch kick.

Tailback Willie Hurst showed his quickness by picking up tough yards on third down. He picked up 10 yards and 18 yards on third down, helping the Huskies go up 30-14 in the third quarter. He also busted through a huge hole for 45 yards to the Husky four yard line, and scored on an option on the very next play. Unfortunately, his most spectacular run of the evening, the 34-yarder that restored hope for the Husky faithful, gave the Huskies their lead back for 1:11.

On the final drive of the first half, when the Huskies drove 76 yards for a touchdown, two other seniors stepped to the plate. Pat Reddick caught a slant pass and took it 17 yards. On first and goal, Tight End Joe Collier slid to the turf to catch his first career touchdown pass. Pat Reddick also made a money catch between three defenders on 3rd and 2 on a dangerous throw by Cody Pickett to keep the Huskies' first drive of the second half alive.

Jerramy Stevens (well, he's not a senior but he might be gone) came back from his foot injury to have his biggest game of the season. He finished the game with a career-high 109 yards on nine catches.

Reggie Williams (okay, freshman impact): I believe it is safe to say that Reggie held his own against the All-American DB Quentin Jammer. Reggie hauled in five receptions for 62 yards.

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