Soggy and sapped, Dawgs take one on the chin

The Washington Huskies are getting closer to playing a full 60 minutes of football, but the rain wasn't the only thing to put a serious damper on UW's efforts. Led by a school-record six field goals from Alexis Serna, Oregon State played smart, conservative football and let the Dawgs kill their own chances with an 18-10 win at Husky Stadium Saturday.

"I think they gave 60 minutes of effort, but we didn't have 60 minutes of execution," said Tyrone Willingham after the game. "If we do some things right, we have some big plays. We didn't do that."

The six field goals by Serna bested his own performance against the Huskies last year, and those kicks were all the Beavers needed in a torrential downpour and gusting winds. The two back-to-back OSU wins is the first time the Beavers have done that against Washington since 1973-74.

Washington, (1-8, 0-6) who had riddled Arizona State's offensive line for seven sacks last weekend, had absolutely no answer for Oregon State's blitz packages, giving up 15 Oregon State tackles for loss. Trent Bray and Keith Ellison had three TFL's apiece for the Beavers.

"Obviously offensively, we didn't do enough things today," said Willingham. "And that's what was disappointing, because our defense gave a great effort."

"Their defense came after our offense a lot," added running back James Sims. "They pressured us big time. They blitzed us - I mean some series they blitzed us each down. They put a lot of pressure on the passing and the running game." Sims accounted for 51 yards on the ground, but the 19 total rushing yards had by the Huskies was the lowest team total since they accumulated 7 rushing yards against Ohio State in 2003.

Between Isaiah Stanback and Johnny DuRocher - who came in for Stanback to play the entire second half - the two UW quarterbacks could not come up with an answer to consistently move the Huskies' offense down the field. Stanback went 5-12 for 104 yards in the first half and DuRocher went 11-30 in the second half with a lone touchdown but also an interception by safety Sabby Piscatelli with 6:02 left in the game

The Huskies scored their touchdown late on a pass from DuRocher to Craig Chambers, drawing Washington to within 8 with barely more than a minute left in the game. The ensuing onsides kick was recovered by Oregon State and they downed the ball to seal the win.

Washington had enough firepower to make this a ballgame, but succumbed to their own mistakes. The final three field goals by Oregon State came from drives that went a combined 15 yards. All of them came after Husky miscues.

"Points are points," said OSU running back Yvenson Bernard, not slowed much by the elements. The sophomore from Florida finished the day with 122 hard-earned yards on 35 carries. We're going to take whatever we can get to get a win.

"Anytime you win in the Pac-10, it feels good," added Beavers' Head Coach Mike Riley. "I think it's a big deal, regardless of anything, to come up here and win a football game."

The victory gives Oregon State (5-4, 3-3) some momentum and a shot at bowl eligibility if they win one of their final two games. Most likely they will have to defeat both Stanford and Oregon to have a reasonable shot at a post-season bowl game.

The Huskies have no shot, and haven't for a few games. All they had on the line was pride, and that nearly was enough to carry them to a wet win. But ultimately they were undone by the same ghosts that have haunted them all year long - inconsistency and execution.

"This was most definitely our best game," said safety C.J. Wallace, who again sat out the first quarter because of a suspension. Willingham said that Wallace would most likely sit out the first quarter of Washington's next game at Arizona. "We played four quarters and we didn't give them anything. We held them when they got into the rred zone and the black zone."

Greyson Gunheim, advancing on his play against Arizona State, came up with two solid plays right from the beginning of the game, forcing the Beavers to punt on their first possession. But Stanback, hindered more by mental mistakes than anything this season, affected his ability to move the chains. Early in the game he inexplicably threw the ball after he was well past the line of scrimmage, which helped to stall UW's second offensive drive after a promising start.

The Beavers, on their ensuing possession, went smartly downfield but stalled at the Washington 29. That's when Serna connected on his first field goal, a 47-yard effort, to cap off a 50-yard drive. He also hit a 28-yard field goal at the end of the first half, and the Beavers took a 6-0 lead into the locker room.

The Huskies were buoyed by their play on defense. Until the middle of the third quarter they had given up just one play longer than 12 yards. But it was the tenaciousness of Bernard that blew the game open.

His 57-yard run down the south sideline propelled the Beavers to another field goal by Serna, this one coming from 18 yards, but this kick put Oregon State up by two scores.

The Huskies did themselves no favors in the second half, accounting for three turnovers, all of them resulting in Serna field goals. But the defense played stoutly, even when they were short-handed. Joe Lobendahn left the game with an injury, leaving Tahj Bomar to play a substantial number of minutes. All the junior from Kent did was create a bone-jarring hit on Bernard that caused the Oregon State running back to cough up the ball deep in Beaver territory. Gunheim recovered the loose ball, but the Huskies could not convert on an Evan Knudson field goal attempt.

"It was definitely tough," said UW linebacker Evan Benjamin about losing Lobendahn to a sprained knee. Benjamin also went down with a leg injury but came back to play later in the game. "Tahj stepped up when a senior captain went down and he showed a lot of heart."

It would be difficult to say the same thing of the offense, even despite the less-than-ideal conditions for moving the ball. "It was disappointing," said DuRocher. "We had a good week of practice.

"We just didn't get the job done."

DuRocher had no chance in the fourth quarter throwing deep, as he was dealing with a fierce pass rush and winds that were gusting from 10 to 15 miles an hour in his face. Oregon State was content to play field position with a two-score advantage. A Sam Paulescu punt with 10:38 put the Huskies at their 4-yard line. Chambers found himself on a slant with nobody within 10 yards of him, a play that could have conceivably gone the distance instead went awry, as he let the ball slide through his hands.

Sabby Piscatelli pick of DuRocher with 5:53 left put the nail in the coffin. From the Huskies' 28, the Beavers were happy to run Bernard, and the clock that came with him.

"You have to concentrate more," said Chambers after the game. "When it is not raining, you could pre-determine your plays, but in this situation you have to really have to make sure you catch the ball.

"I mean it affects you a little bit."

Injury Report: Willingham noted that Lobendahn's and Anthony Russo's injuries might be 'serious' in terms of their ability to play in the final two games of the year. He would not elaborate on the nature of either injury.

Just for kicks: With Serna's 6-6 effort, Husky opponents have now connected on 16 of their last 17 field goal attempts this season. The only miss came last week, courtesy of ASU's Jesse Ainsworth.

No blood: Oregon State was the first Pac-10 opponent to fail to score a touchdown in a game vs. Washington since the 2000 Apple Cup. Top Stories