Huskies come up big in win over UCLA at home

If you had asked anyone in the press box if they thought Washington could win following a lackluster first quarter, the answer would have been a resounding "No!". But this Washington team is different than the recent teams that have donned the purple and gold and they showed today why they are giving their fans a reason to believe by beating the UCLA Bruins 29-19 in front of 58,255 fans.

It was basically a tail of two halves as UCLA burned up the field gashing Washington's defense with Chris Markey runs and precision Ben Olson passes, but the Husky defense tightened in the redzone only allowing one touchdown throughout the afternoon.

UCLA took the opening kickoff down the field pounding Washington's defense up the gut on several running plays, but they stalled at Washington's 11-yard line and settled for a 28-yard Justin Medlock field goal.

On the Huskies' first possession of the game, the offense failed to move the ball and P Sean Douglas let the snap go through his hands and after a scramble the Bruins had the ball on Washington's six.

RB Chris Markey went over two plays later giving UCLA a quick 10-0 lead.

On their next possession, Markey took a handoff over the left side, broke a tackle by C.J. Wallace and romped 63 yards before he was forced out of bounds by CB Matt Fountaine.

Washington's defense then held tough and forced another Medlock field goal, this one coming from 23 yards out, and the Bruins were out to a 13-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

On Washington's next drive, Bruins DE Justin Hickman beat LT Ben Ossai and TE Johnie Kirton to sack Stanback and force a fumble that was recovered by UCLA DT Kenneth Lombard.

However, Washington's defense was up to the task again, forcing a quick three-and-out of their own when Roy Lewis came on a corner blitz and sacked Olson for a ten yard loss and then on third and 19, Mesphin Forrester just missed hauling in an interception.

P Aaron Perez got off a nice punt that was downed at the Washington eight, but that only set up Stanback for one of the best drives of his Husky career.

On third-and-nine, Stanback hit Quentin Daniels for 17 yards and then hit Sonny Shackelford on a 35-yard pass down the right sideline right over the outstretched arems of Bruin CB Chris Horton at the Bruin 41.

After a couple of wide receiver screens got Washington down to the UCLA 23, Stanback and Shackelford teamed up again but this time the end result was a Washington touchdown.

Stanback stood tall in the pocket and threw the ball to Shackelford's outside shoulder and the senior wideout was able to make a spinning catch in front of two UCLA defenders for the score. The drive was a thing of beauty – a nine-play, 92 yards that ate up 3:22 of the clock.

Unbelievably, Washington was only down nine, 16-7, heading into halftime, even though the offense was unable to generate a first down until there was less than six minutes left in the first half and they had totaled only 95 yards in the first 30 minutes.

At the end of the first quarter UCLA had out-gained Washington 146 to – 4 yards. Washington had no semblance of a running game and their passing game wasn't much better.

Washington took the second-half kickoff and, for the first time in quite a while, seemed to come out of the tunnel fired up and proceeded to drive down the field in six plays covering 65 yards as Stanback and Shackelford connected on a 28-yard touchdown that had the Huskies within two points at 16-14.

Shackelford finished the day with nine catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

After the teams traded turnovers – a Stanback fumble after being sacked and a miraculous interception by Forrester to stop a possible scoring chance with the ball on Washington's seven-yard line – the Husky defense had to stand-tough again when their coverage units let them down.

Douglas booted a 64-yard punt that sent UCLA punt returner Terrence Austin back to his own 22. Austin avoided the first wave of Huskies and then weaved his way down to the Husky nine-yard line where DE Greyson Gunheim tracked him down.

The red zone defense for Washington held UCLA without a first down and let to a 22-yard field goal by Medlock.

That's when Washington took over the game.

Stanback led Washington on a 46-yard drive that ended when he hit Kirton with a four-yard touchdown pass and then hit Kirton with another pass to tack on the two-point conversion putting Washington in the lead for the first time in the game, 22-19.

UCLA still had over seven minutes to work with and the tension was definitely in the air as the Husky defense took the field yet again. However, this time things were different. The crowd was deafening and the Husky players were flying around. LBDan Howell, who lost his father late last week, stepped in front of Olson's throw to the right flat and returned it 33-yards for the final score of the game.

Washington's 29-19 victory over the Bruins was their first home victory over a Pac 10 opponent since the 2003 Apple Cup and their comeback from a 16-point deficit was the seventh biggest in the history of the program and second-biggest at home.

The 3-1 Huskies will now prepare to head to Tuscon to take on the Arizona Wildcats, a team they defeated last year, 38-14. Top Stories