Pickett shoots down Cowboys

Cody Pickett moved up to ninth on the all-time Husky passing yards list as he threw for 404 yards and two touchdowns in leading Washington to a 38 to 7 victory over the Wyoming Cowboys Saturday night in Husky Stadium. Pickett was 34 for 45 with no interceptions for the evening and became the first Husky to ever have three consecutive 300-yard passing games.

Reggie Williams was his favorite target, as the tall receiver once again broke the century mark in receiving. The 6-4 sophomore from Tacoma had 100 yards on six catches, marking the fifth time in his short career he's been over 100 yards.

Pickett's 34 completions are a school record for a single game, breaking Brock Huard's and Tim Cowan's record of 33. His 404 yards also were the third most in school history, trailing his own record of 455 yards against Arizona last year, and Cary Conklin's 428 yards in 1989 against ASU.

The defense got into the act, recording eight sacks. Cowboy quarterback Casey Bramlet was smacked, rushed, hit, stepped on, and otherwise abused while he completed 20 of 31 for 169 yards and no touchdowns. Freshman safety James Sims led all Husky tacklers with eight stops.

Washington didn't punt in the contest, and only drew one penalty, a roughing the passer flag on true freshman Nate Robinson with under 3:00 remaining in the game.

Washington's first drive of the game was all business and set the tone for the game. With a steady diet of Rich Alexis on the ground and a key 17-yard reception on a swing pass, the Huskies punched it into the east endzone on an 11-play 67-yard drive. Cody Pickett took it the final yard on a keeper behind center Todd Bachert to make it 7-0 after the Huskies had held the ball 5:02.

Washington would never trail.

Wyoming's starting safety, Jacque Finn, injured his ankle on the very first play of the drive and was carted off to the locker room. He came back from the locker room with an ice bag on his ankle and would not return.

Washington surprised Wyoming by coming out in what looked to be a nickel package with Greg Carothers lining up as a linebacker and Chris Massey lining up at safety. The switch worked well as the Huskies looked much quicker to the ball than they had been in the first two games.

Receiver Leonard Jones coughed the ball up on the first offensive play for the Cowboys when Roc Alexander drove his shoulder into his ribcage. Wyoming recovered but linebacker Marquis Cooper sacked Bramlet on third down to make it a three and out.

It looked as if it would be a route. It could've been, but the Huskies turned the ball over on their next two offensive chances to keep the Cowboys in the game. Fumbles by Rich Alexis and Cody Pickett thwarted Husky drives on back-to-back possessions. The Pickett fumble came in the red zone after Paul Arnold had made a difficult catch at the sideline for a 32-yard gain.

The Cowboys got untracked after the Pickett fumble and moved the ball downfield. Washington looked to have the drive killed early but Bramlet was able to elude two potential sacks and complete passes to move the sticks. The ground game kicked into gear with Derek Amah bursting through the middle for 11 and Jones took a reverse for 21 more yards. Wyoming did a nice job of confusing linebackers Jafar Williams and Marquis Cooper with motion. Kit Bradshaw ran the final 18 yards nearly untouched into the endzone to knot the score at 7-all. On the touchdown run, no one was home on the Husky backside and Bradshaw wasn't hit until he had gone airborne at the goal line.

Washington avoided the turnover on their next drive, but it stalled in the red zone. Pickett hooked up with Reggie Williams for 17 and 29 yards respectively to put the ball on the Wyoming 12. Williams came within an eyelash of going into the endzone when he broke a tackle, but was caught from behind by Nate Young. The drive ended there and John Anderson put the Dawgs back on top with a 21-yard field goal.

Wyoming just missed going on top on their next drive. After a holding penalty, the Cowboys faced a 2nd and 16 on their own 35-yard line. Bramlet bought time and threw deep to a wide-open Guy Tuell, who had gotten behind safety Chris Massey. The ball was overthrown by a ball length, however. They would punt it back to Washington two plays later.

Washington took full advantage of the Cowboys' near miss and punched it in at the 4:02 mark to make it 17-7. Alexis did most of the damage on the drive with receptions of seven and four yards, and a 15-yard run. The junior tailback from Boca Raton took it the final two yards into the endzone.

Wyoming moved the ball up field again with success but stalled near midfield. With a little over a minute left in the half, the Huskies took over the ball on their own 46 after Jafar Williams took down Bramlet on a sack on fourth and long. Pickett found Arnold for 12 and Charles Frederick for a difficult 13-yard reception to move it quickly to the Cowboy 20-yard line.

Pickett threw for the endzone on first down but Williams was covered tightly. On second down, Alexis lost three yards and Washington had to call its final time out to stop the clock. On third down and 13 from the 23, Patrick Reddick made a difficult sliding catch for 12 yards with the clock still ticking. A 5-yard gain to Frederick picked up the first down but the clock ran out before Pickett could get another play off.

The first possession of the second half for Wyoming was disaster. Bramlet sat in the pocket for a good five seconds and then forced it into traffic where Derrick Johnson intercepted it at the Cowboy 30.

Pickett made a difficult throw on third and 10 from the 16. He threw it just beyond the reach of linebacker Herman White and into the arms of Pat Reddick, who took it down to the Cowboy five. Alexis took two carries to take it in and make it 24-7.

Rich Alexis bobbled an option pitch from Cody Pickett, his second fumble of the game, to kill the next Husky drive. It did little to stem the tide of Husky points. Paul Arnold made it 31-7 on a five-yard touchdown reception, his first of the season.

It became 38-7 on an 8-yard TD reception by Pat Reddick to cap a Husky drive that nearly sputtered again in the red zone. Washington began the drive on their own 20, as Pickett found Ware and Reddick for big gains. A roughing the passer penalty put the ball on the Wyoming five. An option pitch that bounced off of FB Ty Eriks' hands resulted in a loss of 11 yards after Pickett had retrieved the gaffe. He then found Frederick for seven to set up Reddick's score on third and goal.

Senior QB Taylor Barton got some late minutes, completing all three of his throws for 32 yards, and sophomore TB Chris Singleton notched 30 yards on six carries late in the game.

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