Huskies tease fans with half an effort
The story of the Washington Husky pre-season is that the players were no more excited about the schedule than the fans were. The tickets were sold, but even more fans showed up disguised as empty seats Saturday, as the Huskies routed the Idaho Vandals in a game that was cosmetically altered to make it appear much closer than it was.
With thirty seconds in the first half, UW led 28-0, and Idaho had managed but 79 yards of total offense. The Huskies controlled the ball and the clock as sure as any wishbone team could dream of. Cody Pickett had 293 yards, and the Huskies had 355 yards total offense.
The second half saw the Husky offense continue to perform, but the defense had already hung it up on the pre-season, and played with all the enthusiasm of a practice against a local high school squad. The obvious lack of emotion inspired the proud Vandals to finally get their offense untracked.
The sight of Reggie Williams on the Husky Stadium turf did not help the sluggish atmosphere. Reggie is irreplaceable, but this is the deepest position on the squad. All accounts at press time indicate that it was only a bruise for Reggie.
In his absence, Charles Fredricks continued to show Husky fans that another special talent is on this squad. His electrifying 73-yard catch and run will be long remembered. Pat Reddick, long a favorite of this magazine, continues to make the tough catch over the middle. Pat's brains and courage look like they could be used on Sundays next year.
Now we play for keeps.
Gesser finally earns praise from Duckfighter Illustrated
Race Bannon said to me in the editorial meeting that Jason Gesser showed enough grit to be a quarterback for the Huskies. Hobbled by sore ribs, Gesser stood up to a fierce blitz package by the California Bears, and threw for 431 yards, the second best day by a Washington Pac-10 quarterback last Saturday. Cody Pickett had 438 yards.
Cal rolled up 472 yards of offense on their end, making for an entertaining ballgame, that is likely the blueprint for Pac-10 games not involving USC, the Cougars next opponent.
Washington State got stuffed on a 4th and short, leading 38-28, in the 4th quarter, which ignited one more effort by Cal, who tied things up at 38. The Cougs scored the last ten points to gather their first league win, as they assume the favorites mantle. (cough)
Beavers have plenty of time to think about the Civil War
Benny B. Eaver
It will be many weeks before the Beaver fans have to worry about the Civil War, and there is no need to even be discussing it at this point.
Of much more immediate concern is to re build the shattered confidence of Derek Anderson, and have him ready for tough road games ahead.
USC actually has a defense, which threw the Beavers for a loop Saturday. The Beavers again led the free world in penalties, which is not so funny when you lose. The Swag – O – Meter has been put in mothballs, as swagger was in as short of supply as yards and points were.
Pete Carroll was a gracious winner, as he did not run up the score, even running into the middle on a goal line situation. One does wonder if such graciousness will be lost on old "Run It Up" Dennis Erickson.
Ducks rested and ready to rumble
Special from Mallard N. Moore
Keith Lewis has guaranteed an easy rip through the Pac 10 for the 12 time defending league champion Ducks. I will go one-step further, there is no way Arizona will stop the Ducks this week. North Texas, which came into their game with Arizona ranked 117th in offense, yes, that is last in the nation, rolled up 431 yards on UA Saturday night.
I do not care if you mail this to John Macovic and have him put it up in the locker room – there is no way Arizona stops Oregon.
The Wildcats also suffered some damaging injuries, which will leave them as helpless as the Duck's other opponents this year. This one will be over by halftime.
UO 66, UA 28
Editor's note: Thank you Mallard, for that level headed look at the Ducks next game.
USC travels to the frozen tundra of Vandal, er, Martin Stadium to face the league favorite Cougars. Defense wins championships, and the Trojans have one. The Cougars looked a little leaky against Cal, and that should give Carson Palmer and the fast improving Mike Williams all the room they need. You will not need a calculator for this one.
USC 28, WSU 13
Oregon State returns to the fast track of Reser Stadium to welcome the mysterious Bruins of UCLA. We think the battered Beavers will recover from the penetration of the Trojan defense, and bounce back with a thrilling win over UCLA, staying alive in the conference hunt.
OSU 31, UCLA 29
Washington welcomes California to Husky Stadium, and Gerald Ford will be on hand to toss out the first pitch. The much-improved Bears will be looking to continue their recent domination of the Huskies over the first 45 minutes of the game.
Cal still appears to have a tough time closing out teams, as blowing a big early lead against WSU showed, but it isn't for a lack of effort. Spawn of Bellotti, Jeff Tedford has brought a new and winning attitude to Strawberry Canyon. The Bears have weapons, and will give the Huskies all they can handle.
Cal blitzed WSU constantly, leaving single coverage in the passing game. We encourage this concept against the Huskies.
UW 48, Cal 42
And Finally . . . it wasn't Dirk Koetter's fault that UO couldn't beat Stanford. The Sun Devils buried the rotting corpse of Buddy Ball in the desert under a blazing sun Saturday. The 65 points Stanford gave up were the most by a Pac 10 team since.....uh....never mind......Nebraska lost their first back to back regular season games since 1976.....that's impressive, but this years Huskers aren't, and you read it here first....Penn State fell back to earth in a home upset loss to Iowa......Don't be shocked if Stanford upsets SI cover boys, the Fighting Irish.....that's what makes college ball so exciting and maddening.....Does anyone think the Irish are going to be pumped up looking at the game film?............. We apologize for the lack of humor in this issue, but the staff is suffering from severe sugar overdoses, and are a little logy these days....we'll try to do better now that the games are for keeps.
Thanks for Reading! - Race
Race Bannon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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