September 14, 2008

Huskies Turned Around Against Oklahoma

Another game, another loss for the Washington Huskies. This time, a 55-14 beatdown at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners. Someone call the doctor, the Huskies have come down with a case of fumble-itis. Three first-half fumbles all but sealed the loss for the Huskies, which put the Huskies at 0-3 and made Head Coach Tyrone Willingham's seat that much hotter.



"I think it's obvious we played one of the best football teams we've played since I've been here. They were good in all aspects of the game - running it, throwing it, defending it. I though they were, all around, as strong a football team as I've seen," explained Willingham. "I still liked some of the things I saw from our football team. I thought they continued to fight, continued to battle until the end, and that's something we can take and go forward as we head into our bye week and try to get ready for our Pac-10 schedule."



The Sooners scored early and often, finding pay dirt on their first possession, when sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford found senior wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Iglesias finished the game with six catches for 65 yards and one score.



Although Washington couldn't muster up much offense on it's next two possessions, the Husky defense held steady, forcing Oklahoma to punt on it's next two possessions. The Huskies suffered their first fumble on their fourth possession of the game, when sophomore quarterback Jake Locker was stripped of the ball following a 19-yard scramble. Oklahoma immediately turned around and scored it's second touchdown in only two plays - a 25-yard scamper by junior running back Chris Brown, and a 22-yard reception by junior tight end Jermaine Gresham from Bradford. The Sooners missed the extra point to leave the score at 13-0.



After a missed 47-yard field goal by senior Jared Ballman, Oklahoma marched 70 yards in nine plays to score it's third touchdown of the game on a one-yard Bradford keeper to push the score to 20-0. The Huskies' next drive looked promising. On first-and-ten on Oklahoma's 49-yard line, Locker found sophomore wide receiver D'Andre Goodwin for a 28-yard gain. However, Goodwin coughed up the ball, which was recovered by Oklahoma. Despite the fumble, Goodwin had a solid game, catching nine balls for 82 yards. Those nine grabs led the Huskies for the third time this season.



Following the fumble, the Sooners turned around and orchestrated a 10 play, 79-yard drive which was capped off by a four-yard touchdown pass from Bradford to freshman wide receiver Ryan Broyles. Bradford had an outstanding game, completing 18-of-21 passes for 304 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.



"I thought in all parts of the game we did well, but offensively, what was really pleasing was the balance - how physically we ran the football and Sam's [Bradford] execution was fabulous," expressed Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops. "We took care of the football. We had no turnovers, we executed the no-huddle in a great way and we were very physical the whole day, which you always want to see."



On the first play of the ensuing drive, senior center Juan Garcia botched the snap, throwing the ball into the ground. Locker attempted to recover the ball, but was unable to do so when Sooner junior DeMarcus Granger fell on it. Oklahoma turned right around and put together a five-play, 24-yard drive to push the score to 34-0 following the converted extra point. The Huskies had a chance to put three points on the board late in the first half, but missed their second field goal of the game on a 28-yard attempt by junior Ryan Perkins. The miscue received boos from the crowd of 67,716, as the first half came to an end.



To start the second half, Oklahoma picked up right where it left off in the first half. On the third play of the opening drive, Bradford connected with Broyles on a 76-yard strike to push the score to 41-0. Broyles finished the game with three receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns.



Washington finally got on the board when Locker ran the ball in 15 yards to make the score 41-7. The touchdown capped off a 15-play, 83-yard drive - the longest for the Huskies this season in terms of both plays and yards. The Sooners scored their seventh touchdown on the ensuing possession when Bradford found Gresham on short pass, which turned into a 64-yard scamper after two missed Washington tackles. Gresham finished the game with three receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns.



Oklahoma scored it's final touchdown of the game on it's ensuing possession when Mossis Madu found the endzone on a three-yard run. Madu, the Sooners' third string running back, finished with 13 rushes for 50 yards and two touchdowns. The Huskies scored the last touchdown of the game when backup quarterback Ronnie Fouch found freshman running back Brandon Yakaboski in the endzone on a 38-yard pass that was deflected off of a Sooner defender.



The Husky defense struggled once again, giving up 591 yards of total offense. However, it's difficult to judge the defense when the three teams Washington has played thus far will more than likely rank in the top 20 nationally in total offense when all is said and done.



"I wish we could tackle these guys better, simply tackle better - that disappoints me," said Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell. This team is very deserving of their ranking. I really don't see a weakness on their football team. I took a glance at their defense, and the athletes they put together - this is a very very good Oklahoma team, not just another Oklahoma team. I don't think we matched with anything."



Two bright spots for the Huskies, in a game filled with very few, was the play of true freshmen David Freeman and Johri Fogerson. Freeman, who made his first career start, rushed nine times for 42 yards. Fogerson, who not only made his first career start, but also played in the first game of his Husky career, led Washington in tackles with nine. Keep in mind that Fogerson made the switch from running back to safety less than two weeks ago.



"I felt really pleased with the way I played for my first start and my first time playing, so I was excited about it," said Fogerson. "Hats off to them. We weren't ready for that pace, so it took us awhile to get adjusted. It wasn't one person hurting us, it was spread around, so it was hard to key on one guy."



"I thought he did some incredible work out there - made some tackles, ran around pretty good," expressed Willingham of Fogerson. "I think, for the most part, kept himself in the right place. I was pleased with his effort without going back and covering every detail."



Oklahoma's duo of Brown and sophomore DeMarco Murray had a solid day, rushing a combined 29 times for 210 yards.



"I was pleased. We were very strong in running the ball. The backs did a great job and the o-line did a great job," expressed Stoops. "You throw Jermaine Gresham and Matt Clapp into the whole thing, and it isn't just the o-line. Those guys are a huge part of it too, and those guys played great."



Locker did what he could in the loss, going 16-of-24 for 154 yards. Locker also led the Huskies in rushing for the third time this season, with 12 attempts for 44 yards. Freshman Devin Aguilar had a coming out party of sorts, catching five passes for 71 yards.



While the brutal stretch of Washington's schedule is over, Willingham knows there is absolutely no room slip-ups.



"We didn't come through it the way I hoped we'd come through it. Do we have to be a better team? Yes. Because of it, we hope, we believe, we'll work on it to make that happen. But no, there's no sigh of relief," explained Willingham. "I didn't give [the fans] anything to get excited about. That's the honest truth. I do believe that this football team has faced one of the most difficult stretches that any team has had so far this season. I do think we are a better football team, and now we need to build on it and show it when we get this next portion started and head into the Pac-10 portion of our schedule."



The Huskies now head into a bye week before hosting Stanford on the 27th.



"I think it's a good time for us to have time off. It gives us a little extra time to prepare for our next opponent," said Willingham. "It gives us a chance to hopefully mend and get healthy. Hopefully we can do all of those things and position ourselves to really kick-start into the Pac-10."



And that game against Stanford is must win, I repeat a must win - something Offensive Coordinator Tim Lappano is well aware of.



"We all know what's on the line against Stanford," said Lappano. "I guarantee you we all know what's on the line. It's a must win game. It's going to be a huge game for us."





Oklahoma: JUAQUIN IGLESIAS 13 YD PASS FROM SAM BRADFORD (JIMMY STEVENS KICK)
Oklahoma: JERMAINE GRESHAM 22 YD PASS FROM SAM BRADFORD (MISSED KICK)
Oklahoma: SAM BRADFORD 1 YD RUN (JIMMY STEVENS KICK)
Oklahoma: RYAN BROYLES 4 YD PASS FROM SAM BRADFORD (JIMMY STEVENS KICK)
Oklahoma: MOSSIS MADU 1 YD RUN (JIMMY STEVENS KICK)
Oklahoma: RYAN BROYLES 77 YD PASS FROM SAM BRADFORD (JIMMY STEVENS KICK)
Washington: JAKE LOCKER 15 YD RUN (RYAN PERKINS KICK)
Oklahoma: JERMAINE GRESHAM 64 YD PASS FROM SAM BRADFORD (JIMMY STEVENS KICK)
Oklahoma: MOSSIS MADU 3 YD RUN (JIMMY STEVENS KICK)
Washington: BRANDON YAKABOSKI 38 YD PASS FROM RONNIE FOUCH (JARED BALLMAN KICK)
 WashingtonOklahoma
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS2328
TOTAL NET YARDS336591
Total Plays7271
Average Gain4.78.3
NET YARDS RUSHING87274
Rushes3447
Average per rush2.65.8
NET YARDS PASSING249317
Completions-attempted23-3819-24
Sacked00
Yards Lost00
TOTAL TURNOVERS30
Interceptions00
Fumbles Lost30
OTHER  
Penalties311
Penalty Yards8110
Time of Possesion32:427:56
Punts43
Punt Average41.2549
Return Yards15562
WashingtonCMPATTYDSTDINTYDS/ATT 
Jake Locker (0)1624154006.4
Ronnie Fouch (0)71395107.3
Team (0)010000.0
OklahomaCMPATTYDSTDINTYDS/ATT 
Sam Bradford (0)18213045014.5
Joey Halzle (0)1313004.3
WashingtonATTYDSTDAVG 
Jake Locker (0)124413.7
David Freeman (0)94204.7
Brandon Yakaboski (0)61502.5
Willie Griffin (0)2100.5
Ronnie Fouch (0)3-70-2.3
Team (0)2-80-4.0
OklahomaATTYDSTDAVG 
Chris Brown (0)1310708.2
DeMarco Murray (0)1610006.3
Mossis Madu (0)134623.5
Justin Johnson (0)31304.3
Matt Clapp (0)1707.0
Sam Bradford (0)1111.0
WashingtonATTYDSTDAVG 
D'Andre Goodwin (0)98209.1 
Devin Aguilar (0)571014.2 
Charles Hawkins (0)229014.5 
Alvin Logan (0)21105.5 
David Freeman (0)2703.5 
Brandon Yakaboski (0)138138.0 
Tony Chidiac (0)1606.0 
Jermaine Kearse (0)1505.0 
OklahomaATTYDSTDAVG 
Juaquin Iglesias (0)665110.8 
Jermaine Gresham (0)399233.0 
Ryan Broyles (0)385228.3 
Manuel Johnson (0)226013.0 
Chris Brown (0)21708.5 
Mossis Madu (0)113013.0 
Brody Eldridge (0)1707.0 
DeMarco Murray (0)1505.0 


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