Dec. 2, 1999
(November 20, 1999, Seattle, Wash.): Washington benefited from an early lead and two big plays as it went on to beat Washington State 24-14 in front of an Apple Cup crowd of 72,973 at Husky Stadium. The Huskies used the win to finish 7-4 on the season and 6-2 in the Pac-10. The Cougars meanwhile slipped to 2-9 overall and wrapped up the conference schedule at 1-7. Washington had a chance to get on the board early, but John Anderson missed a 38-yard field goal attempt to thwart a 46-yard game-opening drive. WSU responded with a quick first down but Jermaine Smith halted any Cougar momentum with an interception at the WSU 47-yard-line. The Huskies got as close as the WSU 3-yard-line, but settled for an Anderson field goal from 20 yards out with 5:38 left in the first quarter. After a quick stop of the WSU offense, Washington was at it again. Maurice Shaw caught an 11-yard pass and rushed twice for five yards before completing the 49-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run. As the first quarter closed Washington led 10-0, but WSU was driving. After a personal foul gave the Cougs field position at their own 43-yard line, Deon Burnett caught a Steve Birnbaum pass and turned it into a 48-yard gain to the Husky 9-yard-line. An incomplete pass and two Burnett runs later, the Cougars were still five yards short of the end zone and settled for Rian Lindell's 22-yard field goal. WSU's defense and poor Husky special teams gave the Cougars a chance to climb closer. After pushing Washington back to its seven-yard-line, a poor Husky punt gave WSU possession 27-yards away from the end zone. The Cougars clawed to the 10-yard-line but could get no closer. Lindell's 28-yard field goal made it 10-6 with 6:05 left in the half. But the Huskies did not lay down and wait for the third quarter to take revenge. On the ensuing first down, Paul Arnold broke loose for a 14-yard run. Marques Tuiasosopo then passed complete to Chris Juergens for an 11-yard gain. If those two plays were not enough, the Huskies used a little trickery on their third play for a bigger boost. Tuiasosopo dumped the ball off to Dane Looker in the backfield who swept right and then heaved a pass to a wide-open Joe Jarzynka. Jarzynka's 55-yard touchdown reception gave Washington a comfortable 17-6 lead going into halftime. The third quarter was a battle of the defenses with the WSU coming up big nearing the fourth quarter. Neither team having scored in the second half, the Huskies drove 66 yards to a first down at the WSU 25-yard-line. The Cougs stuffed a rush, forced an incomplete pass and then broke Billy Newman loose for an eight-yard quarterback sack that forced a punt. WSU trailed by only two scores going into the fourth quarter, but Washington struck first in the final stanza. On second-and-10 at their own 20-yard-line, the Huskies' Paul Arnold took a Tuisosopo handoff all the way to the end zone. Leading 24-6 with 10:16 left in the game, Washington had its victory secured. But the Cougars did make one final call on its next possession. Back-up quarterback Jason Gesser entered the game to relieve Birnbaum and made an immediate spark. On first down he rushed 10 yards for another first down. Two snaps later he picked up 59 yards on the ground to bring WSU to the Husky 19-yard-line. On the following snap Adam Hawkins rushed the remaining distance to the end zone. A Birnbaum-to-Paul Mencke pass completed the conversion attempt and left the Cougs 11 points shy of their second straight win in Seattle.
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SO IT ENDS: The Cougars wrapped up their league schedule with one less overall win than last year, but one more win in the conference. The Cougars would have liked to pick up a second conference win against their cross-state rivals, but faced a tough opponent in the Huskies, with the conclusion of the regular season, Washington finsihed with the best Pac-10 in-conference record of the decade: 58-21-1. "I am very proud of our team, they did not give up at any point and fought the whole game," WSU head coach Mike Price said. "We had tons of opportunities to win. When you get down in the red zone and have to settle for a field goal, it's disappointing. We got caught from behind a couple of times, which shouldn't happen. We should be able to run with these guys. Things just didn't click for us today." WSU finishes the decade with a 3-7 record against Washington in the 1990s.
MIRROR IMAGE: Dane Looker's 55-yard touchdown pass to Joe Jarzynka caught WSU's defense by surprise, but not because the Cougars had never seen it before. "We knew that they had that play because we could see [Looker] warming up on the sidelines," Coach Price said. "That is the same play we run. We had a halfback pass called, but Adam Hawkins didn't get a chance to get the ball off. The guy was wide open and we throw to the wide receiver. It's just kind of like our year, we have great opportunities, our guys played hard, but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty we couldn't get it done."
BIG "D": The Cougars may be known for their great defense -- and minus two plays it was sharp against the Huskies -- but it was Washington's defense that did the talking Saturday. Whether matching their season-high sack output with three, or holding Deon Burnett to only 20 yards rushing, the "D" in "U-Dub" was for defense in the Apple Cup. With two games to go, Burnett seemed likely to break the Pac-10 freshman rushing record by season's end, but not now. After enduring the Husky-hurt, Burnett would need 192 yards against Hawai'i to top Stanfords' record-setting freshman performance by Darrin Nelson (1,069 yards) in 1977. "They were slanting their defensive line and we weren't doing a good job picking it up," Coach Price said. "We didn't execute our offense the way we are capable of doing it. We didn't block well, and we are going to do everything we can in the off-season to correct that."