Oct. 28, 2006
By Benton Strong
GoHuskies.com contributing writer
SEATTLE -- With Husky Stadium thundering around him and Isaiah Stanback on the HuskyTron waving his hands to pump up the crowd, Rudy Carpenter conveniently had his worst drive of the night. The Arizona State quarterback committed an apparently huge error by throwing an eight-yard completion after crossing the line-of-scrimmage, a call that was eventually overturned by the officials, then couldn't get his team a first down when it needed only two yards.
Credit the once again stingy, fourth quarter Husky defense.
For Arizona State the quarter was filled with bad penalties, both offensively and defensively, and wasted offensive possessions--all of which are not firsts for Husky opponents this season in Seattle.
After the Huskies scored their first of two fourth quarter touchdowns, the defense and the crowd took over. Carpenter struggled mightily and Arizona State couldn't control the football. The Husky defense allowed just 20 yards to the Sun Devils in the fourth quarter, even though they had three possessions and held the ball for nearly six minutes. Arizona State head coach Dirk Koetter definitely noticed.
"I think the crowd got to Rudy a few times tonight," Koetter said. "Washington did a good job of switching up their defenses."
With the wild crowd and the stifling defense, the Huskies seem to be mere steps away from being a very good team, senior linebacker Scott White said.
"It's definitely encouraging to know that when the game is on the line we have guys making plays," he said. "But we really have to get over that hump. We're so close to having a really good record, but a couple plays here and there have cost us."
Those plays definitely cost the Huskies on Saturday night. Despite the loss, it still seems they are right on the cusp of excellence, one play here and there away from being one of the best teams in the conference.
With the team close to success, a lot of the credit must be shared with the fans of Husky Stadium. A Navy football player once compared the level of sound in Husky Stadium to that of a fighter jet. With a little more success, it is easy to imagine that there will be many more happy landings and takeoffs at Husky Stadium in the near future.