Sept. 10, 2005
For a guy who didn't know he was the starting quarterback until several days before the season opener against Air Force, Isaiah Stanback is proving that he is more than deserving of receiving the starting nod.
The junior from Seattle's Garfield High School made his second-consecutive stellar start, setting new career highs for completions (22), attempts (39) and yards (301). The numbers ring hallow to Stanback though, as the team fell to 0-2 after a 56-17 loss to the Cal Bears.
"I try to get better every game but there are things I do wrong every game too," said Stanback. "I try to not make the same mistake twice, but sometimes I do and I've got to try to eliminate some of those. The bottom line though is that we loss and we need to figure out how to change that."
From the early outset, things looked promising for Stanback and the Huskies. On the Huskies first offensive play from scrimmage after an interception on Cal's first play, Stanback connected with Sonny Shackelford for a 56-yard touchdown.
"It was just something we set up in practice," said Stanback of the play. "We knew that out of that formation that Cal only had seen certain plays, so we tried to simulate the play that they saw on tape and run something different."
Shackelford added, "It was basically me running out on a streak. I ran a streak down the sideline and happened to catch the ball and split two defenders. I just know I caught the ball and scored."
After taking the initial lead, things quickly steam-rolled downhill and the Huskies were never able to recover. With time, Stanback hopes the Huskies can rectify their misfortunes and turn the corner.
"We get good starts, but just like last week, we have to learn how to finish. When we have teams that give us a good advantage, we have to learn how to put them away and we didn't do that," said Stanback.
Stanback also understands that the loss doesn't squarely fall on him and his teammates shoulders inabilities. He gave due credit to the Bears, who entered the game ranked 16th in the country and boasting several All-American candidates.
"Cal is good," said Stanback. "They are an aggressive team. We knew they were going to blitz a lot and put on a lot of pressure.
"But, also they gave us the opportunity to make some big plays. They just got the best of us today."
Stanback and the Huskies are hoping to put today behind them and look for different results against Idaho next Saturday.
"It doesn't matter if we're playing Idaho, or USC, or Cal," said Shackelford. "Regardless of the team, every week is a must-win week."