Huskies Overcome 'Cats On Late Interception Return, 36-33
Oct. 10, 2009
SEATTLE (AP) - Washington's Mason Foster intercepted a deflected pass off the foot of Arizona's Delashaun Dean and returned the carom 37 yards for a touchdown with 2:37 left, and the Huskies rallied with two touchdowns in the final three minutes to stun the Wildcats 36-33 on Saturday night.
Jake Locker had just pulled Washington (3-3, 2-1 Pac-10) within 33-28 on a 25-yard touchdown strike to Kavario Middleton with 2:55 left. On Arizona's first play of the next possession, quarterback Nick Foles tried to throw a quick screen that had worked against the Huskies' defense all night.
The screen was read by Washington's defense, and Foles tried to hit Dean. The throw was low and behind Dean, deflecting off his left foot and into the arms of Foster who ran untouched for the shocking touchdown. Locker then hit Jermaine Kearse on the two-point conversion to give the Huskies a three-point lead.
With just 2:29 left and only one timeout, Foles and the Wildcats (3-2, 1-1) got to the Washington 38, before the Huskies came up with their first sack of the night. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim tripped up Foles for a 5-yard loss after the Wildcats had taken their last time out. Foles rushed his attempt on third down and threw incomplete. His last-ditch, fourth-down pass was intercepted by Desmond Trufant setting off a wild celebration that had Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt high-stepping down the sideline after his defense was picked apart most of the night by Foles.
Foster finished with 11 tackles, including a pair of key stops on Arizona's last drive when it appeared running back Greg Nwoko had a chance for a big play.
The stunning ending leaves Oregon as the only undefeated team in Pac-10 Conference play. For much of the second half, it appeared Arizona would join them at the top of the conference.
Foles and the Wildcats scored the first 17 points of the second half and built a 33-21 lead. Picking apart the Huskies depleted secondary with smart, quick screens, Foles threw for 384 yards and one touchdown, and ran for another in the third quarter as the Wildcats appeared in control thanks to special teams meltdowns by Washington.
Foles completed 39 of 53 passes on a night that star running back Nic Grigsby carried just five times and didn't see the field in the second half. David Roberts caught 12 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Washington punter Will Mahan muffed one kick in the third quarter to setup an Alex Zendejas field goal and shanked another punt leading to Foles' touchdown run. But those mistakes will be forgotten thanks to the stunning rally.
Down by 12 with 4:16 left, Locker raced the Huskies 59 yards. The drive was helped by a 15-yard personal foul on Arizona, and Locker capped it with his third touchdown pass of the night, hitting Middleton in the corner of the end zone.
Then came Foster's unbelievable interception return, giving life to the Huskies' hopes of making a bowl game in coach Steve Sarkisian's first season.