Huskies Still Rose Bowl-Hopeful
Nov. 15, 2000
SEATTLE (AP) - Sixth-ranked Washington still has a shot at the Rose Bowl as it travels to Pullman to face Washington State in the Apple Cup on Saturday.
The Huskies (9-1, 6-1 Pac 10) would need a little help from No. 8 Oregon State. The Beavers are playing No. 5 Oregon, who currently hold the Pac-10 lead, and need a win themselves for a share in the Bowl Championship Series.
UCLA had been a big stumbling block for the Huskies, having beaten Washington for the past four years, including a win last year that knocked Washington out of contention for the Rose Bowl.
But this last weekend the Huskies beat the Bruins in Los Angeles, 35-28, for their sixth straight Pac-10 win.
In a real see-saw match, which saw the lead constantly flip, Washington almost lost it when they couldn't get a first down with just 27 seconds left in the game and turned the ball over to the Bruins, up by 7.
"It would have been nice to have made that first down instead of making it exciting again," second-year coach Rick Neuheisel said.
The Huskies have had to come from behind in the final quarter to beat California, Stanford and Arizona the previous three weeks.
Washington scored on its first two possessions, as freshman Rich Alexis had 75 yards on seven carries in the first quarter.
"In the second half, my shoulder felt very sore, but at this point in the season, you've just got to suck it up," Alexis said, after an x-ray came back negative and he returned to the game.
Washington junior wide receiver Willie Hurst broke his collarbone on the first play of the second half on a 62-yard run, which would set up the first score of the third quarter, and will not play this weekend in the Apple Cup. But Neuheisel is confident he'll be back for whichever bowl game the Huskies are called.
But for as many close wins the Huskies have had, the Washington State Cougars (4-6, 2-5) have had close losses. They are 2-4 in games that have been decided by less than a touchdown.
Redshirt freshman Matt Kegel threw for 242 yards and a touchdown and made no major mistakes as Washington State beat Southern California 33-27 on Saturday night.
"All I can say is that the Huskies better look out, because we're coming to get them next week," Kegel said.