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Arizona’s Smith Haunts Huskies

The last time Washington faced Homer Smith, it was a long, painful day for the Huskies.

Smith was UCLA’s offensive coordinator in 1990 when the Bruins, three-touchdown underdogs, stunned the Huskies 25-22 at Husky Stadium. Washington was ranked No. 2 in the nation then.

Smith, 64, returns to Husky Stadium as the first-year Arizona offensive coordinator today when the Wildcats (2-1) play the Huskies (1-1 overall, 0-1 in the Pac-10). Washington is ranked No. 24 this time.

“I’m just tickled to death to have him here with his vast experience,” Arizona coach Dick Tomey said of Smith, who was offensive coordinator at Alabama in 1994 and 1995.

“Homer Smith is very, very bright and he’s very good at putting pressure on defenses,” Washington coach Jim Lambright said. “I’m sure he’ll come up with some new things for us.”

Lambright was Washington’s defensive coordinator in 1990 and had Steve Emtman in his defensive line. It didn’t matter. The Smith-coached UCLA offense beat the Huskies with quick passes and delayed runs out of a shotgun formation.

“He deserves credit for that one,” Lambright said.

Arizona will be playing its Pac-10 opener and is coming off an impressive 41-0 victory over Illinois in Tucson last Saturday. The Wildcats defense returned three interceptions for touchdowns in the final quarter.

That Arizona defense could be going after a redshirt freshman quarterback this week. Starting UW quarterback Shane Fortney sustained a knee injury in the fourth quarter of Washington’s 29-17 victory over BYU last Saturday, an injury that may force Lambright to go with untested Brock Huard in Fortney’s place.

It looks like it will be a game-day decision.


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