November 2, 1997 in Sports

UW Emerges Battered, Not Beaten Huskies Dominate Trojans Despite Losing Shehee, Huard To Injuries

Bob Condotta Tacoma News Tribune
 

It was the kind of score that would once have necessitated the riot squad circling the field in the waning minutes to ward off foaming-at-the-mouth fans ready to tear down the goal posts.

But Washington hammered powerful-in-name-only USC, 27-0, Saturday afternoon in front of 73,401 at Husky Stadium, and the only fans who rose in a hurry as the game was ending were merely making a break for the exits.

The victory seemed as perfunctory as a victory over Cal, given USC’s sudden plunge to mediocrity. Most fans spent the final minutes worrying more about the health of quarterback Brock Huard and running back Rashaan Shehee than reveling in the final score.

The triumph probably moved the Huskies (7-1 overall, 5-0 Pacific-10 Conference) to No. 6 in the polls after Florida lost to Georgia. But it could turn out to be UW’s costliest victory this year.

Shehee, the Pac-10’s leading rusher coming into the game, sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee when he landed awkwardly at the end of 11-yard run in the first quarter. The injury could cost him two to six weeks. The team will know more after additional examinations today.

“I know Rashaan and I don’t think he’s going to be out the rest of the year,” said UW wide receiver Jerome Pathon.

The Huskies better hope not. That 11-yard run by Shehee was UW’s longest of the day as Washington managed only 31 rushing yards in all - its lowest total in eight years.

Huard’s injury didn’t seem as serious. The sophomore appeared to resprain his left ankle three plays into the third quarter. It’s the same injury that caused him to miss most of the Nebraska game.

It was announced during the game that Huard could have returned if needed. He wasn’t as backup Marques Tuiasosopo again played superbly.

But Huard said ominously afterward that he couldn’t have continued and that he was “probably in more pain than the Nebraska game. We will just have to see what happens.”

“The ankle snapped and I think I got landed on,” Huard said of the play in which he was hit hard by USC’s Cedric Jefferson and fumbled, with the Huskies recovering for a 12-yard loss.

With the offense literally in crutches, it was left to the defense to win the game, and it responded, allowing USC only 157 total yards and never letting the Trojans get closer than the UW 35-yard line.

USC (4-4, 2-3) is the latest exhibit of how far the mighty have fallen.

“We were expecting to battle a good team,” said UW defensive lineman Jabari Issa. “Not that they just fell over and died. They are still a good team. But we played better.”

It was Washington’s first shutout since blanking East Carolina, 35-0, in 1993.

“As a defense, we were so confident,” said UW linebacker Jason Chorak. “We were out there having fun. We wanted to go out there as much as possible because we knew that this team couldn’t do anything on us.”

USC’s offense was blanked for the first time since a 31-0 loss to the Huskies in Seattle in 1990.

The Trojans gave redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Van Raaphorst his first start at in place of John Fox. Predictably, Van Raaphorst struggled, completing only five of 18 passes for 46 yards and throwing two interceptions.

But he didn’t get much help from teammates. USC receivers dropped at least four passes in the first half, one of which turned into a UW interception.

“We were a detriment to us,” said USC head coach John Robinson.

The Huskies led 3-0 after a quarter, thanks to a 45-yard field goal by Nick Lentz - the longest for the Huskies in 40 games, dating to the 1994 UCLA game.

UW took a 10-0 lead on a 35-yard pass from Huard to Fred Coleman with 4:44 left in the first half. That completed a five-play, 50-yard drive - all but one of the yards coming through the air as the Huskies were forced to throw with their running game shut down.

USC’s speedy R. Jay Soward returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards with a UW late-hit penalty moving the ball to the Huskies’ 35.

Van Rapphorst was sacked by Jerry Jensen on first down, then forced into two wild incompletions. Jim Wren’s punt was then blocked by Issa. Four plays later, Huard hit Pathon with a 21-yard scoring pass for a 17-0 UW lead.

MEMO: Changed from the Idaho edition

This sidebar appeared with the story:

Washington 27, USC 0

USC 0 0 0 0 0

Washington 3 14 10 0 27

WashFB Lentz 45

WashColeman 35 pass from Huard (Lentz kick)

WashPathon 21 pass from Huard (Lentz kick)

WashFG Lentz 34

WashShaw 7 run (Lentz kick)

A73,401.

USC Wash

First downs 12 16

Rushes-yards 35-71 37-31

Passing 86 271

Comp-Att-Int 10-26-2 19-25-1

Return Yards 1 61

Punts-Avg. 9-34.3 5-37.0

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-1

Penalties-Yards 11-75 8-70

Time of Possession 27:44 32:16

RUSHING-Southern Cal, Sermons 4-30, Washington 9-26, MacKenzie 9-20, Woods 3-10, Papadakis 3-3, Van Raaphorst 3-(minus 9), Fox 4-(minus 9). Washington, Shaw 17-43, Shehee 3-16, Harris 7-11, Conniff 1-6, Coleman 1-1, Tuiasosopo 4-(minus 14), Huard 4-(minus 32).

PASSING-Southern Cal, Van Raaphorst 5-18-2-46, Fox 4-7-0-37, Woods 1-1-0-3. Washington, Huard 13-19-1-194, Tuiasosopo 6-6-0-77.

RECEIVING-Southern Cal, Miller 5-29, McCutcheon 2-30, Bastianelli 2-18, Sermons 1-9. Washington, Pathon 8-120, Cleeland 4-56, Coleman 3-43, Harris 1-23, Reed 1-21, Brigham 1-6, Shaw 1-2.

Changed from the Idaho edition

This sidebar appeared with the story: Washington 27, USC 0 USC 0 0 0 0 0 Washington 3 14 10 0 27 WashFB Lentz 45 WashColeman 35 pass from Huard (Lentz kick) WashPathon 21 pass from Huard (Lentz kick) WashFG Lentz 34 WashShaw 7 run (Lentz kick) A73,401. USC Wash First downs 12 16 Rushes-yards 35-71 37-31 Passing 86 271 Comp-Att-Int 10-26-2 19-25-1 Return Yards 1 61 Punts-Avg. 9-34.3 5-37.0 Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-1 Penalties-Yards 11-75 8-70 Time of Possession 27:44 32:16 RUSHING-Southern Cal, Sermons 4-30, Washington 9-26, MacKenzie 9-20, Woods 3-10, Papadakis 3-3, Van Raaphorst 3-(minus 9), Fox 4-(minus 9). Washington, Shaw 17-43, Shehee 3-16, Harris 7-11, Conniff 1-6, Coleman 1-1, Tuiasosopo 4-(minus 14), Huard 4-(minus 32). PASSING-Southern Cal, Van Raaphorst 5-18-2-46, Fox 4-7-0-37, Woods 1-1-0-3. Washington, Huard 13-19-1-194, Tuiasosopo 6-6-0-77. RECEIVING-Southern Cal, Miller 5-29, McCutcheon 2-30, Bastianelli 2-18, Sermons 1-9. Washington, Pathon 8-120, Cleeland 4-56, Coleman 3-43, Harris 1-23, Reed 1-21, Brigham 1-6, Shaw 1-2.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email