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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

June 15, 2007 at 8:48 AM

On OSU 2000 and your questions

Some solid comments and questions in this space the last few days so I’ll try to address a few of them here.
First, on the commentary regarding my statement that I might have also ranked the 2000 Oregon State Beavers ahead of the Huskies of that same year, as did Jon Wilner (you can read that blog below). One poster said I must have been “smoking something” to write that.
I’m always open to being critiqued, but I don’t think it’s quite that outlandish a statement.
UW did beat OSU 33-30 at home that season which proved the difference in going to the Rose Bowl as each team finished 7-1 in Pac-10 play and 11-1 overall.
But the score aptly describes how close that game was, a game I’ve always felt was one of the best — and most underrated — in my 10 years covering the team.
There was not a turnover in sight and almost 1,000 yards of offense — UW had 504 to OSU’s 474 (the game might have been the best ever played by Paul Arnold, who rushed for 102 and caught passes for 65 more but who was injured a couple of weeks later and then moved to receiver the following season).
The game came down to the second-to-last play as OSU, trailing 33-30, got the ball at its own 15 with 5:34 left and drove to UW’s 35 with a first down with under a minute left.
After OSU then gained nine yards on a first-down pass, Larry Tripplett made what might have been the play of the season for the Huskies, tackling Ken Simonton for a three-yard loss. Apparently frazzled by the loss, OSU QB Jonathan Smith spiked the ball on third down to stop the clock even though the Beavers had a time out left. That forced the Beavers to try a 46-yard field goal with 14 seconds left that was just wide.
It was a great game between two great teams, though no one really knew it at the time. Rick Neuheisel always used to tell the story of feeling really jacked up about the win and then getting in the car and listening to the post-game show as fans complained about how the Huskies almost lost to OSU. The perception of OSU, obviously, had yet to change in the eyes of many.
As some of you pointed out, OSU didn’t play much of a non-conference schedule that year and almost losing to Eastern Washington in the opener had a lot of people convinced the Beavers weren’t really that good.
But the week before playing UW, the Beavers had beaten USC for the first time in more than 30 years.
And after losing to UW, the Beavers won their last seven in a row, scoring 33 or more points in six of those games in a prolific offense led by current UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano, who held the same position that year for the Beavers.
As for my statement that the Beavers might have had more talent that season, I looked it up and of the Beavers who played in the game that night, 10 were eventually drafted into the NFL compared to nine for UW.
It’s close, no doubt about it. But I know the Husky coaches of that season were pretty darn glad they got the Beavers out of the way early that season.
ON ELIGIBILITY — A few of you have asked about the eligibility of some of the incoming freshmen. No official word will come from UW will come until much closer to the season on any of the players. Receiver Anthony Boyles is one of the main players who appears to still have some work to do and word is he recently took the SAT for a final time but is still waiting for results. Emeka Iweka is in the same boat. Rainier Beach athletic director Dan Jurdy said this week that Iweka also recently took the SAT again for a final time and is still awaiting the results.
ON SCHOLARSHIPS — One reader wanted to know how many scholarships UW will have to give out next year. It’s still too early to really know given all that can happen between now and February (teams are allowed to award 25).
UW had 59 scholarship players in the spring and hope to welcome 24 more this fall. If everyone shows up and a walk-on or two is put on scholarship, the Huskies could have a full 85 players on scholarship this season.
UW has 20 scholarship players likely to be finishing their eligibility — six are fourth-year seniors who could redshirt if hit with an early injury — and given the other usual attrition, I would expect that the Huskies could take just about a full class of 25 next year if desired.

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