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Sunday, September 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Huskies Notebook | Shackelford steps up for Huskies

Seattle Times staff reporter

Washington receiver Sonny Shackelford has had more yards in a game before.

But the 124 yards he got in a blowout loss to Cal last season didn't mean as much as the 120 yards he had in Saturday's 29-19 win over UCLA. Which is, he said, the whole point.

"Whatever it takes to win games," he said.

Saturday, once the Bruins shut down Washington's running game, the Huskies went to a spread passing offense, and Shackelford was the happy recipient of nine throws from Isaiah Stanback. Two went for touchdowns, the first two-touchdown game of his career, as the Huskies rallied from a 16-0 deficit.

"It's just me being a senior trying to make plays," said Shackelford, who has four TDs this season. "I want to be the guy that if the team needs someone to follow, follow me."

He also had the UCLA defense following him much of the game as the Bruin secondary couldn't keep up.

"They were playing man coverage and you know we practice against man coverage a whole bunch so we are used to it," Shackelford said. "I guess you could say they played the wrong coverage."

What running game?

The Huskies came into the game leading the Pac-10 in rushing at 210 yards per game. But in one of the day's few negatives, the Huskies managed just 49. And they got only 22 from running backs Kenny James and Louis Rankin on 11 carries.

"I want to be able to run the football out of two-back sets," said UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano. "We have to be able to do that. We weren't getting any lanes in there at all, so we have to address that and look at the film and see what we can do to fix that."

UCLA falls short

The talk in Los Angeles this week was that UCLA would try to throw deep often to test UW's secondary.

Instead, UCLA QB Ben Olson rarely tried to go deep and didn't complete a pass longer than 16 yards.

"We expected it and they didn't do it," said UW cornerback Roy Lewis. "I don't know if it was because they didn't think they could, but we thought they would try it."

Said defensive coordinator Kent Baer: "We were expecting it and we were in coverages to try to take some of that away. I was surprised they didn't try to take more shots."

Olson, playing his first road game, completed 18 of 31 passes but also threw two interceptions.

Stanback perseveres

UW coach Tyrone Willingham said he never really considered pulling Isaiah Stanback during the early offensive struggles.

"It wasn't just the quarterback so when it's not just the quarterback, then I'm pretty patient," Willingham said.

Stanback said he felt "too relaxed" early on when he misfired on several passes.

"I can't be too excited or too relaxed," Stanback said. "I have to find that medium."

He did in the second half, when he gained all 48 of his rushing yards and also threw for two TDs and a two-point conversion.

"Stanback just took over that game," said UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis. "His team was down and he is obviously the leader of this team. He stepped up and made some great plays."

Practice

makes perfect?

Early on, it didn't look as if the Huskies were playing the way they had practiced.

Willingham said on Thursday that the team had three good days of practice this week, continuing a trend set the week before when he said the Huskies had their best week of workouts prior to the win over Fresno State.

Coaches often say that good practice results in good games.

Ossai, oh my

UW offensive tackle Ben Ossai made a key fumble recovery early in the third quarter, recovering Kenny James' bobble at the Bruins' 43, two plays before Washington scored its second touchdown.

On the play, it appeared a Bruin initially covered it, but Ossai said it was his all the way.

"They were twisting my head in the pile," Ossai said, adding as he pointed to his stomach, "But I had it, right in the middle."

Blue Bruins

The defeat was especially bitter for UCLA defenders, who held the Huskies to only 249 yards and essentially canceled the UW running game except for Stanback's 48 yards.

"When you know you're better than a team, and let them hang around and hang around, it gives them the thought they can beat you," said Bruins defensive end Justin Hickman. "That's what they did. They made more plays than we did today."

The Bruins had only 83 yards of offense in the second half, and their three points were set up by Terrence Austin's punt return.

Note

• UCLA wide receiver coach D.J. McCarthy was a receiver at UW from 1991-93. He is best remembered for recovering an onside kick during UW's comeback win at California in 1993.

Times college football reporter Bud Withers contributed to this report

Shack attack
Sonny Shackelford caught nine passes against UCLA, his most in a game for the Huskies. Shackelford's biggest games, by yards receiving:
Yards Rec TD Opponent, year
124 6 1 Cal, 2005
121 4 1 WSU, 2005
120 9 2 UCLA, 2006
88 2 0 Oregon State, 2004
79 5 0 Cal, 2004
72 5 0 Oregon State, 2005

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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Football schedule

DateOpponentTimeTV
Sept. 2San Jose StateW, 35-29
Sept. 9at OklahomaL, 37-20
Sept. 16Fresno StateW, 21-20
Sept. 23UCLAW, 29-19
Sept. 30at ArizonaW, 21-10
Oct. 7at USCL, 26-20
Oct. 14Oregon StateL, 27-17
Oct. 21at CaliforniaL, 31-24, OT
Oct. 28Arizona StateL, 26-23, OT
Nov. 4at OregonL, 34-14
Nov. 11StanfordL, 20-3
Nov. 18at Washington StateW, 35-32

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