Football Notebook | Like a sore big toe, kicker irritates UW
Should the Washington-Oregon State game Saturday come down to a last-second field goal for the Beavers and Alexis Serna comes trotting out...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington @ Oregon State, 7:15 p.m., FSN
Should the Washington-Oregon State game Saturday come down to a last-second field goal for the Beavers and Alexis Serna comes trotting out, the Huskies might as well just turn and walk off the field.
"It's unbelievable," Washington coach Tyrone Willingham said of Serna's uncanny success against the Huskies the past three years.
Serna has gone 13 for 13 in three games, all at Husky Stadium.
"It's just amazing. I don't know what it is. He gets up for us or something. Something in purple or something that makes him accurate," Willingham said.
Serna went 5 for 5 in an OSU victory at Husky Stadium in 2004, then tied a Pac-10 record by going 6 for 6 to score every Oregon State point in an 18-10 triumph in 2005. He hit on two more attempts last season.
"There's really no explanation for it," Serna said this week. "I was just on all three games."
In his eyes, the most memorable of the three games is the 2004 contest, when he was a freshman. A product of Fontana, Calif., Serna first gained notoriety by missing three extra points in the season-opener that season, essentially costing OSU a chance to beat the defending national champs when Louisiana State won 22-21 in overtime.
He lost his job for a couple weeks, but won it back in time for the UW game, though he had kicked only two field goals prior to coming to Husky Stadium for the first time. His five field goals that day included a 55-yarder on the last play of the first half.
"That game kind of solidified that I was going to stay for a while," said Serna, who was a walk-on at the time but won a scholarship at the end of the season.
Serna's 6-for-6 effort in 2005 helped him win the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker.
Serna is one of 23 OSU seniors who will play their final home game Saturday. He has 73 career field goals (in 92 attempts), the most of any active kicker in the country.
The Huskies must think every one has come against them.
• Pac-10 league officials have determined that the modern-era conference record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback is 815 by Jeff Dankworth of UCLA in 1976. UW's Jake Locker could break that Saturday as he has 793. USC's Morley Drury rushed for 1,163 yards in 1927 and was listed as a quarterback, though that was a time when the position was similar to halfback.
• Backup safety Nate Williams won't make the trip while recovering from a hamstring injury.
• Willingham said RB J.R. Hasty might make the trip. He was left home last week after returning to the team after briefly quitting.
• TE Johnie Kirton was in sweats and not practicing in the portion of the workout Thursday open to media members because of illness, but is still expected to make the trip Saturday to Corvallis.
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UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies