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Originally published Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Huskies see Ronnie Fouch at his best, worst

Say what you will about Washington quarterback Ronnie Fouch, the strength of his arm is not up for debate. The kid has one heck of a fastball...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Say what you will about Washington quarterback Ronnie Fouch, the strength of his arm is not up for debate. The kid has one heck of a fastball.

When given time, he stands tall in the pocket and flings the football as well as any passer in the Pac-10, including Jake Locker.

"There's really no difference between them," Washington receiver D'Andre Goodwin said. "They throw a similar ball. Ronnie obviously likes to throw the deep ball, and as a receiver, you like that in your quarterback."

In his second start, the redshirt freshman fired bullets all over Husky Stadium on Saturday in a 34-13 defeat against Oregon State. He connected on passes of 48 and 46 yards to Goodwin and would have had a 51-yarder if not for a holding penalty. He tossed a 28-yarder to Jordan Polk and then a 32-yarder to Devin Aguilar late in the fourth quarter.

Fouch finished with 276 yards on 17-of-32 passing and connected with eight receivers.

That's the good news.

"Everything didn't go so great, obviously," Fouch said. "If it had, we would have won the game and we wouldn't be here talking about another loss.

"A lot of quarterbacks say you wish you could have a couple of those [throws] back, but I really feel like that. I wish I could get a chance to do a couple of those all over again, but you can't. All you can do is move on and learn from this."

As good as Fouch was at times, he was also Washington's worst enemy while committing four turnovers. His three interceptions and a fumble resulted in 17 points for Oregon State.

Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano dished out an equal amount of praise and criticism to his quarterback after the game.

"He made some good throws and some receivers made some nice catches for him, but we've got to calm him down back there a little bit," Lappano said. "I know that's easy for us to sit here and say. There was a lot of gas in his face, but we've got to calm him down a little bit and make him stay in there a little longer."

In his previous start, Fouch appeared erratic as he connected on only 12 of 28 passes for 181 yards during a lopsided defeat at Arizona two weeks ago.

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Washington (0-6) wanted to take advantage of safeties stationed near the line of scrimmage to stop the run. The ploy worked for big gains, however, as Fouch made horrendous decisions whenever the Beavers hurried him and made him scramble out of the pocket.

"Third down in the red zone, we didn't have a chance to capitalize on a lot of drives," Fouch said. "Usually we're pretty good down there."

Long after the outcome was decided, Washington had four shots at a touchdown from the Oregon State 1 with less than three minutes remaining.

The Beavers stuffed two run plays in the middle before Fouch scrambled right on third down. He saw freshman tight end Kavario Middleton in the back of the end zone, but decided to sprint to the goal line where he was stopped at the 1 by three defenders.

"We've run that football play every Thursday for probably two years and for whatever reason he saw a big opening flash and he thought he could take it in," Lappano said. "He missed that one."

Lappano said he'll review the video with Fouch and continue working with him. Without Locker, who may be out for the season with a broken right thumb, the Huskies have no other viable option.

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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