UW embarrassed against Stanford
In a game that indicated that the rebuilding project of second-year coach Steve Sarkisian has a lot further to go than anyone anticipated, Stanford pushed the Huskies all over the field Saturday, with the ultimate indignity coming as Washington failed to score a single point, losing 41-0.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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For the first time in 34 years, the zero burning bright under "Huskies" on the football scoreboard at the University of Washington never changed.
In a game that indicated the rebuilding project of second-year coach Steve Sarkisian has a lot further to go than anyone on Montlake hoped, Stanford pushed the Huskies all over the field Saturday. The ultimate indignity was Washington failing to score a single point, losing 41-0.
It was the first time UW was shut out at home since a 7-0 loss to California on Nov. 6, 1976.
"I think in a sense the saying you've got to hit rock bottom before you can start going back up might hold true," Sarkisian said after the game. "We obviously hit rock bottom tonight."
Washington never got past the Stanford 42-yard line and never seriously threatened to score, gaining just 107 yards, the fewest since it managed 102 in a 58-0 loss at Oregon in 1973.
"It was definitely the worst offensive performance I have ever been associated with," Sarkisian said, adding the shutout was "extremely disappointing."
Washington has not scored since the 7:55 mark of the second quarter last week at Arizona, a stretch of 97:55 without a point. The Huskies fell to 3-5 and are in danger of seeing their bowl hopes slip away.
The Huskies need to win three of their last four to get to .500, with three of the last four on the road, beginning with a daunting game Saturday at Oregon.
Sarkisian acknowledged that the confidence of the team may be waning after three losses in its last four games, and three this season by 30 points or more.
"I think we are low, obviously, the confidence is low," Sarkisian said. "But that doesn't mean it can't be built back up. And we will do that. We will work at it, we will get better."
Sarkisian said he didn't have any firm answers for UW's struggles other than that Stanford dominated up front.
"Obviously the line of scrimmage was a big factor," he said. Otherwise, he resisted specifics.
"We are going to look at everything," he said. "When you hit a point like this, I think that the easy thing to do is to possibly make excuses or say 'this is why' or 'that is why.' I don't want to do that right now. I want to assess everything and come to some understanding of what possibly the issues are."
If there was a turning point, it was the first possession for each team. Washington took the opening kickoff and got to Stanford's 47, but a false-start penalty on Marlion Barnett turned a third-and-one into a third-and-six. The Huskies didn't get it and punted.
Stanford then faced a third-and-two at its 49 and called a timeout. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck then faked a handoff on a zone-read play and ran around UW defensive end Everrette Thompson and down the sideline for a 51-yard touchdown.
From there, the game was never in doubt.
Stanford scored touchdowns on its first four drives, marching 86, 42, 61 and 80 yards. It led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 28-0 at halftime.
Stanford had 318 yards in the first half to just 35 for the Huskies — the second straight week UW has allowed more than 300 yards in the first half.
"They ran the ball and controlled the line of scrimmage," said safety Nate Fellner. "They just set the pace. They controlled every possession, that's what it seemed like."
Bad as the defense was, the offense was worse as UW had zero yards rushing in the first half and just 19 for the game.
"I think we just weren't very sound everywhere," said quarterback Jake Locker. "I know I made a few mistakes and things that really cost us in some big times in the game, missed a few throws that would have possibly given us drives earlier in the game that could have changed the outcome of it. It's frustrating."
Locker, though, had little time to throw, a major contributing factor as he was just 7 of 14 for a season-low 64 yards, badly outdueled in what was a highly publicized matchup with Luck, each considered possible first-round NFL draft picks next spring.
And when it had ended, everyone was left to wonder what had happened to the team that four weeks ago had danced happily on the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after what seemed like a turning-point win over USC.
"I don't know what happened," Locker said. "I thought we had a great week of preparation. I thought we were ready to play. And for one reason or another, it just didn't come together today."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
|Nothing at all|
|Since the start of the 1960 season, UW has had 16 shutout losses. Here are the worst defeats in that stretch.|
|Oct. 27, 1973||at Oregon||58-0|
|Nov. 1, 2008||at USC||56-0|
|Oct. 11, 1975||at Alabama||52-0|
|Nov. 11, 1967||at UCLA||48-0|
|Oct. 30, 2010||Stanford||41-0|
|Oct. 23, 2004||at USC||38-0|
|Oct. 9, 1965||USC||34-0|
|Nov. 7, 1981||at UCLA||31-0|
|Oct. 14, 1972||at Stanford||24-0|
|Nov. 23, 1968||WSU||24-0|
Information in this article, originally published Oct. 30, 2010, was corrected Oct. 31, 2010. A previous version of this story incorrectly identified De'Shon Matthews as the defensive end in Stanford's 51-yard touchdown. The correct player is Everrette Thompson. The story was originally accompanied by a second chart that was incorrect. It has been removed.