UW Football Notebook | Bonnell likely choice if healthy QB needed
It was two seasons, one coach and seemingly a lifetime ago that Carl Bonnell last started a football game for Washington. Bonnell's most recent of...
Seattle Times staff reporters
It was two seasons, one coach and seemingly a lifetime ago that Carl Bonnell last started a football game for Washington.
Bonnell's most recent of two career starts for the Huskies came Oct. 9, 2004 against San Jose State, when Keith Gilbertson was still UW's coach.
Bonnell might be about to get another chance this week at California after Isaiah Stanback suffered a potentially serious foot injury during the fourth quarter of the 27-17 defeat Saturday against Oregon State at Husky Stadium.
UW coach Tyrone Willingham said it might be a few days before he can speculate as to who will start for the Huskies next week. But unofficially, the job now appears to belong to Bonnell, a Kentwood High graduate who initially signed with Washington State before transferring to UW in 2004.
"We have to get Carl ready to play," said UW linebacker Scott White. "We are confident in Carl and his ability and how he can move the team."
Bonnell played the final two series Saturday and completed two of six passes for 10 yards and was sacked three times, but UW coaches said little should be read into that performance.
"It's really hard sitting there for three quarters," said UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano. "It's a two-score game and we have to throw the ball down the field and he didn't have much time. It's a tough situation."
Bonnell was actually more prepared to play than he normally is, having taken more snaps than usual during practice this week with Stanback nursing a hip pointer.
"Getting all the reps really helped me and hopefully it will help me this week, too," said Bonnell.
Asked about potentially being the new starter, Bonnell said: "If it comes down to it this week, it's not my first time, so I will have a little knowledge of what it is going to take."
There might be some speculation that Jake Locker could enter the picture, but UW coaches appeared to put a temporary blanket on that talk. Willingham said Johnny DuRocher would be the backup if Stanback is out.
Said Lappano when asked the pecking order after Bonnell: "It's Johnny and (walk-on senior) Felix (Sweetman) right now. That's all we have left."
As for Locker, a true freshman the team has been hoping to redshirt, Lappano said "that's something that will be looked at the next week or so. But right now, I can't even comment on that."
Slow starts continue
For a play, anyway, it looked like Washington's propensity for slow starts this season wouldn't be an issue.
On UW's first play, Stanback hit Anthony Russo for a 56-yard pass — Washington's longest completion of the season.
But the drive stalled there, and UW was forced to kick a field goal. Oregon State then dominated the rest of the first quarter and took a 10-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
"I thought our guys were ready to go and were prepared, but we just physically didn't step up," Willingham said. "They just kind of mauled us taking the ball down the field (in the first quarter)."
The game continued a season-long trend as Oregon State became the fifth opponent of the Huskies to score on its first drive of the game.
UW has now been outscored 47-27 in the first quarter this season.
The third quarter has been even more problematic and it was again Saturday. UW entered having been outscored 46-17 and the Beavers outscored UW 10-0 Saturday.
Asked about the slow starts, White said: "That's been the one thing I haven't had an answer for you guys this year. I don't know. I think we are ready to play for the most part, but for whatever reason, we are starting slow."
UW injury report
Free safety Jason Wells, who suffered a concussion last Saturday against USC his second of the year did not dress. Dashon Goldson started in his place. Goldson, however, injured his ankle late in the first quarter and was replaced for the rest of the first half by junior Chris Hemphill. Goldson returned for the second half.
Willingham said Goldson's injury was to "his good ankle" and not the one he injured in the off-season.
What could have been
Oregon State defensive back Coye Francies committed to Washington last year out of junior college but changed his mind at the last minute and went to Corvallis instead.
Against Washington Saturday, Francies broke up a pass and had five tackles, including several big hits.
"I'm always physical, that's my game, but I had to show [Washington] that I'm a good player," Francies said. "I couldn't have them be like, 'I'm glad we didn't get him.'"
Home away from home
Oregon State now has won three consecutive games at Husky Stadium in the past three years.
Beavers defensive end Jeff Van Orsow, who had four tackles for loss and helped "spy" on Stanback for most of the game, said there's no real reason for the trend but said, "It's always nice to have home field away from home."
• UW quarterbacks were sacked six times, one more than the season total the Huskies had allowed heading into the game.
• Washington game captains were cornerback Matt Fountaine, guard Clay Walker, safety Dashon Goldson and receiver Sonny Shackelford.
• LB E.J. Savannah, out the last three games with a broken bone in his hand, returned to action and saw time on the nickel teams.
• Michael Gottlieb started start at tight end.
• Washington offensive coordinator Tim Lappano celebrated his 50th birthday Saturday.