Dawg Bowl: Huskies prepare for No. 1 Miami, eye Holiday Bowl invite

  • John Sleeper / Herald Writer
  • Monday, November 19, 2001 9:00pm
  • Sports

By John Sleeper

Herald Writer

SEATTLE – The Holiday Bowl extended an invitation to the University of Washington Monday, with a slight provision.

Amid news that Bowl Championship Series officials did not release the Huskies from consideration to be in their at-large slots, the Huskies will have to wait until probably next Monday to officially accept.

That the Huskies will not go to the Dec. 28 bowl game in San Diego seems a remote possibility. In order for Washington to grab one of five remaining at-large bids, the Huskies would have to beat top-ranked Miami Saturday and Oregon would have to defeat Oregon State Dec. 1.

Even then, other teams ahead of No. 5 Oregon in the BCS standings – No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Miami, No. 3 Oklahoma or No. 4 Florida – would have to falter for the Ducks to go to the BCS title game in the Rose Bowl. Oregon, as the Pacific-10 Conference champion, has clinched a berth in the Fiesta Bowl, probably against the Big Ten champion, likely Michigan.

Should the Ducks elevate to the Rose Bowl, the Huskies would replace them in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Huskies would play the No. 3 team from the Big 12 Conference, likely either Colorado, Texas A&M or Texas.

But first: The Huskies said they were thrilled to play Miami, the top-ranked team in the nation in both major polls.

“This is why we all came to Washington, to play in the big games,” quarterback Cody Pickett said. “We’re going to be hyped up and ready to go.”

The Huskies, ranked 12th, come into the game as 25-point underdogs, but don’t appear to be paying attention to any numbers coming out of Las Vegas.

“I look at it as more of a compliment to them,” linebacker Ben Mahdavi said. “For us, it’s a motivation and a challenge, rather than a slap in the face. This is going to be like a bowl game for us.”

Any bowl’s cool: UW coach Rick Neuheisel criticized WSU players for some post-Apple Cup comments about not wanting to return to Seattle for the Seattle Bowl Dec. 27.

“I guarantee you that the people who are putting on the Seattle Bowl are doing everything they can to make sure the two programs that are fortunate enough to come here have the time of their lives,” Neuheisel said. “For some of the young players to comment as though it were less than a great post-season venue I thought was really unfortunate.”

Short routes: UW receiver Reggie Williams was named the Pac-10’s Offensive Player of the Week for his 11-catch, 203-yard performance Saturday in Washington’s 26-14 win over Washington State. … Washington hasn’t faced a No. 1 team since losing to USC, 34-7, on Oct. 21, 1972. … The Huskies are in line for a bowl game for the seventh straight season, the longest such streak among Pac-10 teams. … Washington finished up 6-2 in conference play, but were outscored 237-227 by its league opponents. … The Huskies are 13-for-16 on fourth down. … UW officials said about 2,500 UW fans will be making the trip to the Orange Bowl Saturday. … The Huskies will leave for Miami Friday morning. Although they were to fly out on a Thursday when the game was originally scheduled for Sept. 15, Neuheisel said the 8 p.m. EST kickoff allowed the team to travel on Friday.

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