Revenge not sought, but it would be sweet

  • JOHN SLEEPER / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, October 11, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By JOHN SLEEPER

Herald Writer

SEATTLE – Many look back at Washington’s defeat at UCLA a year ago as the one that knocked the Huskies out of the Rose Bowl chase last season, but the 28-7 loss at home to Arizona State was just as damaging and even more shocking.

And, while the Huskies are shrugging off any suggestions that Saturday’s game against the Sun Devils is about revenge, the memory is fresh.

In 1999, the Sun Devils suffered an embarrassing loss to New Mexico State, 35-7, lost to lowly Cal, 24-23 and had just come off a 48-17 defeat at Notre Dame. So it was of little surprise when the Huskies took their first drive eight plays and 87 yards for a touchdown.

The trouble for the Huskies was, that would be the only points they would get.

“The first drive was very disconcerting,” Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder said. “That was a terrible way to begin a football game. But Washington helped us a bit, with the ball being on the ground.”

Seven times, to be exact. Washington lost six fumbles, which tied a school record.

“We had played pretty efficiently going into the game,” UW coach Rick Neuheisel said. “Then, for whatever reason, we didn’t take care of the ball and let a game that should have been very close get away from us. We’ve got to understand that and not let it happen again.”

Despite having lost three fumbles in the second quarter, the Huskies still had a chance to go ahead in the third. On fourth-and-goal on the Sun Devils’ 1-yard line, the Huskies tried an option pitch to Willie Hurst to the right-hand side, but Solomon Bates, Courtney Jackson and Adam Archuleta swarmed him, and ASU took over.

“We broke them,” Bates said. “We killed their spirit.”

Although Washington would eventually go on to beat Cal, Stanford and Arizona the next three weeks and were in the driver’s seat for a Rose Bowl berth, the Huskies could have absorbed the UCLA loss had they not turned in a bafflingly inept performance against the Sun Devils.

“We’re not thinking about last year,” quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo said. “That was last year and this is this year. We have to approach it like that. If we concentrate on getting revenge, we lose focus on the things we have to do.”

  • Trejo makes switch: Ankle and shoulder injuries, along with some great young talent at linebacker led to ASU’s Stephen Trejo to switch from linebacker to fullback.

    Trejo, who missed four games in 1999 because of assorted injuries, appeared to be relegated to being a backup to either Solomon Bates at middle linebacker or Eric Fields at strongside linebacker. But the coaching staff came up with the idea of moving Trejo to fullback. Trejo bulked up 16 pounds to 252, and seems to be settling in.

    It was the same move the Sun Devils made last year with Terrelle Smith, who performed so well there that he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round.

    ASU has used Trejo as a glorified guard, blocking for the tailbacks. However, he has had the odd carry and also has been used as a receiver.

    “I can’t complain about how things have turned out,” Trejo said. “Hopefully, this year things will go better and I’ll have a little better luck.”

  • Johnson may return: Freshman defensive end Terry Johnson, who was declared academically ineligible in fall camp, might rejoin the Huskies soon.

    Neuheisel said the conflict with Johnson’s high school transcripts is being reviewed by the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse, which will have a hearing on the matter Tuesday. If the Clearinghouse rules in Johnson’s favor, he would be immediately eligible.

  • Short routes: ASU quarterbacks have thrown 11 touchdown passes this season. The Devils had just 14 last season … ASU linebacker Terrell Suggs is tied for second in the Pacific-10 Conference with five sacks and has 10 tackles for loss. He is a true freshman who turned 18 years old Wednesday.

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