Oct. 19, 2001
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE - Kyle Benn is looking for No. 15 Washington to get a quick lead and avoid having to stage yet another amazing fourth-quarter comeback.
The Huskies have come from behind to win three times in the final quarter this year and did it five times in last year's 11-1 Rose Bowl season.
"It's kind of a flaw of this team to kind of feel the other team out for a series or two instead of just going at them," said Benn, the team's center.
Chances seem good that they could jump on Arizona.
The Wildcats are winless in the Pac-10 and have lost eight straight conference games heading into Saturday's game against the Huskies.
But Benn says that doesn't matter.
When the teams met last year in Husky Stadium, Arizona took a 25-13 lead into the fourth quarter, but lost 35-32.
"Arizona's a talented team that's had some bad luck," he said. "And everybody comes out playing hard against us. We're going to have to re-examine ourselves and get our old attitude back."
UCLA came out playing so hard last week that Washington was out of the game barely after it started. The Bruins handed the Huskies (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10) their first loss since Sept. 30, 2000, last week at the Rose Bowl, snapping a 12-game winning streak.
The stingy UCLA defense beat up the Huskies' second quarterback in the process. Already without starter Cody Pickett, who suffered a separated right shoulder Oct. 6 against Southern Cal, backup Taylor Barton was hospitalized with a concussion after making his first career start.
Barton hasn't practiced all week, and Pickett's status is still in question for Saturday. He has been undergoing therapy - workouts followed by ice treatments - three times a day. On game days, he can have a cortisone shot.
Coach Rick Neuheisel reiterated Thursday it probably would be a game-day decision on who will take snaps.
"It remains to be seen," Neuheisel said earlier this week. "We've got two great quarterbacks and both have played well, but they're both a little banged up."
He also could choose to go with No. 3 quarterback Casey Paus, the freshman younger brother of UCLA quarterback Cory Paus. But Paus has not played all season, and using him would take away his redshirt year.
"If Casey's the QB, we'll have to find a way to win with Casey," Neuheisel said.
The Wildcats (3-3, 0-3 Pac-10) have some defensive players who could give the Huskies fits.
Defensive end Alex Luna returned from knee surgery two weeks ago and led the Wildcats in tackles last week with nine. And linebacker Lance Briggs ranks second in the conference with 9.8 tackles per game. Arizona has allowed only nine quarterback sacks in six games.
The Wildcats managed only a field goal in a 38-3 loss last week at Oregon State and gave up 63 points the previous week in losing to Oregon.
"It is not a matter of just playing with more emotion or more effort, but you have to be doing the right things at that time," coach John Mackovic said. "You improve by putting one foot in front of the other, not trying to leap."
Quarterback Jason Johnson has thrown six interceptions in his past three games, and his team has turned the ball over eight times in its last two games, including five against Oregon.
Mackovic has chosen to stay with Johnson this week, rather than benching him in favor of John Rattay or Cliff Watkins.
Arizona has been outscored 149-52 in its last three losses.
Mackovic hopes to get the ball to Bobby Wade, the team's most dangerous receiver. Wade, who had just two catches against Oregon State, is facing added pressure as opposing secondaries start to key on him. He has 24 catches for 318 yards and three touchdowns.