The top postgame topic was the Huskies ongoing problems in the third quarter ... including the 21-0 Sun Devils explosion that put away UW tonight.
Unfortunately, no one really sees an answer. They don't seem to think it's bad adjustments. So they seem to think it's the team coming out of the locker room with a lapse in focus. But why? They seem mystified, too.
Players after the game seemed more down than angry... who knows what's the right reponse. The problem is this is a fourth stright loss, and the worst of the bunch, and with Oregon coming in next week, it isn't difficult to see this season slipping away unless something dramatic happens to turn it.
Meanwhile, two names were added to the injury list: offensive tackle Ben Ossai (ankle) and receiver Quintin Daniels (sprained knee). No prognosis on either.
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Here's some of what the Huskies had to say:
On the third quarter problems
WILLINGHAM: It's obviously a difficult thing to talk about because I don't have a solution to it. I thought we were poised and in good position to have a good third quarter. … I really don't know how to explain it, but we're going to find some way to get it solved.
... I don't necessarily know that our adjustments hurt us as much as our mental mistakes. Defensively we gave up a couple of gaps and a couple of missed tackles. … I'm always a believe that it's everything. As coaches we've got to find ways to put our guys in better position. that's what coaching is. But at the same time we also have to find a way as players to make plays.
DAN HOWELL: We've got to make plays at the right time. We have our opportunities and we're just not making them. There's no explanation why that happens, why that doesn'thappen. When we have our opportunities, it's not coming out our way. ... (The halftime) energy in the locker room is high. We listen to the coaches, get the adjustments in. It's just a matter of not starting the second half as fast and focused as the first.
JAKE LOCKER: I don't know. It's something we've got to work on and figure out a way to fix. That's where we lost that game. We had the ball, we had a chance to really swing the momentum in our favor and we didn't do that.
Maybe we come out to flat. I don't know. We have to come out like it's 0-0, 0-0 at halftime and then maybe we'll come out and do what we need to do.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TIM LAPPANO: We came out and we had a lot of good things we still could have done in the third quarter. And then we shoot ourselves in the foot a little bit. We're our own worst enemy with two back to back procedures and a hold and just kill ourselves. Then it becomes field position.
You can't go out there and come up with zero in the third quarter against competition like this. They're too good a football team … to be playing catch-up in the fourth quarter and they know you've got to throw it and you get out of your game plan. It's just to hard.
(On no UW points in the third quarter since the opener at Syracuse) There's got to be a lack of focus. When you have those penalties, that's focus. (blocker not on kick team… how can you be focused) Back to back procedures. It can't be that loud out there was it.
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR KENT BAER ON THE LONG ASU RUNS:
Missed tackling. It's frustrating. When you give those things up it's tough.
You don't become 7-0 without being really good. They've got some veteran guys and a quarterback who understands the game. But we certainly didn't play our best.
J.R. HASTY on getting to play:
It felt great to be out there, be able to contribute to the team, feel like I'm doing something. ... I felt I did alright. I missed one blitz where Jake had to scramble and threw an incomplete pass.
LOUIS RANKIN on the mood of the team:
It was a game we should have won, I felt just like the rest of the games. ... A lot of guys are frustrated. We feel like this was a game we should have won, but we didn't get it done today.
Definitely it can be turned around tomorrow.
MARCELL REECE on his TD catch:
We practiced it all week. We come out here and execute on Saturday, and that's what we did on that play. I wish we could have did it on a couple of more plays, but we didn't do that. That's part of the game.
Jake throws a nice deep ball. Like I said, we practiced it all week. When you practice it all week, you expect to make those plays. … In this game you have to improvise. That's one of those times you have to improvise and be a pro: keep both feet in, sliding, get a touchdown.
DARIN HARRIS on his performance on his first start
I missed a lot of key tackles and it hurts.
And other notes from the game:
Player of the game
Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter completed 20 of 31 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Despite his reputation as a relatively immobile quarterback, he often bought time by moving out of the pocket, mostly notably on a third-quarter 21-yard touchdown to Rudy Burgess that put ASU ahead to stay.
Husky of the game
Tailback Louis Rankin had his best game since the opener at Syracuse, combining speed and occasional power on 11 carries for 80 yards. He also caught two passes, if only for 4 yards.
Washington had a 17-13 lead and the first possession of the second half. However, on that possession, quarterback Jake Locker was sacked, lost the ball, and ASU linebacker Mike Nixon recovered at the UW 34. Seconds later, ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter scrambled out of trouble and found receiver Rudy Burgess behind the defense and just in bounds for a 21-yard touchdown that moved the Sun Devils ahead for good, 20-17.
Ten points in 20 seconds
Late in the first half, the Huskies scored 10 points in 20 seconds. The sequence began with a 24-yard Ryan Perkins field goal, which was followed by a first-down interception by Darin Harris, and then a 32-yard touchdown run by Jake Locker. The flurry moved UW from trailing, 10-7 with 4:32 left in the half, to leading 17-10 at the 4:11 mark.
Washington's first touchdown came on a 36-yard post pattern from Jake Locker to Marcel Reece. The ball came down on Reece's fingertips, and he managed to snag it cleanly while getting his foot and knee down just before reaching the back of the end zone.
The Sun Devils are the second-most penalized team in the Pacific-10 Conference, and it cost them on their first possession. Tailback Ryan Torain made a sweet spin move on his way to an apparent 11-yard touchdown run, but a holding penalty on receiver Jovon Williams wiped it off the board and the Sun Devils eventually settled for a field goal.
As expected, Darin Harris started at safety in place of the injured Jason Wells. However, freshman Mason Foster got a surprise start – the first of his career – at what has traditionally been E.J. Savannah's linebacking spot. Similarly, Jordan White-Frisbee was a surprise starter at guard in place of Casey Bulyca. Both Savannah and Bulyca both were soon restored to their familiar positions. … As promised, the coaches got Louis Rankin a breather, substituting J.R. Hasty and eventually Brandon Johnson. … Starting ASU tailback Ryan Torain went out with a foot injury.
UW has been outscored 56-0 in the third-quarter of their four losses. … On ASU's first drive, UW cornerback Byron Davenport recorded his first career sack. ... UW hasn't committed double-digit penalties in any of their 29 games under coach Tyrone Willingham. … Darin Harris' second-quarter interception was the Huskies' seventh of the season, and by seven different players. … ASU has at least one interception in nine straight games. … At 7-0, ASU is already bowl eligible and assured of a non-losing season. The Sun Devils haven't suffered back-to-back losing seasons in 59 years, the fourth longest active streak in the nation. … Keegan Herring's 76-yard touchdown run was ASU's longest since 1999. … UW captains were Jordan Reffett, Dan Howell, Juan Garcia and Paul Homer.
4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oregon, Husky Stadium.