Huskies Still Rose Bowl-Hopeful

Nov. 15, 2000

SEATTLE (AP) - Sixth-ranked Washington still has a shot at the Rose Bowl as it travels toPullman to face Washington State in the Apple Cup on Saturday.

The Huskies (9-1, 6-1 Pac 10) would need a little help from No. 8 OregonState. The Beavers are playing No. 5 Oregon, who currently hold the Pac-10lead, and need a win themselves for a share in the Bowl Championship Series.

UCLA had been a big stumbling block for the Huskies, having beatenWashington for the past four years, including a win last year that knockedWashington out of contention for the Rose Bowl.

But this last weekend the Huskies beat the Bruins in Los Angeles, 35-28, fortheir sixth straight Pac-10 win.

In a real see-saw match, which saw the lead constantly flip, Washingtonalmost lost it when they couldn't get a first down with just 27 seconds left inthe game and turned the ball over to the Bruins, up by 7.

'It would have been nice to have made that first down instead of making itexciting again,' second-year coach Rick Neuheisel said.

The Huskies have had to come from behind in the final quarter to beatCalifornia, Stanford and Arizona the previous three weeks.

Washington scored on its first two possessions, as freshman Rich Alexis had75 yards on seven carries in the first quarter.

'In the second half, my shoulder felt very sore, but at this point in theseason, you've just got to suck it up,' Alexis said, after an x-ray came backnegative and he returned to the game.

Washington junior wide receiver Willie Hurst broke his collarbone on thefirst play of the second half on a 62-yard run, which would set up the firstscore of the third quarter, and will not play this weekend in the Apple Cup.But Neuheisel is confident he'll be back for whichever bowl game the Huskiesare called.

But for as many close wins the Huskies have had, the Washington StateCougars (4-6, 2-5) have had close losses. They are 2-4 in games that have beendecided by less than a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman Matt Kegel threw for 242 yards and a touchdown and made nomajor mistakes as Washington State beat Southern California 33-27 on Saturdaynight.

'All I can say is that the Huskies better look out, because we're coming toget them next week,' Kegel said.

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