Pickett Guides Purple Squad to Win in UW Spring Game
April 26, 2003
Seattle - Washington senior quarterback Cody Pickett teamed up with All-America wide receiver Reggie Williams for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to guide the Purple Team to a 21-19 victory against the White Team in Washington's annual Spring Football Game before a crowd of 7,000 at Husky Stadium.
Pickett, who set a Washington and Pac-10 passing record last year with 4,458-passing yards, completed 10 of 20 passes for 131 yards. Williams was on the receiving end of five of those throws for 70 yards.
Much of Washington's Spring Game pitted the number-one offense against the number-one defense and the number-two offense against the number-two defense.
'It's always difficult to be completely satisfied after a Spring Game, because every time you do something well, you worry that maybe it's because the other side wasn't doing something well,' said Husky coach Rick Neuheisel. 'The two teams didn't try to trick each other today. We just wanted to come at people and run the ball, to see who could stay on blocks and sustain blocks.'
Redshirt freshman running back Shelton Sampson carried the ball 14 times for the two teams during the game and rushed for 50 yards. His biggest play was a 53-yard score in the first quarter on a screen pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Isiah Stanback. Junior tailback Chris Singleton finished the game with 10 carries for 11 yards while Scott Ballew had 13 carries for 35 yards. Both players competed for both the Purple and White teams.
'I was just trying to figure out my running patterns, my running style, and me and coach (Chuck) Heater had a lot of things to talk about,' Sampson said. 'We've got a whole summer to work out, and whole summer to get bigger, a whole summer to get a little bit faster. I've got a lot to still learn about pass blocking, that's one of the things I'm really trying to key in on next year. I'm focusing on my vision. I did a little bit better today. I still need to pick it up a little better. We've got some work to do this summer.'
The Huskies practiced this spring without starting tailback Rich Alexis who sat out due to shoulder surgery. Redshirt freshman Kenny James missed most of spring drills after suffering a sprained knee during the team's first scrimmage.
'I don't have a first-team tailback,' Neuheisel said. 'I'm going to wait and see who takes it. No one just seized the job and said, 'It's mine,' but certainly no one took themselves out of the running. We're going to see how Rich Alexis and Kenny James respond in the next few months, and see if anyone wants to take that job and run with it.
Stanback was also impressive running the ball out of the option, leading the White squad with 33 rushing yards on six carries. He scored on a 16-yard run in the third quarter to give the White squad a 16-14 lead.
'I thought it was a great day for Isaiah,' Neuheisel said. 'By saying that, I don't mean to imply that he's the No. 2 [quarterback], because I thought Casey (Paus) did some good things, too. We've got a little bit of a mismatch with our backup wide receivers against our second-team corners. The quarterbacks that don't get to throw to Reggie Williams and Charles Frederick don't have the same kind of weapons. Isaiah certainly showed his elusiveness and ability, but he also showed that he's raw. There were some young mistakes that were made, but there are certainly reasons for optimism. Both had productive springs, both improved, and we'll see how it goes in the fall.
'I was nervous man,' Stanback said. 'When we first came out there and coach called out who was going to play quarterback first my heart was just beating as soon as I got the call. I never played in front of this many people. Once I got out there I kind of just blocked it out, calmed down, and just started going with it.
'I think I did well up until the two turnovers. My goal was to come out here with no turnovers, but like I said, I know what I did wrong so I can make those corrections.'
Husky cornerback Roc Alexander came up with the day's biggest plays. He returned a first-quarter kickoff 92 yards for a score and later returned an interception 45 yards.
On the defensive side, senior defensive tackle Jerome Stevens had seven tackles, including two sacks. Defensive end Manase Hopoi sacked the quarterback three times during the game. Redshirt freshman Scott White was also impressive in totaling eight tackles and picking off one pass.
'For us to be the best football team we can be, we need Jerome to be a great player, and we've talked to him about how he can become that,' Neuheisel said. 'I'm looking forward to him accepting that challenge.'
Overall Neuheisel was pleased with the strides the team made during the spring.
'The players concluded spring practices with the notion that we are going to be a physical team, Neuheisel said. 'We have the makings of a good football team that be a contender for the crown in this conference.'
Washington Spring Football Game
1st 2nd 3rd 4th TotalWhite 6 0 13 0 19Purple 14 0 0 7 21
1 Purple - Singleton 1-yard run, 4:14 (Knudson kick)
1 White - Sampson 53-yard pass from Stanback, 1:32 (DoValle kick failed)
1 Purple - Alexander 92-yard kickoff return, 1:29 (Knudson kick)
3 White - Knudson 38-yard field goal, 6:24
3 White - Stanback 16-yard run, 3:14 (Hoefer kick)
3 White - Knudson 40-yard field goal, 0:00
4 Purple - Williams 27-yard pass from Pickett, 9:55 (Knudson kick)
Purple Team Statistics
A G L Net TD LGStanback 6 33 0 33 1 16Sampson 8 26 3 23 0 8Ballew 5 23 0 23 0 6Singleton 2 6 0 6 0 4Eriks 3 4 0 4 0 2Seery 1 3 0 3 0 3Paus 5 0 15 -15 0 -1
A-C-I Yds TD LGStanback 9-4-1 82 1 53Paus 12-6-0 81 0 34
No Yds TD LGSampson 3 72 1 53Heater 1 34 0 34Tuiasosopo 1 16 0 16Ballew 1 12 0 12Griffith 1 9 0 9Seery 1 8 0 8Ramsey 1 8 0 8Slye 1 4 0 4
No Yds Avg LGErickson 1 28 28.0 28Woldeit 2 51 25.5 32
Att Made LGKnudson 2 2 40DoValle 1 0 --
No Yds LGMichener 2 27 16
No Yds LGWhite 1 6 6Alexander 1 45 45Newell 1 6 6
White Team Statistics
A G L Net TD LGSampson 6 19 2 17 0 7Sweetman 5 21 6 15 0 18Ballew 8 17 5 12 0 7Singleton 8 6 1 5 1 2Eriks 1 3 0 3 0 3Tuiasosopo 1 3 0 3 0 3Seery 1 2 0 2 0 2Pickett 5 0 32 -32 0 -4
A- C-I Yds TD LGPickett 10-10-2 131 1 31Sweetman 4- 2-0 27 0 22
No Yds TD LGWilliams 5 70 1 27Lyon 1 31 0 31Crutchley 2 22 0 22Bandel 1 18 0 18Frederick 1 9 0 9Tuiasosopo 1 5 0 5Baber 1 5 0 5Singleton 1 -2 0 -2
No Yds Avg LGClay 2 56 28.0 28Erickson 2 50 25.0 30
No Yds LGAlexander 1 82 82Ballew 2 48 35Fountaine 1 16 16Godinez 1 3 3
No Yds LGFrederick 1 11 11Ballew 1 4 4
Tackling Leaders (Combinded)
UT AT TOT TFL SACKWhite 6 2 8 1-1 0-0Warren 5 2 7 0-0 0-0Stevens 7 0 7 1-3 2-10Krambrink 4 1 5 0-0 1-1Lobendahn 3 2 5 1-1 0-0Hopoi 3 1 4 0-0 3-16Newberry 3 1 4 0-0 0-0Jones 2 2 4 0-0 0-0McEvoy 3 1 4 0-0 0-0Ala 4 0 4 0-0 1-3