Huskies Downed By Nevada 28-17
By TIM KORTE
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE - It was a huge win for the Nevada Wolf Pack - and an even bigger victory for coach Chris Tormey.
Andy Heiser threw three touchdown passes, defensive tackle Chris Barry blocked two field-goal attempts and rush end Jorge Cordova had five sacks as Nevada stunned Washington 28-17 on Saturday.
The win brought a measure of satisfaction for Tormey, a former Huskies assistant credited with recruiting Mark Brunell and Napoleon Kaufman to Seattle. He interviewed for the Washington job before Rick Neuheisel was hired in 1999.
'There were a lot of mixed emotions for me coming back to Husky Stadium,' Tormey said. 'But I was focused on my team and what was going on between the lines. I guess the magnitude of this victory really hasn't sunk in yet.'
He knew it was a grand experience, though, arguably the biggest win ever for the Wolf Pack and certainly the school's biggest since Nevada moved up from Division I-AA to I-A for the 1992 season.
'This is by far our biggest win at Nevada and one of the highlights of my career,' Tormey said.
The schools met for the first game since Washington's 2-0 victory in 1903.
Judging from the outcome, the Huskies won't care to see the Wolf Pack (4-2) for another 100 years. Nevada of the Western Athletic Conference outplayed the Huskies (3-3) of the Pac-10 in every facet.
'We got beat in every phase of the game - offense, defense and special teams,' Huskies coach Keith Gilbertson said. 'Nevada outplayed us and they won the game. We played poorly in every department.'
Washington's problems started with Heiser, who completed 19 of 29 passes for 299 yards with one interception.
'In the last 10 or 20 years, this is probably one of our biggest wins,' Heiser said. 'We knew we could do it the whole time, too. One of the keys was that we felt confident we could compete.'
Maurice Mann caught seven passes for 168 yards, including a 25-yard TD.
At the final gun, Nevada players raised their arms and charged the field while a small section of Wolf Pack fans, who braved a chilly rain for much of the day, stood in the west end zone stands and celebrated.
Nevada defenders sacked Washington's Cody Pickett eight times, with Cordova doing most of the work while also blocking a field goal and forcing a fumble. Barry had both of his blocked kicks in the first half.
'The three blocked kicks were huge,' Tormey said.
Washington had 19 first downs by halftime but trailed 14-7 after struggling with scoring opportunities for the second straight game. The Huskies were outscored 39-0 in the second half of a 46-16 loss last weekend at UCLA.
'Great four-man pass rush, great coverage in the secondary,' Cordova said, explaining how Nevada kept Pickett on the run. 'Just two things that every team has. Nothing special.'
It was Washington's first nonconference loss at home since Air Force won 31-21 at Husky Stadium on Sept. 18, 1999, a 10-game streak. Since 1980, the Huskies are 45-6 at home against nonconference opponents.
Pickett completed 19 of 37 passes for 337 yards but threw three interceptions - one returned 37 yards for a TD by Chris Handy in the first quarter. The loss also spoiled a 120-yard rushing effort by tailback Rich Alexis.
'We all need to take a look in the mirror, everybody as an individual,' Alexis said. 'You can't point out certain people. We all need to look at what we each need to do to get things rolling again.'
The Wolf Pack led 28-10 late in the third quarter after Heiser's 7-yard TD pass to Talib Wise.
That capped a five-play, 93-yard drive that followed an apparent interception by Washington's Jimmy Newell inside Nevada's 30. The Huskies, though, were penalized for defensive holding.
'We stunk out there today,' linebacker Greg Carothers said. 'You can't say much else.'
Washington pulled to 28-17 less than a minute later on a 52-yard scoring play from Pickett to Reggie Williams.
The Huskies then forced a punt and took over with 11:05 on the clock. Just as they reached field goal range, Cordova sacked Pickett again to force another fumble that was recovered by Nevada's Logan Carter.
Heiser also threw an 8-yard scoring pass to tight end Anthony Pudewell for a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter.
The Wolf Pack had the upset in hand when Marlon McLaughlin intercepted a deep throw by Pickett at midfield with 3:03 to play. McLaughlin held All-America receiver Reggie Williams to three catches for 77 yards.
'I have to give credit to my coaching staff,' McLaughlin said. 'We defended him real well, and at times we sent double coverage to him. Once things started going bad for him, I could see the frustration.'