No. 12/15 Huskies Squeeze Past 'Cats, 31-28

Oct 20, 2001


AP Sports Writer

SEATTLE - Two weeks after separating his throwing shoulder, CodyPickett ran 3 yards for the winning touchdown with 13 seconds left asWashington managed yet another amazing fourth-quarter comeback, beating Arizona31-28 Saturday.

Pickett threw touchdown passes of 78 and 75 yards in the first quarter andfinished 29-of-49 for a career-high 455 yards, with three touchdowns and fourinterceptions.

The Huskies (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10) overcame five turnovers to bounce back fromtheir first loss in 13 games. They haven't lost two straight since coach RickNeuheisel's first two games in 1999.

Arizona is winless in four Pac-10 games and has lost nine straightconference games. For the second straight year, the Wildcats (3-4, 0-4 Pac-10)surrendered a fourth-quarter lead at Husky Stadium.

The Huskies got the ball back with 2:18 to go after Arizona was forced topunt following Ben Mahdavi's quarterback sack.

Washington started the game-winning drive on its own 45. Pickett completed a19-yard pass to Todd Elstrom, then ran for 6 yards.

He then threw a 27-yard completion to Kevin Ware to set up first-and-goal onthe 3. But the Huskies were called for a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty.

On first down from the 8, Michael Jolivette batted down a pass by Pickettintended for Reggie Williams in the end zone. Then Pickett completed a 5-yardpass to Todd Elstrom to get back to the 3.

On third down, with less than 25 seconds on the game clock, Pickett fakedand took the ball to his right into the end zone.

Roc Alexander ran back a kickoff 74 yards to Arizona's 15 with 5 minutesleft, but the Huskies again struggled in the red zone and settled for a 39-yardfield goal by John Anderson that made it 28-24.

Arizona broke a 21-all tie on Clarence Farmer's 16-yard scoring run with5:18 left. Farmer ran for 147 yards on 21 carries.

The Wildcats lost starting quarterback Jason Johnson to a concussion on thesecond-to-last play of the first quarter. Johnson ran for 10 yards onthird-and-6 and was brought down on a hard hit by free safety Wondame Davis.

Johnson stayed in for two more plays and was 7-for-10 for 80 yards and twotouchdowns before being replaced by backup John Rattay.

Rattay completed 9 of 18 passes and ran for his first career touchdown with12:30 left in the third quarter to tie it at 21.

It was Pickett's best start since he was selected Marques Tuiasosopo'ssuccessor during spring drills. But until the strong-throwing sophomore tookthe field for Washington's first offensive series, there was still somequestion whether he would start.

Pickett practiced all week but was still undergoing daily treatments on hisshoulder. Neuheisel said it would be a game-day decision on who would startbecause backup Taylor Barton also was banged up. Starting in place of Pickettagainst UCLA on Oct. 13, Barton suffered a concussion and a sprained left footin the 35-13 loss to the Bruins. Freshman Casey Paus also was considered toplay Saturday though he hasn't appeared in a game all year.

Pickett completed six of his first nine passes for 212 yards and threetouchdowns in the first quarter.

He struggled in the second half, however. Jermaine Chatman intercepted twoof Pickett's passes.

Early in the fourth quarter, Pickett again had the Huskies in the red zone,but had a pass attempt tipped back to him off an Arizona defender for aminus-11 yard completion to himself on third down. Then John Anderson missedwide right on a 35-yard field-goal attempt with 14:07 left.

Paul Arnold continues to shine in his new position for the Huskies. Heswitched from tailback to receiver this season, and made seven catches for 138yards, including the 78-yarder from Pickett for a first-quarter touchdown.Pickett's 75-yard scoring pass was caught by Patrick Reddick.

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