Stanford, Washington Look to Stay In Pac-10 Race

Nov 2, 2001

Seatle, WA (AP) - It hasn't mattered lately whether senior Randy Fasani orbackup Chris Lewis takes the snaps for Stanford.

Fasani and Lewis played tag-team quarterback in an upset of Oregon two weeksago. Lewis led the way last week in a shocking 38-28 win by Stanford (5-1, 4-1Pac-10) over UCLA while Fasani was on the sideline with a sprained right knee.

It gave the Cardinal consecutive wins over top-five teams for the first timein school history.

The No. 10 Cardinal's quarterback situation is a lot like that of No. 11Washington (6-1, 4-1 Pac-10).

It will be a tale of two teams with two capable quarterbacks when they playSaturday at Husky Stadium, one of two key Pac-10 games this weekend inWashington state.

Along with the UCLA-Washington State matchup in Pullman, theStanford-Washington game will help to clear up the clutter in the conferencestandings. All four teams have only one loss, along with No. 8 Oregon, whichplays at home against Arizona State.

'It's huge,' said Washington nose tackle Larry Tripplett, who will have toattempt to slow down Lewis. 'A lot's going to happen this weekend.'

Lewis, a redshirt sophomore, came in for Fasani in a 49-42 win over Oregontwo weeks ago. In the two wins the last two Saturdays, he has completed 32 of45 passes for 432 yards and five touchdowns.

Fasani is out again this week. Can Lewis do it again?

'I'm a different player than I was a year ago,' the 6-foot-3, 215-poundLewis said. 'I've had some tough games on the road under my belt, and I'm moremature.

'We know we're as good as anybody in the country. If we play the way wecan, we know we'll win every time.'

Washington's Cody Pickett is just as confident. He will tell you he wants tothrow the ball 40 times every game. He often gets that chance, too.

During one stretch in the first half of last weekend's 33-31 win overArizona State, Pickett passed 13 straight times and on 15 of 16 snaps. He threwfor 252 yards. The week before against Arizona, he passed 49 times for 455yards.

'Whatever the defense gives us,' Pickett said. 'We're going to try totake what's there.'

Backup Taylor Barton is a solid replacement who has stepped in and led theHuskies to victory when Pickett separated his throwing shoulder.

It would seem Lewis has the bigger task Saturday. Stanford hasn't won inSeattle in 26 years, and Washington has a 12-game home winning streak - thelongest in the conference.

Washington coach Rick Neuheisel won't hear of it, though. He's concernedabout Lewis. He's concerned about everyone in the red and white.

Stanford is off to its best start since 1992.

'I don't see a scaled-back version of Stanford's offense,' Neuheisel saidof the team's look with Lewis in the game.

Washington finally got its running attack going in last week's victory overArizona State, with Willie Hurst rushing for 185 yards. Still, Washington rankseighth in the conference in rushing at 119.1 yards per game.

'As an offensive line, we feel the finger is pointed at us,' tackle KhalifBarnes said. 'We had to come out and respond. Without a running game, youcan't win games.'

But Stanford's veteran defense has shown it can stop the run. It's the bestdefensive unit in the Pac-10 against the run, allowing only 93 yards per game.

The Cardinal held UCLA star DeShaun Foster, the conference's leading rusher,to 77 yards on 21 carries. He came into the game as the nation's top rusher andis now fourth.

'It is a very well choreographed defensive unit that looks to stop yourunning the ball, force you to beat them by throwing, and then makes plays onthe ball,' Neuheisel said. 'There isn't a more opportunistic defense in thecountry.'


AP Sports Writer

Now on Pac-12 Network
7:45 AM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
Get Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder