Washington Left Down and Out
Jonathan Smith doesn’t know why he seems to play so well against Washington. He’s just glad his latest effort finally produced a victory.
Smith passed for 317 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Steven Jackson ran for three scores as Oregon State pounded No. 8 Washington, 49-24, Saturday, ending a 13-game losing streak against the Huskies.
Ken Simonton added three touchdowns--two rushing and the first receiving score of his career--as the Beavers (4-5 overall, 3-4 in the Pacific 10) stayed in the hunt for a third consecutive bowl appearance by beating Washington for the first time since 1985.
It was Oregon State’s first victory at home over the Huskies since 1974, and the Beavers’ biggest margin in the series since a 40-14 win in 1951.
Oregon’s victory over UCLA left Washington (7-2, 5-2) with no chance to win the Pacific 10 championship.
“I think the Huskies looked right past us,” Oregon State linebacker Richard Seigler said. “They didn’t really look at our team, they looked at our record. And I don’t think they were ready. They came down here with a big head, and no Fiesta for them.”
Washington Coach Rick Neuheisel said his team hardly took Oregon State lightly. He knew all week that the Beavers were dangerous.
“This is a tough pill to swallow,” Neuheisel said. “It stinks. We came into this game with a chance to really have a wonderful season. We didn’t play well at a time when it matters most.”
Smith, a 5-foot-11 former walk-on from Glendora, had his breakthrough performance against the Huskies as a freshman in 1998. He came off the bench and threw for a school-record 469 yards in a 35-34 loss in Seattle.
He has started every game for the Beavers since, but he was struggling badly this season, ranking seventh in the conference in passing and throwing eight interceptions to go with his eight touchdowns.
On Saturday, Smith’s passes were sharp, and he showed some surprising mobility to buy time. He was 18 for 28 and didn’t throw an interception. And with leading receiver James Newson covered tightly, he completed passes to eight other players.
“Jonathan played probably as well as I’ve seen him play since he’s been here,” Coach Dennis Erickson said. “He was on.”
In four games against Washington, Smith has thrown for 1,339 yards and nine touchdowns.
Washington’s Cody Pickett had a miserable game, completing only 13 of 32 passes for 160 yards under heavy pressure. The Huskies’ ground game didn’t help him much, producing only 88 yards.
The Huskies trailed, 35-10, at halftime and managed only six yards in the third quarter.