Washington Defense Hand No. 22 Boise State Its First Loss Since 2005

Saturday, September 8th 2007, 8:28 pm
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) _ No wacky formations. No trick plays.

The darlings got dumped.

No. 22 Boise State had its 14-game winning streak, longest in major college football, ended as resurgent Washington shut out the Broncos in the second half of the Huskies' 24-10 victory Saturday.

Redshirt freshman Jake Locker threw for one score and ran for another while overcoming two turnovers. Washington beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2003.

``We expected a lot more cleverness. When we got down to it, it was just window dressing,'' Washington safety Roy Lewis said.

He had 11 tackles, one interception and helped seal the Huskies' first win in 11 tries over a Top 25 team by breaking up a fourth-down pass in the end zone with four minutes left. Then freshman Vonzell McDowell, picked on all day, intercepted Taylor Tharp's throw at the 2 with 2:40 remaining.

Boise State (1-1) was held to its lowest point total since a 17-7 loss to Fresno State on Nov. 10, 2005.

Washington is 2-0 for the first time since 2001 heading into its home game next week against No. 12 Ohio State.

``This speaks volumes for our team and hopefully for our program,'' said coach Tyrone Willingham, who is now 9-16 in his third season with the Huskies.

Willingham remained characteristically stoic afterward _ despite saying ``our young men are very excited.''

The Huskies ganged up on Boise State running back Ian Johnson to stop his streak of seven consecutive 100-yard games. Johnson had 81 yards on 20 carries and was stopped twice on third-and-short.

``They thought they were going to pound it down our throats,'' Lewis said.

Johnson said: ``It's a relief. It's back to, 'OK, this is what football really is.' It's always going to be a struggle.''

His struggle forced the Broncos into unfamiliar long-yardage situations, which led Tharp to throw 47 times. The fifth-year senior, making just his second career start, completed 29, for 285 yards. Tharp threw three costly interceptions and lost a fumble when he tripped trying to hand off to Johnson.

Washington had two chances early in the fourth quarter to add to its 24-10 lead. But Ryan Perkins' 41-yard field goal attempt was low and into the line. And Locker _ who was 13-of-25 for 193 yards passing _ threw a jump ball into the end zone that was intercepted by Marty Tadman.

Yet Boise State answered with uncharacteristic mistakes. A holding penalty on tackle Ryan Clady negated a first down to midfield and led to a punt. After Locker's interception, Tharp gave one back by overthrowing a deep pass intended for Jeremy Childs, which Lewis intercepted at the Washington 10.

Boise State was 21 yards from cutting Washington's lead to 17-14 early in the second quarter when Tharp tried to throw across the field to a well-covered Vinny Perreta. Grayson Gunheim, a defensive end, easily intercepted that at the Huskies 19.

Washington turned that gift into a 24-7 lead midway through the second quarter. Locker threw on third-and-4 to Marcel Reece, who made the catch as Austin Smith lowered his shoulder into him. Reece simply bounced off and ran for a 58-yard touchdown that gave the Huskies 24 points in the first half for the first time in three years.

The Broncos faced their largest deficit since their last loss, Dec. 28, 2005, to Boston College in the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise.

``It was there for us to take,'' Tharp said. ``We just didn't take it.''

While the Broncos didn't try any of the trickery for which they became famous after a wild, overtime win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, Washington went up 14-0 just 12 minutes into the game on a 16-yard halfback option pass by Louis Rankin to Quintin Daniels. Daniels didn't have a defender within 15 yards of him.

Locker, who ran 16 times for 84 yards, scored the game's first points on a 6-yard run to cap the opening drive. But he might have had three interceptions in the first quarter if not for drops by Boise State defenders. He then fumbled while scrambling late in the period. Kyle Gingg recovered at the Washington 44.

On the next play, freshman Titus Young caught a 43-yard pass. Tharp's sneak from the 1 made it 14-7 after one quarter.

Locker rebounded by converting a third-and-11 with a dart to Corey Williams for 19 yards. That set up a 34-yard field goal by Perkins for a 17-7 lead.

Boise State would have been closer than 24-10 at the half had Josh Bean not been penalized for holding on a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter by Rashaun Scott.

``We're disappointed,'' said Broncos coach Chris Petersen, who lost for the first time since taking over when Dan Hawkins left for Colorado before the 2006 season. ``I think the tape will be very painful because there are a lot of little things.

``Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda.''