Oct. 12, 2001
(AP) - Coming off yet another comeback victory, Washington hopes to carry that momentum into the Rose Bowl as it faces arguably its toughest test of the season Saturday against fellow Pac-10 heavyweight UCLA.
The 10th-ranked Huskies (4-0, 2-0 Pac-10) have been making a habit of coming from behind lately. John Anderson's 32-yard field goal in the closing seconds against Southern California last week gave Washington a 27-24 victory, capping the team's third fourth-quarter comeback win of the season.
"The fourth quarter is ours," said Huskies tailback Willie Hurst. "We want to outscore people in the fourth quarter."
Washington also rallied to win five times in the final quarter last year during its Rose Bowl season.
The seventh-ranked Bruins (4-0, 1-0) should be well rested for this matchup after being out of action since a 38-7 dismantling of then-No. 19 Oregon State on Sept. 29. Senior tailback DeShaun Foster led the way with 147 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
A major concern for Washington, however, should be the improvement of the Bruins defense. A year after allowing a school-record 368 points (30.7 average), UCLA has held its opponents to a mere 41 points through four games this season.
"I think our confidence level is rising with every play, every quarter, every game," UCLA senior safety Marques Anderson said. "And our defense hasn't put it together, I feel like we have so much more."
If the defense does put it together this weekend, it could spell trouble for the Huskies, who may be without starting quarterback Cody Pickett. Pickett separated his shoulder in the second quarter of the last week's game, and his status for Saturday is uncertain.
Stepping in for Pickett last week, backup Taylor Barton completed 11-of-20 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He may be forced into action against the Bruins if Pickett is not available.
"I do have a lot of confidence in Taylor," Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said. "You never know when your time is coming. He took his moment in the sun and ran with it."
Hurst also turned in a strong performance for Washington, rushing for 102 yards in his first game back from a hamstring injury.
On the line this weekend will not only be the Huskies' unbeaten season, but also their 12-game winning streak that dates back to a Sept. 30 loss to Oregon last year. That streak includes a 35-28 win over the Bruins last November.
UCLA holds a slim 30-28-2 edge in the all-time series.