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Huskies Use Other Weapons : Pacific 10: Arizona State holds Kaufman to 80 yards, but Huard has big day in 35-14 victory.

October 16, 1994|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — Washington proved it isn't a one-man team against Arizona State and Napoleon Kaufman didn't mind.

The Sun Devils focused on stopping Kaufman, the nation's leading rusher, on Saturday. Damon Huard concentrated on beating Arizona State.

"Any time they want to put eight guys up on the line and take Napoleon away, we're balanced enough to take advantage of it," Huard said after passing for a career-best 268 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-14 Pacific-10 victory for Washington.

Kaufman was held to a season-low 80 yards. He also had 80 yards at Miami, where Washington also got a victory.

"When you go out and beat the . . . . out of somebody, it doesn't matter how many yards you get," Kaufman said. "We blew them out, what else do you want?"

No. 9 Washington (5-1, 2-1) notched its fifth victory in a row on a day when Kaufman's longest run was 26 yards. He still managed to become the fifth running back in Pac-10 history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. The others were Charles White and Anthony Davis of USC, Darrin Nelson of Stanford and Russell White of California.

"If I had to do it again, I'd still try to stop Napoleon Kaufman first," Sun Devil Coach Bruce Snyder said.

With the Sun Devils focusing on Kaufman, Huard threw scoring passes of 34 yards to Ernie Conwell in the first quarter, 17 to Eric Bjornson in the third quarter and 22 to Mark Bruener in the fourth quarter.

Kaufman, Washington's career rushing leader, was held to no gain or thrown for losses on six of his 18 carries. He scored on a seven-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

It was an especially frustrating first half for Kaufman. He appeared on his way to an 80-yard touchdown after catching a screen pass from Huard in the second quarter. But center Frank Garcia, trying to cross behind Kaufman in an effort to make a block, tripped up Kaufman after a 41-yard gain at the Arizona State 39. The Huskies did not score on that series.

"I think I was the only one who could have tackled him (Kaufman) in the open field," Garcia said sheepishly.

Kaufman, who was averaging 184.8 yards a game, was coming off a career-high 254-yard rushing day against San Jose State last week.

Huard completed 20 of 33 passes and was intercepted once. His previous career best was 247 passing yards against San Jose State last season. Bjornson caught nine passes for 119 yards and Kaufman had a personal-best six catches for 61 yards.

"The NFL wanted to see Napoleon catch more balls," Washington Coach Jim Lambright said. "I guess this helps that evaluation."

Arizona State (2-4, 2-2) averted a shutout when backup quarterback Jason Verdugo scored on an 11-yard run with 4:24 to play. Verdugo passed two yards to Matt Nelson for a second touchdown with 1:58 left.

Washington's defense intercepted three passes by Jake Plummer and recovered two fumbles by Chris Hopkins. Ink Aleaga returned one of the interceptions 23 yards for a touchdown with 1:18 left in the opening half.

Aleaga, a sophomore linebacker, also recovered a fumble and led the Huskies with 15 tackles. He had 1 1/2 sacks.

Washington led, 16-0, at halftime after Aleaga's 23-yard return of a screen pass by Plummer intended for Hopkins. It was Aleaga's first career touchdown and interception.

It might have been the most important, giving Washington a comfortable lead at halftime.

"At that point in time, I felt we were kind of low and everything picked up from there," Aleaga said.

The Huskies converted a fumble and a pass interception in a span of only 1:36 for a 10-0 lead in the game's first 4 1/2 minutes.

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