Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996 | GAME REPORT: Washington 21,
USC 10

Game's Outcome Turned on Fake Punt, Coach Says

November 03, 1996|ARA NAJARIAN and EARL GUSTKEY

Washington Coach Jim Lambright said his team's fake punt in the third quarter was a turning point in the game.

USC had blocked Washington's first punt early in the game, and that caused the Husky special teams to look closely at why it happened. By the third quarter, the Huskies thought they could exploit the same USC alignment.

"I really feel that the fake punt was important," Lambright said. "It was a situation where Al [Roberts] said they thought they could do it, and I gave approval."

Even then, the coach wasn't certain they would try it. Cam Kissel makes the final decision on fakes on the field as he reads the defense and calls out the signals.

"I saw they were on an overload and it was just too good to pass up," Kissel said. "I thought about it a little. A voice in my head was saying to me, 'You gotta take it, it's too good.' So I did."

Instead of the ball being snapped to the punter, Hamid Sarshar, Kissel took the snap and ran 20 yards to the USC 25, setting up the go-ahead touchdown.

*

The Trojans blocked a punt, a field goal attempt and a conversion attempt.

In the first quarter, Prentice Hill blocked a punt, USC's third of the season. In the second quarter, defensive end Willie Lowery blocked a field goal try. Grant Pearsall blocked a Washington conversion kick that would have tied the score at 10-10.

*

USC offensive coordinator Mike Riley is a candidate to succeed retiring Fresno State Coach Jim Sweeney, according to a published report in Fresno.

"I know my name's come up, but no one's contacted me about it," Riley said.

*

Dillon became the sixth Husky back to surpass 1,000 yards in a season, joining Napoleon Kaufman (who did it three times and set the record, 1,390, in 1994), Greg Lewis, Joe Steele, Hugh McElhenny and Ron Rowland.

*

Although Dillon carried the lion's share of the offense, Lambright credited tight end Cameron Cleeland with making key plays. Cleeland, whose four catches for 52 yards were both career highs, caught a nine-yard pass from quarterback Brock Huard on a third and eight at the USC 24 to set up Washington's first touchdown in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, on third and nine from USC's 29, his 26-yard reception set up Washington's final score.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|