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Stanback Saves Washington, 35-29

September 03, 2006|From the Associated Press

Isaiah Stanback rescued Washington from an embarrassing home-opening loss by passing for 168 yards and a touchdown and running for 102 yards and another score in the Huskies' 35-29 win over pesky San Jose State at Seattle.

Louis Rankin overcame an early fumble to rush for 148 yards in 10 carries with two touchdowns, including a clinching, 68-yard sideline run with 5:02 to go, for Washington's first season-opening win since 2001.

San Jose State rallied when quarterback Adam Tafralis, starting because Ryan Flynn had a groin injury, found James Jones for their third scoring pass of the second half with 2:03 left. Their six-yard connection made it 35-29.

Washington, favored by 19 points, then recovered the ensuing onside kick. The Spartans did not get the ball back until 36 seconds remained with the ball at their own 15 with no timeouts left. They advanced only to their 35.

Tafralis completed 28 of 35 passes for 323 yards and the three touchdowns to Jones.

Stanback was 11-for-14 passing in the first half, allowing Washington to withstand three early turnovers and shaky pass defense that had 52,256 fans at relatively quiet Husky Stadium worried. It was Washington's smallest home crowd since 50,410 saw Arizona State on Oct. 3, 1981.

Stanback completed 12 of his first 15 throws through the first 2 1/2 quarters -- many on short, safe screen passes and one-step darts. His only early incompletions: Receiver Anthony Russo fell down and then tipped the ball into Dwight Lowery's hands for an interception on the game's opening drive, Sonny Shackleford dropped a short pass and Stanback overthrew Corey Williams on a long post route.

No. 4 Auburn 40, Washington State 14 -- Kenny Irons rushed for 183 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter, and the Tigers beat the Cougars at Auburn, Ala.

Auburn had lost three of its last four openers, but will get to enjoy its highest preseason ranking since 1990 at least another week.

Irons had 20 carries and also caught three passes for 40 yards for a career-high in all-purpose yards. He opened Auburn's first drive with a 42-yard carry and never stopped pounding away at the Cougars.

The defense hounded Washington State quarterback Alex Brink, sacking him on three of the Cougars' first four plays.

Brink passed for 2,891 yards last season but only 67 against the Tigers, completing 11 of 24 passes with a touchdown and an interception.

His longest pass play was 16 yards, and he seldom got time to find receivers downfield against an aggressive defense under new coordinator Will Muschamp.

The Cougars replaced Brink for one series midway through the third quarter. Gary Rogers quickly moved them downfield before finding tight end Cory Boyd wide open across the middle for a 50-yard touchdown, making it 26-14.

Arizona 16, Brigham Young 13 -- Nick Folk kicked a 48-yard field goal with one second to play to give the Wildcats a victory at Tucson.

Folk, who missed a 42-yarder as the first half ended, also had field goals of 30 and 22 yards in a mistake-filled, defensive struggle in front of 58,450, the ninth-largest crowd in Arizona Stadium history and first home sellout since the season opener against Ohio State six years ago.

BYU's John Beck completed 28 of 37 for 289 yards but the Cougars' offense managed only one touchdown.

Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama threw two yards on third and goal to Anthony Johnson for a touchdown to give Arizona its first lead, 13-10, with 6:52 left in the third quarter.

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