Sept. 24, 1999
SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies want to win this one badly, too.
While Colorado's players seek to get revenge against their former coach, Rick Neuheisel, on Saturday at Husky Stadium, the Huskies will be trying to avoid their first 0-3 start since 1969.
When Don James was coach from 1975-92, the Huskies competed for national championships and Pac-10 titles. So an 0-3 start for Washington, even under the circumstances, would be hard to swallow in Seattle.
"We had certainly not planned to be 0-2 going into the game against Colorado," said Neuheisel, Washington's first-year coach. "But that's where we find ourselves."
Neuheisel will be facing many of his former players. He left Colorado in January as the replacement for the fired Jim Lambright.
Even though Colorado lost its opener to Colorado State 41-14, the Buffaloes still hope to give Nebraska a battle in the Big 12 race this season. They beat Kansas 51-17 last week.
"We have some talented players," new Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. "We have good speed. We're going to make the most of it. The cupboard was not bare."
The Huskies are coming off a 31-21 loss in their home opener to Air Force. In that game, Washington's quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo had three passes intercepted and lost two fumbles. Washington dropped its first game 35-28 at BYU.
Washington's players know that the Buffaloes want to stick it to their former coach because they feel he betrayed them by taking the Washington job.
"They've got a great team," Tuiasosopo said. "They're going to come in ready to play and we've got to be ready. There's no question our loyalties are to coach Neuheisel. He's come in and he's been really good to us."
With explosive Oregon coming into Husky Stadium next weekend for a Pac-10 opener, the Huskies need to get some confidence. They're tired of hearing they're short on talent and depth.
"As a team, we want to get a win," Tuiasosopo said. "Whether it's for coach Neuheisel or for us, a win is a win."
Said Neuheisel: "This is a big game. It was a big game before I got here. It's a big game now. It's against a big-time opponent. It's got a marquee-type of feel to it. When you play in those types of games, you ought to be prepared."
Neuheisel is trying to avoid Washington's first losing season since 1975, when the Huskies went 5-6 in James' second season in Seattle.
The Buffaloes might see a lot of freshman running back Paul Arnold, who was the prize member of Neuheisel's first recruiting class. Although Arnold got only four carries in the Huskies' first two games, he had a school-record 100-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter to take some of the sting out the loss to Air Force.
Colorado quarterback Mike Moschetti practiced this week, but is still bothered by a sprained knee that knocked him out of the Kansas game.
The Buffaloes' starting weakside offensive tackle is 6-7, 315-pound Victor Rogers, plucked out of Washington's backyard by Neuheisel three years ago.
Rogers, who played at Federal Way's Decatur High School, said Lambright's coaching staff took him for granted.
By JIM COUR
AP Sports Writer