Aug. 28, 2000
THE GAME: Washington, ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press preseason poll and No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, opens the 2000 season this Sat., Sept. 2, against unranked Idaho at Husky Stadium. Kickoff is at 12:30 p.m. PDT. The Huskies, who finished the 1999 season 7-5 overall and 6-2 (2nd place) in the Pac-10 Conference, will open the season at home for the first time since 1995. Idaho (7-4, 4-2 (2nd) in the Big West) joined the Pacific Coast Conference (the predecessor to the Pac-10) in 1922 and remained a part of the league until it was disolved in 1959 and re-formed as the Athletic Association of Western Universities. The Huskies, who first played the Vandals in 1900, haven't faced them since Nov. 10, 1973, a 41-14 UW win.
THE SERIES: Washington and Idaho have played one another a total of 33 times, with the Huskies holding a commanding 29-2-2 lead in the series. In games played in Seattle, Washington has posted a 27-0-2 all-time record, with a 1-1-0 mark in Moscow and a 1-1-0 mark in games played in Spokane. Washington's only two losses in the series came in the first-ever meeting (12-6 on Nov. 21, 1900, in Spokane) and in an 8-0 loss in Moscow on Oct. 30, 1905. Since that last Vandal win, Washington has gone 26-0-2 and has won the last 12 in a row (1938-1973). Surprisingly, this weekend's game will mark only the second time that the Huskies have played the Vandals in which the UW has been ranked. In 1960, the Dawgs were the No. 3 team in the nation when they beat Idaho, 41-12. In the most recent Washington-Idaho game, on Nov. 10, 1973, turnovers made the difference in the Huskies' 41-14 win. The Huskies picked off two passes and recovered three fumbles. Otherwise, the stats weren't as one-sided as the score as the Vandals rushed for 180 yards to the Huskies' 147 and recorded 17 first downs to Washington's 20. The big difference came in the passing game as Washington threw for 251 yards while holding Idaho to only 95 yards through the air. Husky running back Glen Bonner rushed for two one-yard TDs and Chris Rowland threw one touchdown pass and rushed for another.
IDAHO TIES: There are numerous ties between the Washington and Idaho football teams, mainly in their coaching staffs. First and foremost, UW offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson is the former head coach of the Vandals (1986-88). Gilbertson is, in terms of winning percentage, the winningest coach in UI history with a .757 mark (28-9). While at Idaho, Gilbertson coached new Idaho coach Tom Cable, who was an offensive lineman for the Vandals. Cable, who begins his head coaching career this Saturday against the Huskies, went on to serve as a graduate assistant under Gilbertson for two seasons at Idaho, before becoming the offensive line coach at California from 1992-95 under Gilbertson. Cable then went on to coach the offensive line at Colorado under then-head coach Rick Neuheisel. Additionally, current Washington defensive coordinator Tim Hundley spent three seasons (1977-79) on the Idaho staff under coaches Ed Troxel and Jerry Davitch. Also, Chris Tormey, who coached the Vandals from 1995 until last season before leaving to become head coach at Nevada this season, was a long-time UW assistant, serving as defensive coordinator at UW prior to going to Idaho. Washington has two players from the state of Idaho -- freshman QB Cody Pickett (Caldwell) and junior DE Ryan Julian (Idaho Falls).
TELEVISION: There will be no live television coverage of the Washington-Idaho game, though it will be shown Sunday afternoon, beginning at 3:00 p.m., on Fox Sports Net Northwest. All 11 Husky games this season will air the following Sunday at 3:00 p.m. with Tod Pickett calling the play-by-play and legendary Husky quarterback Sonny Sixkiller providing the color commentary.
RADIO: KOMO AM-1000 broadcasts all of the Husky games, serving as the flagship of the 23-station Husky Football Radio Network. The network covers nearly all of Washington as well as parts of Alaska, Oregon and Nevada.Bob Rondeau (play-by-play), Chuck Nelson (color) and Bill Swartz (sidelines) return to provide the call.
AGAINST THE BIG WEST: Washington has played games against only three of the six current Big West Conference members. Besides the Huskies' 29-2-2 record against the Vandals, Washington is 3-0 against the other members of the conference, having beaten Utah State in 1904 (45-0) and in 1998 (53-12), and Nevada in 1903 (2-0). Incidentally, next season Idaho will move to the Sun Belt Conference.
THE COACH: Rick Neuheisel is in his second season as the head coach at Washington. He is 7-5 at Washington with a five-year career record of 40-19 (.678). He is the 23rd coach in Washington's history and just the fourth Husky head coach in the past 42 years. Last year, he became the first Husky head coach to lead the Dawgs to a bowl game in his first season in charge as Washington played Kansas State in the Culligan Holiday Bowl. Before coming to Washington, Neuheisel compiled a 33-14 (.702) record during his four years as head coach at Colorado (1995-98), including postseason victories in the Cotton, Holiday and Aloha Bowls. Prior to his first head coaching opportunity, Neuheisel worked as an assistant coach for seven seasons, including the 1994 campaign at Colorado. A 1984 graduate of UCLA, Neuheisel served as an assistant at UCLA (1986-93) under Terry Donahue. The 39-year-old Neuheisel was born in Madison, Wis., and grew up in Tempe, Ariz., where he attended McClintock High School. Originally a walkon at UCLA, Neuheisel won the starting quarterback position as a senior and led the Bruins to the 1983 Pac-10 Championship. His collegiate career was highlighted by the 1984 Rose Bowl where he led UCLA to a 45-9 victory against Illinois. This past year he was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. Washington fans remember Neuheisel's memorable performance at the Rose Bowl when he completed 25 of 27 passes (including 18 straight at one point) to set an NCAA record that was broken in 1998 by Tennessee's Tee Martin. Neuheisel still holds the Bruins' single-season (69.3) and career (68.3) completion percentage records.
TWIN 600 WINS: Last season, Husky coach Rick Neuheisel became the first Division I coach to guide two programs to their 600th all-time victory. Neuheisel's first win (31-24 vs. Colorado) as Washington's head coach was the 600th all-time victory for the school. In 1998, he was the head coach at Colorado when the Buffaloes recorded their 600th win in a game against Iowa State.
FIRST-YEAR CLUB: In addition to becoming the only Washington first-year head coach to guide his team to a bowl game, Rick Neuheisel is one of just 17 coaches in the history of the Pac-10 Conference to accomplish the feat. Oregon State first-year coach Dennis Erickson joined Neuheisel on that list last year.
FIRST-YEAR RESULTS: Rick Neuheisel became the first Husky coach to take his team to a bowl game in his first year on the job. Neuheisel's seven wins also equalled Jim Lambright's record for most wins by a first-year coach. Here's a look at what some of the most notable UW football coaches did in their first season with the Huskies. Among the coaches listed below, six won their first game as the UW head man: Jim Lambright, Darrell Royal, Ralph Welch, James Phelan, Enoch Bagshaw and Gil Dobie:
THE COACHING STAFF: Experience abounds amongst Washington's nine assistant coaches. Eight of the nine coaches have been a coordinator on the collegiate level and two, Keith Gilbertson and Steve Axman, have been head coaches. Gilbertson guided the Idaho program from 1986-88 and was the head coach at California from 1992-95. Axman was the head coach at Northern Arizona from 1990-97. Most of the current staff has a previous coaching connection with Husky head coach Rick Neuheisel. Defensive coordinator Tim Hundley coached defensive tackles at Colorado from 1996-98 and was a member of the UCLA staff from 1990-95. Axman, the quarterback's coach, was the offensive coordinator at UCLA from 1987-88. Safeties coach Bobby Hauck was at Colorado from 1995-98 and coached with Neuheisel at UCLA from 1990-92. Cornerbacks coach Chuck Heater was a member of the Colorado staff from 1993-98. Running backs coach Wayne Moses coached with Neuheisel at UCLA while he was the Bruins' running backs coach from 1990-95. Heater and new offensive line coach Brent Myers are the only coaches on the Washington staff who had not coached or played in the Pac-10 Conference prior to this season. Both Randy Hart and Tom Williams have served as defensive coordinators -- Hart at Washington and Williams at Hawai'i.
PAC-10 PREDICTION: In the annual preseason media poll conducted by the Pacific-10 Conference office, Washington was a narrow favorite to win the conference title. The Huskies edged second choice USC by only three points, but garnered 16 first-place votes to the Trojans' 11 in the second-closest voting in the poll's history. The preseason poll has successfully predicted the eventual league champion 17 of 39 times and only twice in the last seven years. The Huskies were last picked first in the poll in 1997, and finished the year in fourth place. Here's the entire poll, with first-place votes in parentheses:
1. Washington (16) 275 2. USC (11) 272 3. Oregon (1) 211 4. UCLA 181 5. Arizona State (2) 167 6. Oregon State 163 7. Stanford 133 8. Arizona 127 9. California 63 10. Washington State 47
PRESEASON PUNDITS: Washington has been fairly highly regarded in the various preseason college football preview magazines, ranging from a national ranking as high as No. 8 (Athlon's) to No. 21 (Preview Publications). Here's a rundown of where the various magazines rated the UW, with national ranking, Pac-10 place, and preseason all-conference players:
Magazine Rank Pac-10 Preseason All-Pac-10 Athlon's # 8 1st Ward, Vontoure, Anderson Lindy's #14 1st Tuiasosopo*, Ward, Triplett, Akbar Preview Pub. #21 2nd Tuiasosopo, Ward, Vontoure Sporting News #16 2nd Tuiasosopo, Ward, Akbar, Arnold (KR) Street & Smith's #19 2nd Tuiasosopo, Ward, Akbar * Lindy's picked Tuiasosopo as preseason offensive player of the year
DECADE & CENTURY HONORS: Lindy's preseason magazine named a Pac-10 Team of the Decade and of the Century, and former Washington star Steve Emtman figured prominently. Emtman, who won both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award and finished fourth in the 1991 Heisman Trophy ballotting, was named the Defensive Player of the Decade and Century. The other Husky to make the All-Century first team was George Wilson (1923-35), who was listed as a defensive back. Back Hugh McElhenny and lineman Max Starcevich made the Pac-10 All-Century second team. Besides Emtman, three Huskies made the All-Decade first team (tailback Napoleon Kaufman, offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy, free safety Lawyer Milloy) and four made the second (receiver Mario Bailey, center Olin Kreutz, defensive end Jason Chorak and inside linebacker Dave Hoffmann). Emtman was also named to the Walter Camp All-Century team.
A NEW MILLENIUM: On Oct. 28, when Washington takes on Stanford at Stanford Stadium, the Huskies will play the 1,000th game in the school's history. Only 39 Division I teams will enter the 2000 season having played 1,000 games. Through 992 games so far, Washington has an all-time record of 606-336-50 (.636) and is one of only 18 teams with 600 or more all-time wins.
NEW FIELD: Washington, after spending the last 32 years playing on AstroTurf at Husky Stadium, will play on a brand new surface in 2000. The Husky Stadium AstroTurf has been replaced by FieldTurf, a synthetic sports surface that duplicates the playing conditions of real grass. The field was installed in July, thanks to a gift from the Seattle Seahawks, who will share Husky Stadium for the next two seasons. Over the last few years, FieldTurf has been installed in a number of stadiums, most notably Memorial Stadium at the University of Nebraska, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Tropicana Field. UW, along with Tennessee, was one of the first two college football programs to install AstroTurf in 1968. Cross-state rival Washington State has also installed FieldTurf during the off-season.
SHARING WITH THE SEAHAWKS: The Seattle Seahawks will play the 2000 and 2001 seasons at Husky Stadium while their new stadium is constructed on the site of the old Kingdome, which was imploded last spring. The Seahawks open their exhibition season Sat., Aug. 5, against the Indianapolis Colts. In 1996, the Seahawks played two exhibition games and three regular-season games at Husky Stadium while repairs were made to the ceiling of the Kingdome. The Seahawks will play two preseason games and eight regular season games (plus any home playoff action) on the UW campus in each of the next two seasons.
BROTHER ACT: Washington has featured a number of strong sibling pairs through its history, including many such combinations in recent years. This season, senior quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo is joined on the UW roster by younger brother Zach Tuiasosopo, an freshman linebacker. Also teaming up are junior safety Hakim Akbar and his older brother, junior transfer Mikal Akbar, a receiver. Frosh offensive lineman Aaron Butler is the younger brother of former Husky linebacker Hillary Butler (1990-93) while junior defensive end Jonathan Schmidt is brother to former Husky captain Donovan Schmidt (1991-94). Here's a list of some notable recent brothers to play for the Huskies (years lettered in parentheses): Damon (1993-95) and Brock (1996-98) Huard, Dave (1989-92) and Steve Hoffmann (1992, 94-95), Jeff (1987, 89-90) and Shane (1989-92) Pahukoa, Mark (1987-89), Matt (1990-93) and Darius (1995) Jones, Ryan (1994-95) and Ben (1996-98) Kadletz, and Jay (1989-92) and Damon (1991-92) Barry.
LOOKING TO CATCH ON: It's no secret that the Huskies are pretty inexperienced at the wide receiver position. With the graduation of Gerald Harris, Dane Looker and Joe Jarzynka from last year's squad, and with an injury keeping Chris Juergens out of action, Todd Elstrom is the only Husky wideout that caught a pass in 1999 (not counting backs and tight ends). Elstrom made 11 grabs for 234 yards and two touchdowns last season. Patrick Reddick, who has sat out the last two seasons due to injury, made four catches for 46 yards in 1997. Wilbur Hooks, a flanker, played in nine of 11 games last year, mostly as a special teams player, and didn't make a catch.
OVERFLOWING IN EXPERIENCE: Unlike the receiving corps, the offensive line has all kinds of experience. Washington has eight returning lettermen on the offensive line, six of whom have started in at least one game. The eight letterman linemen have combined to earn a total of 17 varsity letters, have played in a total of 180 regular season games and have started 74 regular season games. In terms of experience, senior Chad Ward leads the way, having appeared in all 33 games of his career, starting 30. Senior Elliot Silvers has made 21 starts and played in 36 games. Seniors Dominic Daste and Matt Fraize have played in 30 and 33 games, respectively.
SQUAD BREAKDOWN: Washington returns a total of 50 letterwinners (26 offense, 21 defense, 3 kickers/punters) from last season's squad, while 28 letterwinners (16 offense, 12 defense) have departed. Officially, eight offensive and seven defensive starters return in 2000, as well as both the starting kicker (John Anderson) and punter (Ryan Fleming). On offense, the returning starters ('99 positions) include QB Marques Tuiasosopo, TB Willie Hurst, SE Chris Juergens, TE Jerramy Stevens and offensive linemen Kyle Benn (C), Rock Nelson (G), Elliot Silvers (T) and Chad Ward (T). Also back on the offense is FB Pat Conniff, who started six games in 1999. The defense sees the return of NT Larry Tripplett, OLB Jeremiah Pharms, OLB Jafar Williams, ILB Derrell Daniels, SS Hakim Akbar, FS Curtis Williams and CB Anthony Vontoure. With 17 total returning starters, Washington is tied with both USC and UCLA for most in the Pac-10.
EXPERIENCE BY THE NUMBERS: With 50 returning lettermen and 17 returning starters, it's clear that the 2000 Washington squad is experienced. To further illustrate that point, consider: the players that accounted for all but one pass thrown last year return in 2000. Between them, Marques Tuiasosopo and Cody Pickett threw 299 passes, while departed wideout Dane Looker threw one. Five of Washington's six top rushers are back in 2000 and returning players accounted for 1,636 of the UW's 2,087 rushing yards last year (78.4 percent). The receiving corps is a bit less experienced as returners accounted for 1,245 of the UW's 2,276 receiving yards last season (54.7 percent). On the defensive side, returning players compiled 543 of Washington's 728 total tackles (74.6 percent) and 11 of 14 interceptions (78.6 percent). Between them, UW returning players have started a total of 178 career games entering the coming season, not counting "starts" by punter Ryan Fleming (22) and kicker John Anderson (11).
AUSSIE RULES: Junior receiver Ja'Warren Hooker will probably have to rely on internet access in the Olympic Village this fall to follow his Husky football teammates' successes. Hooker, the 2000 Pac-10 champion in the 100 and 200 meters, was named to the 4x400 relay squad for the United States Olympic Team in July and will join the U.S. squad in Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games. Hooker finished seventh in the 400-meter finals at the Olympic Trials, but was selected to six-man relay team. Hooker sat out the 1999 football season to concentrate on track and it's very unlikely he would play this fall after his return from Sydney. In two football seasons (1997-98), Hooker caught 15 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He also had seven kick returns for 249 yards and a TD.
POSITION CHANGS: Several Huskies have made position changes during the off-season. Here are the most notable of those: Chad Ward, a starter at offensive guard each of the last three seasons, will begin the 2000 season as a starting tackle ... starter Larry Tripplett moves from nose tackle to defensive end ... Jafar Williams, who started as an outside linebacker last year, moves to the inside in 2000 ... Wondame Davis, who started three games at cornerback in 1998 and was a regular reserve in the defensive backfield last year, has switched sides to play split end in 2000 ... returning starters Hakim Akbar and Curtis Williams have switched spots, Akbar is now a free safety and Williams is the strong safety ... Ben Mahdavi, a reserve fullback last year, has moved to inside linebacker.
RECENT CHANGES: Since the 2000 media guide was published, there have been several changes to the Husky roster in terms of number and position switches. Former cornerback Lenny Haynes is now a wide receiver. Willie Hurst, who tried slotback and is listed as such in the media guide, is back at tailback. Former quarterback Adam Seery is now a safety. Ken Walker, who played linebacker last year, is now a fullback, and his number has changed to 45. Freshman Derrick Johnson is now a cornerback, as is freshman RayShon Dukes. Dukes, formerly No. 6, has also seen his uniform number change, to 8. Freshman receiver Mike Smith is now number 88 and freshman offensive lineman Andre Reeves has changed to number 73.
1999 HONORS: A rundown of some of Washington's more notable postseason honors in 1999 (returning players only): PK John Anderson was named a first-team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News, and was named to the All-Pac-10 team by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Tacoma News-Tribune and Football News ... SS Hakim Akbar was named second-team All-Pac-10 ... P Ryan Fleming and SE Chris Juergens were both named Region VIII Academic All-America ... TE Jerramy Stevens earned second-team honors on The Sporting News Freshman All-America team ... NT Larry Tripplett was second-team All-Pac-10 ... QB Marques Tuiasosopo earned second-team All-Pac-10 and was a first-teamer, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune and Football News ... the News-Tribune tabbed him as the Pac-10 Offensive MVP ... CB Anthony Vontoure was a Football News All-Pac-10 first-teamer ... OT Chad Ward picked up second-team All-Pac-10 honors.
TEAM OF THE 1990s: By almost any gauge, Washington was the Pac-10's team of the decade. Washington's 82-35-1 (.700) during the decade was easily the best among the 10 conference schools, 11 wins and .094 ahead of second-place Arizona. With a 58-21-1 Pac-10 (.731) mark, the Huskies also had 11 more league victories than the next nearest conference opponent, UCLA. Washington's overall record in the decade was the 12th-best in Division I. Washington made eight bowl game appearances in the 1990s and won four Pac-10 titles. With an average home attendance of 71,790 during the decade, the UW easily out-distances every other conference school in that category. Husky players earned first-team All-America honors 17 times in the last 10 years and 43 Huskies were first-team all-conference. In addition, Washington linemen won the Pac-10's prestigious Morris Trophy (given to the top offensive and defensive linemen in the league each season) seven times.
SEASON OPENERS: Washington is 77-27-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .727. During the 1990s, Washington posted a 7-3 record in season openers, but only three of those games were at home -- all Husky victories. The Dawgs haven't opened the season at home since the 1995 season, when they beat Arizona State, 23-20, thanks to a late pass from tailback Rashaan Shehee to Fred Coleman. The Huskies are 79-24-5 in home openers (whether the first game of the season or not), a record of .755. That mark includes a 38-game streak of home opener wins that ran from 1908 to 1935. Before falling to Air Force in the home opener last season, Washington had won 13 straight home openers since a loss to Oklahoma State on Sept. 7, 1985. Incidentally, Washington has opened the season against Idaho seven times, winning all of those games.
EARLY OPENER: Washington's Sept. 2 opening date is the second earliest in team history. The Huskies opened the 1982 slate on Sept. 1 vs. UTEP. Washington also opened the 1995 season on Sept. 2 against Arizona State.
HISTORY LESSON: Successfully rushing the football and winning go hand-in-hand for the Huskies. Since 1990, Washington has rushed for 200 yards in a game 48 times. The Huskies' record stands at 43-4-1 (.906) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 18-1-1 when rushing for 200 yards.
THE 100-YARD FACTOR: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 145-34-3 (.805) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. Washington had six 100-yard game performances last season: Braxton Cleman (100 yards) vs. Air Force, Willie Hurst (161 yards) vs. Oregon and (108 yards) vs. Oregon State, Marques Tuiasosopo (207 yards) vs. Stanford, Maurice Shaw (113 yards) vs. Stanford and Paul Arnold (126 yards) vs. Washington State.
PLAYING THE TRUE FRESHMEN: During Washington's first six seasons of the decade of the '90s, the Huskies had six freshmen see playing time. Since the 1996 season a total of 33 freshmen played, including 10 in 1997 and eight in 1998. In 1999, six true freshmen -- tailback Paul Arnold, placekicker John Anderson, tight end Kevin Ware, wide receiver Quentin Morgan, safety Levi Madarieta, and quarterback Cody Pickett -- saw playing time.
TOTALLY TUIASOSOPO: Senior quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo proved to be one of the most versatile signalcallers in the nation during the 1999 season. No game proved that more than his record-setting performance in Washington's 35-30 victory against Stanford. He passed for a career high 302 yards and rushed for a career-high 207 yards to become the first Division I player to ever pass for 300 yards and rush for 200 yards in a game. There have only been three other Division I players to rush and pass for 200 yards in a game. There have only been six other times when a quarterback has passed for 300 yards and rushed for 100 yards. His 509 yards of total offense broke Washington's old school record of 419 yards set by Cary Conklin in 1989 vs. Arizona State. His 207 rushing yards ranks as the 12th best rushing performance in UW history. Tuiasosopo became only the fifth Husky quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game. He was the first since Dennis Fitzpatrick gained 249 rushing yards vs. Washington State in 1974. Tuiasosopo's total offense figure ranks as the fourth best game in Pac-10 history.
TUI'S PASSING MARKS: Senior quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo made a nice transition into the starting quarterback's role last season. Prior to the 1999 season, he had made three regular-season starts in his first 20 games. In 1999, he passed for more than 200 yards in seven contests, just one game short of the Huskies' single-season record of eight set by Cary Conklin in 1980. Tuiasosopo had a career-high passing effort, with 302 yards vs. Stanford. A week earlier, at California, Tuiasosopo came up with the best "big play" day of his career to lead the Huskies past the Bears. He completed passes of 55, 83, 39 and 36 yards. He finished with 300 passing yards on just 10 completions. Thanks to those passing totals, he becomes the first UW quarterback to post back-to-back 300-yard passing games since Sonny Sixkiller did it in 1970. Tuiasosopo had the most accurate passing game of his career in Washington's 34-20 victory against Oregon. Tuiasosopo completed 17 of 21 (.809) of his passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns to help defeat the Ducks. Here's a few more of Tui's passing notes from the 1999 season: o Tuiasosopo passed for 2,221 yards on the year, the third highest total among Pac-10 quarterbacks. Oregon State's Jonathon Smith led the league with 2,784 passing yards while Stanford's Todd Husak had 2,688. o Tuiasosopo's passing total of 2,221 yards ranked as the fifth best season in UW history. o Tuiasosopo set career highs for passing attempts in Washington's first two games. He threw 43 passes vs. Air Force after opening the season with 36 tosses at BYU. Tuiasosopo's previous high coming into last year was 30 vs. Oregon in 1997, his first career start. o His 22 completions vs. BYU bettered his previous high of 15 vs. Oregon (1997) and California (1998). o He registered back-to-back career highs in passing yards with 300 vs. California and 302 vs. Stanford. o Tuiasosopo's 83-yard touchdown pass to Todd Elstrom tied as the second longest in UW history. o During a three-game stretch that covered the Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona State games, Tuiasosopo completed 75% (47 of 63) of his passes. o Tuiasosopo has seven 200-yard passing games. The Husky single-season record is eight games set by Cary Conklin (1989).
THE RUNNING QB: Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo finished second on the team in rushing with 541 yards on 138 carries and six scores last year. In 1998, he finished second on the team with 327 rushing yards on 43 carries, and in rushing TDs with seven. Only current Jacksonville Jaguar quarterback Mark Brunell rushed for more TDs in a season as a Husky quarterback. Brunell had 10 rushing TDs in 1990 and eight in 1992.
STEVENS THE NEXT?: In 1998, when Sports Illustrated released a poll of the best colleges for each position, it selected Washington as the top program for tight ends. Sophomore Jerramy Stevens certainly made a case that he'll eventually join that very elite group. Last season, Stevens finished third on the team with 21 receptions for 265 yards and four touchdowns. He had his best pass catching day against Washington State when he pulled down six passes for 53 yards. His most productive game came against Stanford when he caught five passes for 88 yards. His four TD catches are a UW record for freshmen tight ends. To put that in perspective, the best scoring seasons of such former standout UW tight ends as Mark Bruener (3 TDs in 1993), Cameron Cleeland (3 TDs in 1996) and Ernie Conwell (2 TDs in 1994, '95).
AKBAR AT 'EM AGAIN: Washington junior strong safety Hakim Akbar did not show any signs of experiencing a "sophomore slump" in 1999. Tabbed a Freshman All-American in 1998 by The Sporting News, Akbar was once again a key figure in the Husky defense. He finished tied for second on the defense with 69 tackles, including 33 solo stops. He had three tackles for loss, recovered two fumbles and caused one fumble. He was also credited with breaking up six passes and recorded an interception vs. Arizona. Akbar led the Huskies with a career-high 16 tackles against Air Force and the Falcons' option-oriented rushing game. Akbar was named the Pac-10 defensive player of the week after leading the team with 10 tackles in the Huskies' 31-24 victory against Colorado. Washington held the Buffaloes to 289 yards of total offense after CU entered the game averaging 527 yards per contest.
THE FRESHMAN KICKER: Washington sophomore place kicker John Anderson proved to be one of the most valuable true freshmen in the nation in 1999. Anderson had an outstanding year on the Husky special teams. He converted 13 of 18 field goals and 34 of 35 PATs. He led Washington in scoring with 73 points. Anderson began to make his mark when he booted a 50-yard field goal against Oregon State. That kick ended a 16-year stretch in which the Huskies had not recorded a 50-yard field goal. Anderson's boot was the longest by a UW kicker since Jeff Jaeger converted a 52-yard field goal in 1983 vs. Oregon. Jaeger was also a freshman that season. Since Jaeger's kick, the Huskies had made 224 field goals over the previous 17 seasons without making one from at least 50 yards. Anderson was two years old when Jaeger made the last 50-yard field goal. Anderson went on to prove that long boot was no fluke. He ended the season with three 50-yard field goals to his credit, including a 56-yarder at UCLA to tie the UW school record. That field goal was the longest by a Pac-10 kicker in 1999. It tied as the 14th longest in league history and it was the longest by a true freshman in conference history. His kick was the seventh longest in Pac-10 history since 1989, when use of a kicking tee was eliminated. Anderson has now accounted for three of the nine 50-yard field goals in UW history. When Anderson booted three FGs vs. Stanford, it marked the first time a Husky kicker has done that since John Wales vs. California in 1994. It was the first time a Husky kicker had converted three 40-yard field goals since Brandy Brownlee made three (47, 48, 49 and 30) vs. Texas A&M in 1987.
A FIRST FOR THE FRESHMAN?: Washington sophomore kicker John Anderson is believed to be only the second true freshman to kick three 50-yard field goals in a single season. Based on research provided by other Division I sports information departments, Anderson's three 50-yarders last season were a rarity for first-year players. The only other true freshman to equal Anderson was Texas A&M's Tony Franklin. Franklin, who kicked 15 50-yard field goals during his career at Texas A&M from 1975-78, had kicks of 50, 50 and 59 yards his first season as an Aggie. Another Texas A&M kicker, Kyle Bryant, had three 50-yard field goals in 1994 when he was a redshirt freshman for the Aggies. It should be noted that all of Franklin's kicks came when placekickers were allowed to use a one-inch tee. Washington State All-America kicker Jason Hanson, who owns the NCAA career record with 18 50-yard field goals, had two (52 and 51) during his freshman season in 1988.
FLEMING GETS HIS KICKS: Washington punter Ryan Fleming had one of the best seasons punting the ball in recent Husky history. Fleming's average (40.2) was the best by a Husky punter since John Werdel averaged 40.8 yards in 1991. That figures as the seventh best average in UW history. He has had several outstanding moments in the 1999 season. Fleming averaged 44.3 yards per punt on seven kicks in UW's 31-27 victory at California. He outdueled Cal's standout Nick Harris, who entered the game ranked second nationally in punting. Harris averaged just 39.1 yards on eight kicks. Fleming tied the Washington school record for longest punt with a 73-yard effort against BYU. Fleming now shares the mark with Don Feleay, who had a 73-yard punt vs. Navy in 1975. Fleming pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line on 13 of his 50 punts last year. Fleming's 50 punts last year marked the lowest number among the Pac-10's starting punters.
PLAYING AT HOME: Washington has won 50 of its last 62 (.815) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (50-11-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 98-23-2 (.805) at home and are 68-16-2 (.802) since 1986. Washington piled up a perfect 6-0 record at home during the 1996 season. That marked the Huskies' 11th perfect season in Husky Stadium. It was also the fourth perfect home slate in the 1990s, having won every home contest in 1991, 1992 and 1994.
RANKED-WIN STREAK GROWS: Washington's upset of 25th-ranked Oregon On Oct. 2, 1999, marked the 11th straight year the Huskies have defeated an opponent ranked in the Associated Press poll. In fact, Washington has defeated an AP-ranked team in 22 of its last 23 seasons. The only break in the streak came in 1988 when the Huskies played only two games against nationally-ranked foes -- UCLA (No. 2) and USC (No. 3), losing both of those games.
MISSING THE TROJANS: For the second straight season, Washington will not play one of its biggest Pac-10 rivals as the Dawgs will "miss" USC. Under the Pac-10 scheduling system, each school plays eight conference games a year and misses the same opponent for two straight years. That system changes in 2002, when teams will miss eachother for only one season at a time.
HISTORIC HUSKY STADIUM: The 2000 season marks the 81th season of play in Husky Stadium. Originally construction on the facility was completed in 1920 when Washington played one game in the new campus facility. Thanks to several major renovations, Husky Stadium's seating capacity has increased to its current total of 72,500. That makes Husky Stadium the 24th largest college football venue in the nation. It is the 20th largest on-campus facility in the country. Washington's all-time record in Husky Stadium currently stands at 315-133-21.
ANOTHER PACKED HOUSE: Washington's average of 71,790 fans per home game last year was the eighth highest average in Pac-10 history. The all-time Pac-10 record for average home attendance was set by USC in 1988 (76,063). Washington, however, has seven of the top 10 highest averages in history despite playing in a smaller stadium than either USC or UCLA. Washington also holds the Pac-10 record for total attendance in a season with 504,770 total fans in 1992 (7 games).
ANOTHER TOUGH SCHEDULE: Last year, Washington faced six team that went on to play in a bowl game. Only nine teams in the nation faced more than six bowl teams, led by South Carolina, who faced nine. This season, Washington's non-conference opponent combined to go 23-13 last season, a winning percentage of .639. This year, the Husky schedule includes six teams that played in bowl games last season.
HUSKIES IN THE NFL: Washington had 45 of its former players listed on NFL preseason rosters in 2000. That list includes four players off of last year's UW team: LB Lester Towns (Carolina), WR Dane Looker (New England), DL Jabari Issa (Arizona) and DL Mac Tuiaea (San Diego). Washington also has a remarkable total of seven tight ends on NFL rosters: Eric Bjornson (New England), Jeremy Brigham (Oakland), Mark Bruener (Pittsburgh), Cameron Cleeland (New Orleans), Ernie Conwell (St. Louis), Reggie Davis (San Diego) and Aaron Pierce (Baltimore).
HUSKY QBS LEAD THE WAY: Washington has six former quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL. That's the highest total among all colleges. That group includes: Mark Brunell (Jacksonville), Chris Chandler (Atlanta), Billy Joe Hobert (Indianapolis), Brock Huard (Seattle), Damon Huard (Miami) and Warren Moon (Kansas City).That list does not include for Husky QB Eric Bjornson, who has made his career in the NFL as a tight end, currently with New England.
HUSKY LEGEND: Walter Harrison, who was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1999, will be honored as this Saturday's Husky Legend. Harrison will be introduced to the Husky Stadium crowd between the third and fourth quarters. Harrison, who played from 1940-42, was a member of the All-Time Husky Team for the first 50 years of UW football. A center and linebacker, he was an All-Coast pick and a second-team All-American.
AUTHOR, AUTHOR: "The Glory of Washington," a new book detailing the 110-year history of Washington athletics, will be available in October. The book, written by UW media relations director Jim Daves and W. Thomas Porter, is available by phone (877-424-BOOK) or on-line at www.SportsPublishingInc.com.
RANDOM HUSKY NOTES: The usual UW schedule calls for two non-conference home games and one non-league road game, this year that road game is at Colorado ... during the '90's, Washington went only 4-5 in such games (there was no non-conference road game in '92), but the list of opponents is a strong one: Purdue (1990 win), Nebraska (1991 win and 1998 loss), Ohio State (1993 loss and 1995 loss), Miami (1994 win), Notre Dame (1996 loss) and Brigham Young (1997 win and 1999 loss) ... of Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel's 37 all-time wins, 23 have been by more than 10 points ... Washington spent last season in a temporary locker room, training room and equipment room, but moved into their brand new facilities in newly-renovated Bank of America Arena in August ... what do starting UW senior quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo and walkon junior safety Nick Olszewski have in common? More than you might think. The two players are cousins ... offensive line coach Brent Myers grew up in North Seattle and used to come to Husky games with his father, who was served as the security guard outside the tunnel during the 1960's and 70's ... the Huskies' ranking of No. 13 in the AP poll is their highest since they were tabbed No. 8 in the fourth week of the 1998 season ... the No. 13 rank is the Dawgs' highest preseason ranking since they were picked No. 4 in 1997 ... ESPN's College Gameday show may come to Seattle on Sept. 9 ... ESPN has narrowed its possible sites that week to either South Bend or Seattle, depending on results in this week's games ... ESPN is also letting internet voters decide where the Oct. 7 Gameday will take place, and one of the seven candidates is Seattle.