Sept. 5, 2005
The Game: One week after suffering a tough, 20-17 loss to Air Force in the season opener at Qwest Field, the Huskies return to their true home this Saturday for their Husky Stadium opener and the Pac-10's first conference game of 2005. The Huskies (0-1) take on California (1-0), a team coming off of a 41-3 win over Sacramento State last Saturday in Berkeley. The Bears are ranked No. 19 by the AP and No. 20 in the coaches' poll. The game is the first of three straight home games for the Dawgs, who play host to Idaho and Notre Dame the following two weeks. The UW's first road trip comes Oct. 1 when the Huskies travel to face UCLA.
Hurricane Relief: At this Saturday's game vs. California, UW student-athletes and volunteers from KING-5 TV and KJR-AM radio will be collecting funds to support the Red Cross' hurricane relief efforts at all entrances to Husky Stadium and various other locations surrounding the stadium. Fans should look for "Hurricane Relief" signs at each of the public stadium gates to contribute to the effort. The gates will be staffed by volunteers with Red Cross collection boxes or buckets. Checks should be made out to American Red Cross with "Hurricane Relief 2005" on the memo line.
Huskies vs. Golden Bears History: Washington and California are the only two teams that have played in what is now the Pacific-10 Conference in every season since the league was founded in 1916. As that would indicate, they've played one another quite often. The Huskies hold a 46-35-4 record in the all-time series, which began in 1904. Prior to Cal victories in each of the last three meetings, the Huskies had won 19 consecutive games in the series, a streak that began with a 50-31 win in 1977. Before 2002, the last Cal win had come in 1976. Over the 19-game streak, the Huskies were ranked at the time of the Cal game 12 times, including playing as the No. 1 team in the country three times vs. the Golden Bears. The Bears were ranked on only three occasions. Cal and UW first met in 1904, battling to a 6-6 tie in a game played in Seattle. In both 1915 and 1916, they played one another twice each year, with unbeaten head coach Gil Dobie's Washington team sweeping the four games. In 1917, Cal broke the UW's 63-game unbeaten streak (still an NCAA record) with a 27-0 win in Berkeley. Other big games in the series include the 1937 game, when the unranked Huskies held No. 1 Cal to a 0-0 tie in Seattle. In 1991, the Bears probably came as close as anyone to beating Washington that national championship season, as Mike Pawlawski's last-gasp pass into the endzone was batted down in a 24-17 UW win. Washington has also posted four of its nine biggest comebacks in history against California. The biggest ever was in 1988, when the Dawgs trailed 27-3 before rallying to win, 28-27. In 1981, Washington was down 21-0 in the third quarter before coming back for a 27-26 victory. A 20-point comeback in 1993 (24-23) and a 14-point rally in 1999 (31-27) also rank on the list. In 2001, the Huskies trailed 21-7 in the first quarter, but came back to earn a 31-28 victory in Berkeley. The Bears, however, have now won three straight against the Huskies. In 2002, the Bears beat the Huskies, 34-27, at Husky Stadium to break the Dawgs' 19-game streak in the series. The following year in Berkeley, Cal routed Washington, 54-7, in the next-to-last game of the season. Last year, the Bears visited Husky Stadium and left with a 42-12 win. This Saturday's game marks the first head-to-head matchup of Bears coach Jeff Tedford and Husky head man Tyrone Willingham. Willingham, however, is 7-0 all-time against California (more on that below).
Willingham vs. Cal: In his seven seasons as head coach at Stanford (1995-2001), UW head coach Tyrone Willingham posted a perfect 7-0 record against the Cardinal's biggest rival, California. That stretch of games included four contests played at Stanford Stadium and three at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium. Several of the games were close. In Willingham's first "Big Game" in 1995, Stanford won, 29-24. Two years later, the Cardinal snatched a 21-20 win followed by a 10-3 victory in 1998 in Berkeley. The 2000 game in Berkeley was a 36-30 overtime victory and Willingham's most recent win over the Bears, in 2001, came by a touchdown, 35-28. Willingham went 1-0 head-to-head vs. Keith Gilbertson, 1-0 vs. Steve Mariucci and 5-0 vs. Tom Holmoe.
Television: The Washington-California game will air live on ABC-TV to a regional audience with Keith Jackson, Dan Fouts and Scott Walker calling the action. The game will also re-air Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4:30 p.m. on FSN Northwest, with Brian Davis and Sonny Sixkiller on the call. During the season, Husky games will air on FSN on tape delay Sundays at 3:00 p.m., except for the Cal game, which will be shown at 4:30 p.m. Additionally, "Husky Football All-Access" airs each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. during the season on Fox Sports. The program is an up-close look at each Husky game, with one-on-one interviews and sideline video.
Radio: The Husky Sports Network, with its flagship station KJR 950-AM, will carry the live broadcast of every football game to five different states and British Columbia, Canada, on 26 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. Most broadcasts will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio on channel 194, 195 or 196.
The Coach: Tyrone Willingham was named Washington's 22nd head football coach on December 13, 2004. A former head coach at Notre Dame and Stanford, Willingham became the first African-American to serve as the Huskies head coach. While he brings an impressive resume with him to resurrect the Husky program, Willingham has acquitted himself well among his peers for much more than just fielding winning teams. Over the past 28 years Willingham has developed a coaching style that emphasizes toughness, enthusiasm, intelligence, discipline, commitment and unselfish play. The result has provided his players with more than just the opportunity to enjoy victories on the field. His guiding principles have prepared his players to be successful in life. Willingham, who turned 51 on Dec. 30, served as the head coach at Stanford (1995-2001) and Notre Dame (2002-2004) over the past decade. His Stanford teams enjoyed a 44-36-1 record while he was 21-15 with the Fighting Irish, including a 38-3 victory against Washington last season at Notre Dame Stadium. In his inaugural season with the Irish in 2002, he wasted no time reversing the tide of the Irish program, leading Notre Dame to a 10-2 regular-season record and a trip to the 2003 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. He was named Sportsman of the Year by The Sporting News after the 2002 season, while also picking up several national coach of the year awards. Prior to his tenure at Notre Dame, Willingham directed the Stanford program for seven seasons. In 1999, the Cardinal won the Pac-10 and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1972, earning Willingham Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. He also led the Cardinal to the 1995 Liberty Bowl, the 1996 Sun Bowl and the 2001 Seattle Bowl. Willingham, who grew up in Jacksonville, N.C., played both football and baseball at Michigan State, earning three letters in both sports and was awarded the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor as the outstanding scholar-athlete in the league. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1977 and, aside from his two previous head coaching stints, has served as a full-time assistant at Central Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Rice and Stanford, as well as with the Minnesota Vikings
Pac-10 Double Dip: Having spent seven seasons as head coach at Stanford, Tyrone Willingham becomes the second head coach in UW history (following his predecessor Keith Gilbertson, who also was the head man at Cal) to come to Washington after having been head coach at another Pac-10 school. In fact, it's relatively rare for a coach to have served in that capacity at more than one Pac-10 institution. In recent years, Bruce Snyder (California and Arizona State), Dennis Erickson (Washington State at Oregon State) and Larry Smith (Arizona and USC) have done it. Earlier examples include Tommy Prothro (Oregon State at UCLA) and Washington's own Leonard "Stub" Allison, who coached one season at the UW (1920) before eventually spending 10 seasons as Cal head coach (1935-44).
Willingham vs. the Pac-10: Thanks mostly to his time at Stanford, but also via frequent games vs. western teams while at Notre Dame, Tyrone Willingham has amassed a lengthy record against Pac-10 teams. Overall, Willingham is 47-28 against Pac-10 teams. Interestingly, his teams have struggled the most against Washington, as he's gone 1-6 against his new charges. Here's Willingham's record against each Pac-10 team: Arizona (2-3), Arizona State (4-3), California (7-0), Oregon (4-1), Oregon State (3-4), Stanford (3-0), UCLA (3-4), USC (4-6), Washington (1-5), Washington State (6-2).
Coaching Staff: Washington's new coaching staff, under first-year head coach Tyrone Willingham, includes a number of names that might be familiar to more savvy Pac-10 football fans. Willingham, of course, spent seven seasons in charge of Stanford, where he'd previously served as an assistant (1989-91) for three seasons. And, two members of the Husky staff from last season were held over as well, lending more than a little familiarity. Defensive line coach Randy Hart is now working for his fifth different head coach as a member of the Husky staff while linebackers coach Chris Tormey, is beginning his 15th season at the UW, spread over three different stints. Aside from those three, several other UW coaches have experience in or around the Northwest. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer has coached in the Pac-10 at California, Arizona State and Stanford, as well as at Idaho. Spokane native Tim Lappano previously worked at Idaho, Washington State, California, Oregon State and with the Seattle Seahawks. Receivers coach Eric Yarber, an Idaho grad, has spent time at his alma mater, with the Seahawks and at Oregon State while Mike Denbrock (offensive line) and Trent Miles (running backs) both worked one season each at Stanford. Only tight ends/special teams coach Bob Simmons, the former Oklahoma State head coach, and defensive backs coach Steven Wilks can't trace their coaching roots through the Pac-10.
The GAs: Washington's two graduate assistant coaches this season are Kyle Benn (offense) and Joey Hildbold (defense). Benn earned four letters as a center and was a captain on the 2001 team. That season, he was one of only two players named to the All-Pac-10 and Academic All-Pac-10 first teams. He is in his second season as a G.A. at his alma mater. Hildbold, a 2003 graduate of Notre Dame, was a punter for the Irish from 1999 to 2002. He was a two-time finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top collegiate punter.
Washington-California Ties: Two members of the Washington coaching staff have spent time as assistant coaches at California. UW defensive coordinator Kent Baer held that same job in Berkeley from 1987 to 1991 while Husky offensive coordinator Tim Lappano was assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Bears from 1992 to 1995. UW running backs coach Trent Miles and Cal head coach Jeff Tedford were on the same staff at Fresno State for one season, 1997. Lappano, Husky receivers coach Eric Yarber and Cal offensive line coach and Seattle native Jim Michalczik were all on Dennis Erickson's Oregon State staff in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Finally, as far as the coaches go, Michalczik is married to former Husky volleyball player Jennifer Streatfeild and Bears secondary coach J.D. Williams is an older brother of late Husky safety Curtis Williams. Cal's preseason roster lists only one player from Washington: freshman linebacker Anthony Felder (O'Dea). Washington's roster includes numerous Californians, but only five from Northern California: Matt Fountaine (Oakland), Greyson Gunheim (Sebastopol), Manase Hopoi (Sacramento), Robin Meadow (San Francisco) and C.J. Wallace (Sacramento). Numerous Bears and Huskies attended the same high school: UW's Wilson Afoa and Joe Lobendahn and Cal's Tyson Alualu (St. Louis); Meadow and Cal's Anthony Binswanger, Andy Briner and Tosh Lupoi (De La Salle); Fountaine and Cal's Jesse Brooks, Drew Glover and Cameron Toler (Bishop O'Dowd), UW's Dashon Goldson and Roy Lewis and Cal's Marcus O'Keith (Narbonne); UW's Brandon Ala and Cal's Mika Kane and Abu Ma'afala (Kamehameha); UW's Kim Taylor and Cal's Gary Doxy (Long Beach Poly); UW's Stanley Daniels and Cal's Fahim Mujaahid Abd Allah and Mickey Pimentel (Marian Catholic). Finally, Husky safety Mesphin Forrester and Cal safety Wale Forrester are brothers. Both attended Venice High, as did UW DT Erick Lobos.
Home Openers: The Huskies are 83-25-5 in home openers (whether the first game of the season or not), a percentage of .763. That mark includes a 28-game streak of home opener wins that ran from 1908 to 1935. Before falling to Air Force in the 1999 home opener, Washington had won 13 straight since falling to Oklahoma State on Sept. 7, 1985. Washington fell to Fresno State in last season's home opener, which was also the season opener. The Huskies had posted wins over Indiana (2002) and San Jose State (2003) in the previous two years' openers. In 2001, the Huskies opened vs. No. 10 Michigan, beating the Wolverines, 23-18, in a mild upset. Husky coach Tyrone Willingham holds a career record of 6-3-1 in home openers while at Stanford (3-3-1) and Notre Dame (3-0). His teams have won his last four home openers, beating No. 8 Michigan last year, Washington State in 2003 and Purdue in 2002 while at Notre Dame and Boston College in his final season at Stanford, 2001.
vs. Bay Area Schools: Washington has a combined, all-time record of 95-69-8 vs. opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area. Washington is 46-35-4 against California, 39-33-4 vs. Stanford, 8-0 vs. San Jose State, 1-1 vs. St. Mary's and 1-0 vs. Santa Clara. The Huskies haven't played Santa Clara since 1935 and haven't faced St. Mary's since 1947. Since 1977, Washington is 46-6-0 vs. Bay Area teams: 19-3 vs. Cal, 20-3 vs. Stanford and 7-0 vs. San Jose State.
At Home After Road Loss: Over the last two and a half decades, Washington has been very tough to beat at Husky Stadium after a road loss the previous game. Since 1980, the Huskies have posted a 26-9 record in home games that followed a road loss in the preceeding game. And, when the home opponent following a loss away from Seattle is not ranked, the Dawgs' record shoots up to 21-4 over that same span. Since 1980, the only three times that the Huskies have lost at home to an unranked team the game after losing on the road was last year (a 23-13 loss to Arizona after a 31-6 loss at Oregon), 2003 (a 28-17 loss to Nevada following a loss at UCLA), 2002 (a 34-24 loss to UCLA following a loss at Arizona State) and 1999 (a 31-21 loss to Air Force following a loss at Brigham Young).
100 Yards In First Start: Against Air Force, sophomore Louis Rankin rushed for 112 yards on 23 carries in his first career start, making him the first UW tailback to top the century mark in his first start since Corey Dillon in 1996. Dillon rushed for 173 yards on 36 carries Oct. 5, 1996, vs. Stanford. Other recent TBs to pull off the feat: Leon Neal, 105 yards on 22 carries vs. Arizona State on Sept. 2, 1995; and Napoleon Kaufman, 208 yards on 30 carries vs. Cal on Oct. 10, 1992.
The 100-Yard Factor: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 159-38-3 (.803) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies went 3-1 in such games in 2003, 1-1 in 2004 and are 0-1 this season after Louis Rankin rushed for 112 yards in the loss to Air Force.
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 59 times. The Huskies' record stands at 54-5-1 (.908) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 29-2-1 (.922) when rushing for 200 yards.
Playing at Home: Washington has gone unbeaten at home 13 times in its history, including six times in the last 15 seasons. Washington has won 73 of its last 94 (.782) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (73-20-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 121-31-2 (.792) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 47-14-1 (.766) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 opponents.
Historic Husky Stadium: The 2005 season marks the 86th season of play in Husky Stadium. Original 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. UW's all-time record in Husky Stadium currently stands at 338-142-21 (.696).
Captains: Washington will not have season-long captains this year. Instead, Coach Tyrone Willingham will name game captains each week. Each game's set of captains will be informed of the honor the Friday before each game. For the Air Force game, seniors Joe Lobendahn, Evan Benjamin, James Sims and Joe Toledo served as captains.
Family Ties: As is the case with most seasons of Husky football, there are a number of players on the Washington football team related to either current or former Huskies. Trenton Tuiasosopo and Kim Taylor are cousins, and are also cousins of former Huskies Marques and Zach Tuiasosopo as well as older sister, Leslie, a standout Husky volleyball player and now an assistant coach for the UW volleyball team. Sophomore Craig Chambers' older brother, Richie, was a starting linebacker for the Dawgs in the 1990s. Junior cornerback Matt Fountaine's older brother, Jamal, was a four-year letterman defensive lineman in the early 1990s at the UW. Kicker Evan Knudson is a half-brother of former Husky punter Channing Wyles. Linebacker Evan Benjamin's older sister, Paige, was an All-America volleyball player for the Huskies while sophomore guard Jason Benn's older brother Kyle, a center for the Dawgs from 1998-2001, is now a graduate assistant coach. Redshirt freshman Chris Rohrbach is the son of former UW linebacker Mike Rohrbach, who was a captain on the Huskies' 1977 Pac-10 champion team. Fullback Luke Kravitz' father Al, was a defensive end that lettered at the UW in 1970 and 1971. Defensive tackle Andy Heater's father, Chuck, was a Husky assistant coach from 1999 to 2003. Linebacker Brian Tawney's sister, Traci, played softball at the UW. Finally, safety Chris Hemphill and cornerback Roy Lewis are cousins.