Sept. 13, 2010
THE GAME: A sold-out Husky Stadium is expected when the Washington football team (1-1) plays host to highly-ranked Nebraska (2-0) this Saturday, Sept. 18, at 12:30 p.m. The Huskies will be playing a second straight home game after having beaten Syracuse, 41-20, in their home opener last week. The Cornhuskers, ranked No. 8 in the both Associated Press Top 25 and in the coaches' poll, have won home games against Western Kentucky and Idaho and are thus making their first road trip of the season this week. Washington, which received 14 points in the latest coaches poll, has made a habit of hosting highly-ranked, non-conference opponents of late including No. 11 LSU last year, No. 3 Oklahoma in 2008 and No. 10 Ohio State and No. 22 Boise State in 2007. Nebraska is making its first trip to Montlake since 1997, having also visited in 1992 and 1967. After the Nebraska game, the Huskies get an off week before returning to action at USC on Oct. 2. That road game is followed by back-to-back home games vs. Arizona State and Oregon State.
TOUGHENING UP AT HOME: Now just 14 games into the tenure of UW head coach Steve Sarkisian, the Huskies have already made great strides in their performances at Husky Stadium. In fact, the Huskies have won three straight (Washington State, California and Syracuse) and five of their last six games on their home turf. Not bad, considering that the five-out-of-six run followed a nine-game home losing streak that was snapped with a win over Idaho last year. Included in those five wins are two victories over ranked foes (16-13 over No. 3 USC and 42-10 over No. 19 Cal last year). Over their last three at home, the Huskies have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 113-31.
TELEVISION: The Washington-Nebraska game will air regionally on ABC television, with Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Shelley Smith providing the commentary. That broadcast will also be shown on espn3.com. Additionally, "Huskies All-Access" airs each Wednesday evening on FSN. The program is an up-close look at each Husky game, with features, one-on-one interviews and sideline video.
RADIO: The Washington ISP Sports Network, with its flagship station KJR 950-AM, will carry the live broadcast of every football game on 17 Northwest radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Damon Huard are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. The Husky broadcast will also air on Sirius and XM satellite radio, and can be heard over the internet via the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com.
ENTIRE STAFF RETURNS: For the first time in two decades, the entire Husky football coaching staff returns in 2010. The head coach and all nine full-time assistants are back from the 2009 staff. The last time that happened at Washington was in 1990, when head coach Don James' entire staff returned after the 1989 season. Incidentally, both graduate assistants also return in 2010, though that wasn't the case in 1990, when more GAs were allowed on a staff.
HUSKIES vs. CORNHUSKERS HISTORY: The Huskers and the Huskies meet this week for the eighth time with the series tied at three wins, three losses and one tie for each side. The Cornhuskers have won each of the last two meetings, in 1997 and 1998, after Washington had won two games earlier that same decade, in 1991 and 1992. In the most recent game, Nebraska cruised to a 55-7 win in Lincoln on Sept. 26, 1998. The Huskers rushed for 434 yards, led by 146 from DeAngelo Evans while the Huskies were limited to 273 yards of total offense. A year prior in Seattle, Nebraska handed the second-ranked Huskies a 27-14 loss as Ahman Green and Joel Makovicka rushed for 129 yards each. Nebraska's defense surrendered only 43 yards to Washington on the ground. True freshman QB Marques Tuiasosopo came off the bench for injured starter Brock Huard and threw for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns in only his third appearance. In the pervious two meetings, Washington came from behind to take two wins against the Huskers. In 1991, the fourth-ranked Huskies found themselves down 14-6 at halftime at Memorial Stadium. Derek Brown pushed the score to 21-9 before the Billy Joe Hobert led Huskies rallied for 25 unanswered points, giving No. 9 Nebraska a 36-21 loss. Washington went on to win the national title that year. In 1992, a raucous, packed house watched the second-ranked Huskies beat the No. 12 Huskers 29-14 in a then-rare night game at Husky Stadium. Nebraska tied Washington in 1925, 7-7. That UW team went on to lose by a point in the 1926 Rose Bowl to Alabama. Washington won in 1926 by a 10-7 margin and, 41 years later in 1967, Nebraska evened the series with a 17-7 win.
WASHINGTON-NEBRASKA TIES: There are no direct links between Washington's and Nebraska's coaching staffs. More surpringly considering that Huskies' and Huskers' rosters both include a number of players from California, there is only one set of players from both sides who attended the same high school. That's UW senior linebacker Victor Aiyewa and NU freshman defensive back Harvey Jackson, who both went to Hightower HS in Fresno, Texas. (It might be worth mentioning that the UW has a player from Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan while Nebraska has another from Los Angeles Jordan HS, two different schools. Same goes for Centennial HS of Compton and Centennial HS of Corona - both in southern California.) There are no players from Nebraska on the Husky roster, and there are also none from Washington on the Huskers roster.
HUSKIES vs. THE BIG 12: Washington is 21-20-2 all-time vs. the current makeup of the Big 12 Conference. The Huskies are 1-3 vs. Baylor; 5-5-1 vs. Colorado; 1-0 vs. Iowa State; 1-0 vs. Kansas; 4-1 vs. Kansas State; 3-3-1 vs. Nebraska; 1-2 vs. Oklahoma; 1-1 vs. Oklahoma State; 1-3 vs. Texas; 1-2 vs. Texas A&M; and 2-0 vs. Texas Tech. In games played at Husky Stadium, the UW is 13-10-1 against those teams. The only Big 12 school that has never faced Washington is Missouri.
PLAYING THE TRUE FRESHMEN: In the BYU game, Washington set a school record by utilizing 13 true freshmen. The largest number of true freshmen every to play in a season at the UW was 12, in 2008. Against Syracuse, a 14th first-year man played. Here's a list of freshmen who have played this year: TB Jesse Callier, CB Gregory Ducre, FB Zach Fogerson, LB Princeton Fuimaono, LB Garret Gilliland, TE Michael Hartvigson, DE Hau'oli Jamora, OL Erik Kohler, S Sean Parker, LB Cooper Pelluer, OL Colin Porter, DT Sione Potoa'e, WR Kevin Smith and S Taz Stevenson.
CAPTAINS: At the "Raise the Woof!" kickoff celebration held on Aug. 27, the four captains for the 2010 season, as voted by their teammates, were revealed. They are senior LB Mason Foster (Seaside, Calif.), junior offensive tackle Senio Kelemete (Seattle, Wash.), senior QB Jake Locker (Ferndale, Wash.) and senior S Nate Williams (Renton, Wash.). Locker was also voted as a season captain in 2009. Additionally, at each game, two game captains accompany the regular four on to the field for the coin flip. Here's a list of those:
at BYU: Cort Dennison, Nick Montana
vs. Syracuse: Victor Aiyewa, Andrew Hudson
THE 100-YARD FACTOR: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 168-51-3 (.764) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies have one 100-yard rushing performance this year: Chris Polk (117) vs. Syracuse, a win for the UW.
PLAYING AT HOME: Washington has gone unbeaten at home 13 times in its history, including six times in the last 20 seasons. Washington has won 85 of its last 128 (.668) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (85-42-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 133-53-2 (.713) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 53-30-1 (.637) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 opponents.
HISTORIC HUSKY STADIUM: The 2010 season marks the 90th 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. UW's all-time record in Husky Stadium currently stands at 350-165-21 (.673).
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. The team has two sets of brothers in Jermaine (Jr. WR) and Jamaal (Fr. LB) Kearse, and Johri (Jr. TB) and Zach (Fr. FB) Fogerson. Both Fogersons are related to both Nate Robinson (former UW football and basketball player; current New York Knick) and former Husky basketball standout Dion Brown. Sophomore linebacker Jordan Wallace is the younger brother of former Husky safety C.J. Wallace. Another sophomore, Talia Crichton, is a cousin of former DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim RS-freshman quarterback Keith Price is a cousin of former UW tailback Jelani Harrison. A little further afield, freshman TE Michael Hartvigson is a cousin to former UW baseball pitchers Chad and Grant Hartvigson. Incidentally, at least four Huskies have close family ties to Washington State. Both Cooper Pelluer and Cameron Elisara's fathers played at WSU, as did Husky cornerback Desmond Trufant's brother Marcus. Sophomore safety Nate Fellner is the grandson of former WSU head coach Jim Sweeney. Pelluer's uncle Steve, however, was a UW quarterback and his father Scott was an assistant coach at Washington.