Oct. 22, 2007
The Game: The Washington football team (2-5 overall, 0-4 in the Pac-10) takes on Arizona this Saturday in a 12 noon homecoming game at Husky Stadium. The Wildcats (2-6, 1-4) come to Seattle after having hosted the Huskies the last two seasons in Tucson. The game will air live state-wide on various television stations (see below for details). After the Arizona game, the Huskies hit the road for two straight games when they play at Stanford at on Nov. 3 and at Oregon State on Nov. 10.
Huskies vs. Wildcats History: Washington holds a 16-6-1 (.717) edge in the series against Arizona, with the Huskies taking nine of the last 12. Overall, the Huskies are 31-18-1 all-time against the Arizona schools (Arizona and Arizona State). The last two meetings have come in Tucson. Last year, the Huskies took a 21-3 lead in the second quarter and won, 21-10. In 2005, Isaiah Stanback's dramatic, 69-yard bomb on the last play of the first half and 200 rushing yards from James Sims led the Huskies to a 38-14 win. Before the last two seasons' games, the series had been marked by very close games. In fact, the six UW-Arizona games prior to 2005 were decided by a total of 31 points, with the most lopsided result (a 31-21 Arizona win) coming in 2004. That year, the Wildcats overcame a 13-9 halftime deficit, out-scoring the Huskies, 14-0, in the second half for the win. In 2003, Arizona snapped a string of 13 straight home losses in conference play by pulling out a late, 27-22 victory. In 2002, it was the Huskies who rallied late when Reggie Williams scored on an 80-yard reception with only 2:03 remaining in the game. In 2001, Cody Pickett ran in from three yards out with 13 seconds left to cap an amazing day. Only two weeks after separating his right (throwing) vs. USC, Pickett broke the UW record with 455 passing yards as the Huskies won, 31-28. Also included in the recent close contests are Washington's come-from-behind, 35-32 win in 2000 in Seattle, which may be the most memorable game in the series' history. Trailing 28-24 to Washington with under a minute to play, Arizona quarterback Ortege Jenkins flipped head over heels over three Husky defenders, landing on his feet in the end zone for the winning score. Close wins for Arizona are the rule in this series. Three of the Wildcats' five six in the series have come by three points, including Arizona's first-ever win over Washington in 1988, snapping the Huskies' six-game unbeaten streak in the series. The Wildcats overcame two 10-point deficits, but still appeared headed for a tie before Washington quarterback Cary Conklin fumbled in the final minute, setting up Doug Pfaff's game-winning 22-yard field goal with five seconds left. The Wildcats won again by a field goal the following year, marking their longest winning streak (two games) in series history. In his fourth season as a head coach, Arizona's Mike Stoops is 1-2 against Washington. During his two prior years at the UW and seven seasons at Stanford, UW head man Tyrone Willingham is 4-3 against the Wildcats (Stanford and Arizona didn't play one another in 1995 or 1996). All four of Willingham's wins over the `Cats have come in Tucson (1999: 50-22; 2001: 51-37; 2005: 38-14; 2006: 21-10).
Television: The Washington-Arizona game will air live, via an FSN-Northwest production, statewide on over-the-air stations. In the Seattle area, the game will be shown on KSTW-Channel 11. In the Spokane area, it will be on KHQ-Channel 6 while the Yakima and Tri-Cities area will be able to view the game on KNDO (23)/KNDU (25). Kevin Calabro, Brock Huard and Brooke Olzendam will provide the commentary. Additionally, "Huskies All-Access" airs Thursday at 10:00 p.m. on FSN. The program is an up-close look at each Husky game, with features, 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 three different states and British Columbia, Canada, on 21 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. Many game broadcasts will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio on channel 194, 195 or 196 and can be heard over the internet via the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com, which is available for no charge this season.
Washington-Arizona Ties: There is really just one connection between the UW coaches and the Arizona staff. UA defensive tackles coach Mike Tuiasosopo is a cousin of Manu Tuiasosopo, father of former Huskies Zach and Marques Tuiasosopo and uncle to current Dawgs linebacker Trenton Tuiasosopo. Mike Tuiasosopo also worked at Nevada (2000-02) under former Wolfpack head coach and current UW linebackers coach Chris Tormey. Arizona's current roster includes just one player from the state of Washington: sophomore tight end Adam Grant, from Puyallup High, the alma mater of Husky wide receiver Cody Ellis. Washington's roster lists only one Arizonan: cornerback Matt Mosley (Tempe/Corona del Sol). Huskies and Wildcats that went to the same high school: Husky linebacker Dan Howell and Arizona QB Tyler Lyon both played at Hart High in Newhall, Calif., while UW CB Jordan Murchison and Arizona TE A.J. Simmons are both Bishop O'Dowd graduates. Husky TB Brandon Johnson and Arizona DE Mike Shelton are both from L.A.'s Dominguez High while Husky kicker Erik Folk and UA long snapper Mike Getzler both attended L.A.-area power Notre Dame High. Finally, like most Pac-10 schools, both teams have Long Beach Poly grads: UW CB Byron Davenport and Wildcats DT Conan Amituanai.
vs. Arizona Schools: Arizona and Arizona State joined the Pac-10 prior to the 1978 football season. Prior to that, the UW had never faced Arizona and had played ASU only once (a 35-12 loss in 1975). Overall, the UW is 31-18-1 (.630) against the two Arizona teams, including a 16-7-0 record in games played in Seattle. In only 15 of the 50 all-time games between the UW and the two Arizona schools has neither team been ranked by the Associated Press.
Last Year vs. Arizona: The Huskies improve to 4-1 on the season with a 21-10 win over Arizona on Oct. 1, 2006, at Tucson in the two teams' most recent meeting. The Huskies scored all 21 of their points over the final six minutes and seven seconds in the second quarter. Trailing 3-0, the Huskies got on the board on a three-year TD pass from Isaiah Stanback to Sonny Shackelford to cap a seven-play, 80-yard drive. After a Wildcats punt, a 44-yard pass from Stanback to Anthony Russo set up a four-yard TD run from Kenny James to make it 14-3. After another punt, the Huskies took over on their own 20-yard line with just 54 seconds left in the half. Stanback hit Shackelford with a 25-yard pass before connecting with Quintin Daniels on a 55-yard score to send the Huskies to the locker room up, 21-3. A 13-yard scoring pass from Willie Tuitama to Syndric Steptoe in the third quarter was the only other score in the game. Washington held the Cats to minus-7 yards rushing, thanks largely to six sacks. Stanback went 14-for-25 for 293 yards and two touchdowns.
Ranked Opponents in `07: Oregon, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press top 25 last week, was the fifth Husky opponent this season (in only seven games) to be ranked by the AP. With current rankings, the Huskies have a good shot to play seven AP-ranked teams this season as future opponents include current current No. 16 Hawaii and No. 18 California. The Huskies have never before played seven ranked foes in a regular season. On three occasions, the UW has played a regular-season schedule that included six ranked teams: in 1969, 1986 and 1992.
Big Win At Syracuse: The Huskies' 42-12 win at Syracuse was something of a milestone win. After all, with a 30-point margin of victory, it was the Dawgs' most-lopsided win over a non-conference opponent since a 34-0 win at Northwestern in the 1983 season-opener. For that matter, Washington hadn't beaten any opponent by 30 or more since a 42-10 over Oregon on Nov. 1, 2003, and was the biggest win over a BCS-conference team on the road (Pac-10 or non-conference) since the 51-3 win over Washington State in the 2000 Apple Cup.
And a Big Win vs. Broncos: The Huskies' 24-10 win over then-No. 22 Boise State had its share of milestones, not unlike the Syracuse game. The win over the Broncos was the Huskies' first win over a ranked team since the UW beat No. 8 Washington State, 27-19, in the 2003 Apple Cup (Nov. 22, 2003). It was the Dawgs' first win over a non-conference ranked team since the UW opened the 2001 season with a 23-18 victory over No. 11 Michigan. The 2001 season was also the last time that Washington has opened a season 2-0. In the meantime, the Huskies broke the Broncos' 14-game winning streak and held BSU to its lowest point total since 2005.
Random Notes: The Huskies have eight interceptions this year, by eight different players ... the Dawgs hadn't blocked a field goal since 2001 prior to the Boise State game, but now have a blocked FG (both by Jordan Reffett) in two of their last three games (Boise and Ohio State) ... on the other hand, the Huskies have also had a field goal blocked in those same two ... the UW hasn't committed double-digit (i.e., 10 or more) penalties in a game in any of their 30 games under Coach Tyrone Willingham ... with 537 yards (76.7 per game), quarterback Jake Locker is the Huskies' leading rusher ... the last Huskies QB to lead the team in rushing was Denny Fitzpatrick, with 697 yards in 1974 ... Locker rushed for 102 yards vs. Ohio State and is currently seventh in the Pac-10 in rushing.
True Freshmen: Last season, only two true freshman saw game action (LB Donald Butler and FB Paul Homer). However, this season, a much bigger group of first-year players have played - a total of seven thusfar. Cornerback Vonzell McDowell Jr. has started three games, while S Nate Williams, S Victor Aiyewa, LB Mason Foster, LB/FB Austin Sylvester and TBs Curtis Shaw and Brandon Johnson have all played, with Foster picking up a start at Arizona State.