Sept. 11, 2006
The Game: The Washington football team (1-1) returns to Husky Stadium for the first of two straight home games and the final non-conference game of the 2006 schedule when Fresno State (1-1) visits for a 3:30 p.m. PDT game this Saturday, Sept. 16. Washington is coming off of a 37-20 loss last weekend at Oklahoma while the Bulldogs fell to Oregon, 31-24, last Saturday. After the Fresno State game, the Huskies open the Pac-10 slate Saturday, Sept. 23, vs. UCLA at Husky Stadium.
Huskies vs. Bulldogs History: Surprisingly enough for two teams from the West Coast, Washington and Fresno State have met only twice in their history. Sept. 29, 1979, at Husky Stadium, the No. 9-ranked Huskies beat Fresno State, 49-14, in what many in the press (as well as Coach Don James) regarded as a lackluster UW performance, final score nonwithstanding. Washington, fresh from a come-from-behind 21-17 win the previous week vs. Oregon in Eugene (the UW scored on a 53-yard punt return with 1:59 left to win 21-17) had moved into the top 10 for the first time in the Don James era when the unranked Bulldogs came to Husky Stadium. After quarterback Tom Porras got the UW on the board with a nine-yard TD run 2:48 into the first quarter, Fresno State replied with a 73-yard touchdown drive that was helped along by a converted fourth down and a 40-yard pass interference penalty. Ken Lovely scored on a one-yard run to cap the drive. On the ensuing kickoff, UW return man Anthony Allen was tackled in the endzone for a safety and Fresno (which had missed its PAT) led 8-7. Late in the opening quarter, the Bulldogs made it 14-7 when Gary Kaiser hit James Terry on a 20-yard pass. However, Washington would go on to score 42 unanswered points, including 21 in the second quarter, to roll to the win. Mike Lansford hit two field goals, the UW got scoring runs from Toussaint Tyler (3 yards), Joe Steele (69 yards) and Willis Ray Mackay (1 yard) and two TD passes (Tom Porras to Paul Skansi, 23 yards; Tom Flick to Steele, 5 yards) to account for their total. Steele finished with 133 rushing yards on 14 carries while Porras passed 11-for-16 for 158 yards and one TD. For the Bulldogs, Lovely ran for 83 yards on 24 tries while Kaiser was 10-for-27 for 197 yards and a TD to go with five interceptions. The other UW-Fresno State game took place in the 2004 season opener, when the Bulldogs handed the Huskies a 35-16 loss. After a scoreless opening quarter, Washington took the game's first lead when an eight-yard run from Isaiah Stanback capped a nine-play, 87-yard scoring drive early in the second quarter. However, James Sanders returned an interception for a 19-yard TD later in the second and Joe Fernandez caught a 12-yard scoring pass from Paul Pinegar in the third to put the visitors on top, 14-7. A Michael Braunstein field goal meant that FSU took a 14-10 lead into the final quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs pulled away as Brian Morris returned a fumble 18 yards for one touchdown and Dwayne Wright ran in a score from 28 yards to make it 28-10. After Kenny James ran in a one-yard TD, Fresno's Richard Marshall ran back an interception for a 75-yard TD to ice the game, the third time in the game that the Bulldogs returned a Husky turnover for a touchdown. The Huskies used three quarterbacks in the game: starter Casey Paus as well as Stanback and Carl Bonnell. Receiver Charles Frederick led the Huskies statistically, nothing 114 yards on nine receptions. Wright rushed for 109 yards to lead the Bulldogs while Pinegar was 13-for-21 for 125 yards.
Television: The Washington-Fresno State game will air live on FSN this Saturday, with Brian Davis (play-by-play), former UW quarterback Sonny Sixkiller (color) and Brooke Olzendam (sidelines) calling the action. Fans can watch a replay of each game this season on the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com the Tuesday after the game between 5:00 p.m. and midnight Pacific Time. There is no charge for any Dawg Channel programming this year. Additionally, "Huskies 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 23 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 and all can be heard over the internet via the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com, which is available for no charge this season.
Washington-Fresno State Ties: Washington's coaching staff has severeal ties with the Fresno State program. Most notably, new Huskies secondary coach J.D. Williams is one of the finest players in Bulldogs history. A two-time All-Big West selection, he was a first-round draft pick in 1990. Williams also served as a coach at Fresno State in 1997 and 2000-2001 and is an older brother of current Bulldog receiver Paul Williams. Both are, of course, brothers of late Husky safety Curtis Williams. J.D. Williams also played at Fresno State when current Bulldogs head coach Pat Hill was offensive coordinator. He's also coached alongside several members of the current Fresno State coaching staff. Husky running backs coach Trent Miles also coached at Fresno State, serving as receivers coach on Hill's staff from 1997 to 1999. FSU linebacker coach Tom Mason has Washington ties in that he coached at both Eastern Washington and Walla Walla CC, where he also played. As for players, there are no Washingtonians on the Fresno State roster, though senior center Robin Kezirian began his career at Washington in 2002. UW senior tailback Kenny James hails from the Fresno area, having prepped at Dos Palos High, about an hour northwest of Fresno. Husky linebacker Dan Howell attended the same high school (Hart High in Newhall, Calif.) as Fresno State QB Sean Norton, OG Chris Piligan and WR Kevin Ciccone while UW tailback Louis Rankin and FSU DB Moses Harris and FB Reynard Camp are all alumni of Lincoln High in Stockton, Calif. Washington OT Chad Macklin and Fresno State K/P Kyle Zimmerman both attended Golden West High in Visalia, Calif., while Husky DT Jovon O'Connor and Bulldog CB Jason Blackmon are both products of Los Angeles High School. UW receiver Sonny Shackelford and Fresno State LB Todd Chisom both attended Beverly Hills High and UW CBs Matt Fountaine and Jordan Murchison as well as Bulldogs OT James Meeks are graduates of Bishop O'Dowd in Oakland, Calif. Lastly, Husky linebacker Chris Stevens and FSU defensive tackle Kenny Avon were teammates at Mojave High in California.
Huskies vs. The WAC: The vast majority of Washington's all-time games against current members of the Western Athletic Conference have come against Idaho as the Huskies and Vandals have squared off 38 times. With a win last year, the UW is 34-2-2 vs. Idaho. Aside from Idaho, the Huskies have played as many games against San Jose State (10, including a win two weeks ago) as against the other seven current members of the Western Athletic Conference, combined. Washington has never played against current WAC members Boise State, Louisiana Tech or New Mexico State and have eight games against the remaining WAC teams other than Idaho or SJSU. The Huskies are 10-0 vs. San Jose State, 1-1 vs. Fresno State (49-14 in 1979; 16-35 in 2004), 1-1 vs. Hawaii (1938 win and 1973 loss), 1-1 vs. Nevada (2-0 in 1903; 17-28 loss in 2003) and 2-0 vs. Utah State (45-0 win in 1904; 53-12 win in 1998). Combined, Washington boasts a 48-5-2 all-time record vs. the current members of the Western Athletic Conference.
Only the Big Boys: Washington is one of just eight NCAA Division I-A programs that has never faced a non-Division I-A opponent since the current division setup was established in 1978. Coming into this season that club included nine programs, but Colorado dropped out of that group after opening the 2006 season against Montana State and California will also fall from the ranks when the Bears play Portland State later this month. The seven remaining schools that have yet to play a non-Division I-A opponent since the advent of the current format are Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, UCLA and Washington.
Oklahoma Recap: After a deadlocked first half ended in a 13-13 tie, 15th-ranked Oklahoma took control in the third quarter on the way to a 37-20 win over Washington last Saturday in Norman. The Huskies got off to a good start. After holding the Sooners to a three-and-out on their first possession, the Dawgs got a 54-yard touchdown run from senior Kenny James on their first offensive play. Later in the first, OU tied it on a seven-yard TD pass from Paul Thompson to Malcolm Kelly. In the second, UW's Michael Braunstein and OU's Garret Hartley exchanged a pair of field goals each to send the game to the lockerroom tied at 13-13. In the second half, however, Oklahoma moved in front for good. After another Thompson-to-Kelly TD pass and another Hartley field goal made it 23-13, the UW got a break when Thompson fumbled on his own four-yard line. However, Husky quarterback Isaiah Stanback fumbled on the ensuing play and Oklahoma marched 92 yards for another touchdown, this a 17-yard run from Adrian Peterson, to effectively seal the game. Peterson ran for another score in the fourth period and backup Husky QB Carl Bonnell threw a two-yard TD to Sonny Shackelford for the Huskies' other score. UW tailback Louis Rankin finished the day with 112 yards on 17 carries while Peterson picked up 165 on 32 runs. Husky punter Sean Douglas broke the school's long punt record with an 82-yarder and then later booted an 81-yard punt.
On The Run: Through two games this season, the Huskies' running game has emerged as a strength of team. After gaining 300 yards on the ground vs. San Jose State in the opener, the Dawgs ran for 204 more at Oklahoma to total 504 through two games. Last season, the UW didn't surpass 500 yards until the fifth game. Washington's 252 yards per game leads the Pac-10 and ranks ninth in the nation. Additionally, tailback Louis Rankin leads the Pac-10 and ranks No. 8 in the NCAA with his 128.5 yards rushing per game. He and senior Kenny James have accounted for three touchdown runs of 34 yards or longer. Last season, the Dawgs had only one TD run that long all season.
Decade After Decade: Washington has won a conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl in each of the last nine decades, dating back to the 1920s when Washington won the berth in 1923 and 1925. In the 1930s, the Dawgs won the `36 title. In the `40s, Washington earned the trip in 1943 and then barely slipped in under the wire in the 1950s, winning the 1959 crown. The Huskies won two Rose Bowl berths in the 1960s -- 1960 and 1963 -- and one in the 1970s (1977). Titles in 1980 and 1982 did it for that decade and three straight trips to Pasadena to begin the 1990s covered that 10-year span. Now in the 2000s, UW was the first team to earn Rose Bowl berths in nine straight decades. USC joined the Dawgs in that distinction in 2004 after their New Year's Day appearance in Pasadena.
Finishing First or Second: Despite a 10th-place finish in the Pac-10 in 2004 and 2005, Washington has finished either first or second in the conference (including ties) in 18 of the last 29 seasons, dating back to a fourth-place finish in 1976. Over that span, Washington has won the championship (outright or shared) eight times - 1977, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2000 - while finishing second 10 other times.
The 100-Yard Factor: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 162-41-3 (.794) 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 2-3 last season. In the 2006 season opener vs. San Jose State, two Huskies (Louis Rankin, 145 yards; Isaiah Stanback, 102) ran for 100 or more in a UW win. Rankin then went for 112 in the loss at Oklahoma.
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 65 times. The Huskies' record stands at 56-8-1 (.869) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 31-5-1 (.851) when rushing for 200 yards. In their season opening win over San Jose State, the Huskies won behind 300 rushing yards in a win, but then ran for 204 in the loss at Oklahoma. Last season, the Huskies rushed for 200 yards on three occasions, but went only 1-2 in those three (the lone win coming last week at Arizona).
Playing at Home: Washington has gone unbeaten at home 13 times in its history, including six times in the last 16 seasons. Washington has won 75 of its last 101 (.748) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (75-25-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 123-36-2 (.770) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 47-18-1 (.720) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 opponents.
Historic Husky Stadium: The 2006 season marks the 87th 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 340-147-21 (.690).
Captains: Washington will not have season-long captains again 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. Here's a list of each game's captains:
San Jose State: Stanley Daniels, Kenny James, Isaiah Stanback, C.J. Wallace
Oklahoma: Stanley Daniels, Kenny James, Isaiah Stanback, C.J. Wallace
Degrees of Success: Last June, a total of 14 current Husky football players participated in graduation ceremonies at the UW. While all remain enrolled and none have technically collected their diplomas, all have completed their coursework. Additionally, two former Husky wide receiver greats earned their undergraduate degrees last June: Mario Bailey and Spider Gaines. Here's a list of the 14 current UW football players who went through graduation ceremonies last June (the list doesn't include Dan Milsten, who is acting as a student coach after his playing career was cut short by injury): DE Brandon Ala, PK Michael Book, OG Stanley Daniels, CB Matt Fountaine, CB Dashon Goldson, TB Kenny James, DT Donny Mateaki, CB Josh Okoebor, FB Mark Palaita, TB Shelton Sampson, QB Isaiah Stanback, QB Felix Sweetman, OG Clay Walker and OLB Scott White.
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. Linebacker Trenton Tuiasosopo is a first cousin 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. Senior cornerback Matt Fountaine's older brother, Jamal, was a four-year letterman defensive lineman in the early 1990s at the UW. Fullback Luke Kravitz' father Al, was a defensive end that lettered at the UW in 1970 and 1971. Freshman fullback Paul Homer is a cousin, by marriage, of former Husky offensive lineman Aaron Dalan, who married former Washington women's basketball player Gena Pelz. Senior safety C.J. Wallace is a cousin of former UW wide receiver Ken Conley, who lettered in 1973 and 1974. Freshman defensive end Fred Wiggs is the younger brother of former Husky defensive lineman Sekou Wiggs, and finally, safety Chris Hemphill and cornerback Roy Lewis are cousins.