Oct. 6, 2003
The Game: The Washington football team (1-1 Pac-10, 3-2 overall) returns to Husky Stadium this Saturday, October 11, for the final non-conference game of the season against Nevada (2-0 WAC, 3-2 overall). Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. The Huskies, who fell out of both the Associated Press top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll after a loss at UCLA last week, will be squaring off against former UW defensive coordinator Chris Tormey, who is in his fourth season as Wolfpack head coach. Tormey coached a total of 13 seasons at Washington, including two (1993-94) as defensive coordinator, before leaving to take the head job at Idaho (his alma mater) in 1995. After the Nevada game, the Huskies return to Pac-10 play for the final six weeks of the season, beginning with a road game at Oregon State (7 p.m. on TBS) October 18.
Huskies vs. Wolfpack History: While the Huskies' history of games against the University of Nevada is very, very short, it's also somewhat interesting. The UW has only faced Nevada once, and that lone game was played nearly 100 years ago on November 20, 1903. Washington, under coach James Knight, came into that game riding a five-game winning streak (all against four-year college competition, somewhat rare in those days) and stretched it to six with a 2-0 win over Nevada in front of a crowd of 1,500 fans in West Seattle. The game's only points were scored when the ball was snapped over the head of Nevada punter Frank Friesell and out of the endzone for a safety. Reports went on to say that Friesell nearly broke free for a score but was tackled in the open field by Enoch Bagshaw, who would later serve as an outstanding head coach at his alma mater. The Sundodgers, as the UW players were known then, ran their impressive streak to five shutouts in six games and would make it six out of seven the following week with a 5-0 blanking of Idaho. Only Oregon had managed to score against Washington during that stretch in a 6-5 UW win a week before the Nevada game. Washington would finish that season 6-1. Nevada, who also played at Stanford (tie), at California (a Nevada win) and at Oregon State that year, went 2-4-2. The game shares several claims to fame, however, despite its seeming obscurity. Afterwards, the Seattle Times wrote of the game, "In the afternoon, for two mortal hours, the youthful blood of the community was charging through veins like molten rubies ... It was an important contest, beside which the corruption of the steel trust, the robbery of a canal or the polypus in an emporer's larynx sinks into insignificance. The championship of a stretch of country from the Rockies to the sea lay in the balance." Another interesting note of that game was that UW coach Knight was twice penalized for "coaching from the sidelines," an evidently forbidden practice at the time. Lastly, the game was notable for one of its spectators: Chief Joseph, the famous Nez Perce Indian who was making his first visit to Seattle. More about Chief Joseph on page three of this release.
Television: The Washington-Nevada game will not air on live television. It will, however, air on tape delay the following day at 4:00 p.m. on Fox Sports in the Northwest with Jim Watson and Sonny Sixkiller calling the action. All remaining replays will be shown Sundays at 4:00 p.m. Additionally, "Husky Football Experience" airs each Thursday during the season on Fox Sports (schedule subject to change based on Mariners broadcasts). The second-year, Emmy-winning 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 four different states on 23 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Steve Sandmeyer.
Washington-Nevada Ties: Washington and Nevada have a number of close ties, at least among the coaching staffs. The most obvious and most notable is the fact that Nevada head coach Chris Tormey spent a total of 13 seasons as an assistant coach at Washington, serving as a grad assistant, tight ends coach, outside linebackers coach, secondary coach and defensive coordinator. An Idaho grad, Tormey also worked on Dennis Erickson's staff at UI along with current UW head coach Keith Gilbertson. Tormey, Gilbertson and current UW defensive line coach Chris Tormey all worked at the UW together. Nevada receivers coach D.J. McCarthy walked on at the UW and earned a scholarship with the Huskies, playing in the 1992 and 1993 seasons after having played at Long Beach City College. Nevada safeties coach Denny Schuler was an assistant coach at the UW in 1975 and worked under Gilbertson at California. UN offensive line coach Dave Stromswold earned two letters as an offensive guard at Washington (1975-76). Defensive coordinator Jeff Mills was a graduate assistant coach at Washington in 1990 and 1991. Husky co-defensive coordinator Tim Hundley spent two seasons as secondary coach at Nevada in 1980-81 while offensive coordinator John Pettas was the Wolfpack coordinator for 10 seasons (1978-87). Pettas was also an assistant coach at Cal Poly in 1993, when Nevada assistant head coach Jim Mastro played for the Mustangs. The Nevada athletic staff also includes numerous former UW employees, including men's basketball coach Trent Johnson, women's soccer coach Dang Pibulvech, associate athletics director Cindy (Holt) Fox and assistant basketball coach Mark Fox. While there are no Husky players from Nevada, there are five Wolfpack players from Washington: DT Chris Barry (Tacoma/Franklin Pierce), WR Bennett Hamilton (Gig Harbor), DL Kose Kuaea (Tacoma/Lakes), ILB J.D. Morscheck (Pullman) and FS Jeff Wells (Lakewood/Lakes). Kuaea and Wells were classmates of UW freshman Anthony Russo at Lakes, also the alma mater of Huskies Reggie Williams and Felix Sweetman. Nevada middle linebacker Daryl Towns is a cousin of former UW standout linebacker Lester Towns.
Chief Joseph's Historic Visit: On November 2, 1903, Chief Joseph, the famous Nez Perce Indian, made his first visit to Seattle and attended the Washington-Nevada football game. While the old chief watched the game from the sidelines, Seattle's newspapers kept an eye on the old chief. Observed the Seattle P-I: "With his friend, Prof. Edmond B. Meany, who he has nicknamed 'Three Knives,' and his nephew, Red Thunder, the old chief went to Athletic Park and saw his first football game ... Three Knives marched out on the sidelines, towering a head above every other man there, and behind him stalked Chief Joseph. The old chief is bow-legged. As the chief came on the field some of the football men trotted out in the mud to greet him, and the undergraduates let out a roar through their megaphones that could be heard a mile away. The rooters' chorus began to bark, 'Rah! Rah! Rah!' and the old chief turned his head in that direction. Three Knives grew enthusiastic in telling Joseph that the cheers were all on his account, and the old man looked pleased. The chief is a very serious-minded Indian and his face never changed expression except when the ball was kicked. Then he laughed. His white friend (Meany) says the chief laughed more yesterday than he has in the past ten years." A reporter from the P-I requested an interview with the chief, bus since Joseph could not speak English, Meany was asked to translate Joseph's impressions of the game, which was won by Washington, 2-0. "I saw a lot of white men almost fight today," Chief Joseph said. "I do not think this good. This may be all right, but I believe it is not. I feel pleased that Washington won the game. Those men I should think would break their legs and arms, but they did not get mad. I had a good time at hte game with my white friends." Chief Joseph spent most of the game on the sidelines smoking a cigar. "He did not seem to enjoy the smoke much," the P-I account noted, "for someone was always bothering him to know if he had a light." (The previous paragraph excerpted from One Hundred Years of Husky Football, edited by Karen Chave and Steve Rudman, 1990.)
Huskies vs. WAC Teams: Washington has a 12-1-1 all-time record against the 10 current football-playing teams in the Western Athletic Conference. The Huskies have never played four current WAC members: Boise State, Louisiana Tech, Southern Methodist and Tulsa. The only member of the WAC that has been a frequent UW opponent has been San Jose State, against which the Huskies have gone 8-0, including a win last year. The Huskies and Spartans have played six times over the last 15 seasons. The UW's only loss to a WAC team came in 1973, when Hawaii beat the Dawgs, 10-7. The one tie came in 1968, when Rice and Washington played to a 35-35 draw. Here's the all-time breakdown of Washington vs. the WAC: 0-0 vs. Boise State, Louisiana Tech, SMU and Tulsa; 1-0 vs. Fresno State (1979, 49-14); 1-1 vs. Hawaii (other meeting was the 1938 Pineapple Bowl), 1-0 vs. Nevada (1903); 0-0-1 vs. Rice; 8-0 vs. San Jose State; 1-0 vs. Texas-El Paso (55-0 in 1982). With the exception of the '38 Pineapple Bowl, every UW game against a WAC team has come in Seattle.
UCLA Redux: After playing its best first half in some time, Washington played one of its worst second halves in recent memory last Saturday in a 46-16 loss at UCLA. The Huskies took a 16-7 halftime lead behind a solid performances from Cody Pickett and Reggie Williams. Pickett threw for 218 yards on 21-of-29 passing before halftime and Williams caught eight balls in the first half. Evan Knudson converted three first-half field goals and Williams caught a nine-yard TD pass to give the UW its 16 points while Tyler Ebell scored from seven yards out for UCLA. However, in the second half, things unravelled for the UW. On the first play of the third quarter, Pickett was sacked in the endzone and fumbled. Rodney Leisle recovered and the Bruins were only two points down. After a few punts, the Bruins drove 91 yards on 14 plays to take the lead when Manuel White ran for a one-yard score. On the following drive, Leisle intercepted a Pickett pass on his own 12-yard line to stop the Huskies' drive and give his team the ball. That drive resulted in a Justin Medlock field goal. After the kickoff, Pickett's first-down pass was intercepted by Jarrad Page, who returned it 24 yards for a score that essentially ended the game. Olson and freshman tailback Maurice Drew tacked on TD runs to extend the Bruins lead.
Home vs. Non Conference: Washington has been very tough to beat in home, non-conference games over the last couple of decades or so. Going back to (and including) the 1981 season, the Huskies have posted a 45-5 record against non-Pac-10 foes in Husky Stadium. Those five losses have come to Air Force (1999), Nebraska (1997), Notre Dame (1995), Colorado (1989) and Oklahoma State (1985). The wins during that stretch include victories over No. 11 Michigan in 2001, No. 4 Miami in 2000, and No. 12 Nebraska in 1992, to name just three. Washington hasn't lost a home game to a non-league opponent since falling to Air Force, 31-21, on September 18, 1999. The Huskies have won 10 such games since then.
At Home After Road Loss: Over the last two decades or so, Washington has been very tough to beat at Husky Stadium after a road loss the previous game. Since 1980, the Huskies have posted a 24-7 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 20-2 over that same span. Since 1980, the only two times that the Huskies have lost at home to an unranked team the game after losing on the road was last season (a 34-24 home loss to UCLA following a loss at Arizona State) and 1999 (a 31-21 loss at home to Air Force following the season-opening loss at Brigham Young).
Dick's 50th Anniversary: No, Husky offensive guard Dan Dicks isn't celebrating any sort of milestone. Instead, it's Seattle's landmark burger joint -- Dick's Drive-In -- that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. The Huskies are joining in on the fun. Dick's is offering two-for-one tickets to this week's game vs. Nevada (visit any of their five locations or go to www.ddir.com). Also, the Husky band will perform a pre-game tribute to Dick's and the first 25,000 fans at Saturday's game will receive a free antenna ball. Dick himself, Dick Spady, will be on hand at the pre-game Husky Huddle to sign copies of the new Dick's Drive-In 50th Anniversary Memory Book, which will be available for the first time this Saturday. The original Dick's Drive-In opened on 45th Street in 1953, just west of the UW campus and has been a traditional stop for Husky students and fans ever since.