Nov. 26, 2007
Complete Release, With Player Notes, Stats and Depth Chart, in PDF Format
The Game: The Washington football team wraps up the 2007 season Saturday, December 1, in Honolulu as the Dawgs (4-8 overall, 2-7 in the Pac-10) take on unbeaten Hawai'i (11-0 overall, 8-0 in the Western Athletic Conference) in both teams' final game of the regular season. The Warriors enter the game ranked No. 11 by the Associated Press, No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll and No. 12 in the BCS rankings. The Huskies haven't played a regular-season game so late in the year since 1939, when the UW's season closed with a 9-7 loss at No. 1 USC on December 2. In the 1930s, December games were common. The game also marks the UW's seventh game in Hawaii, though only the second vs. the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. The last time that Washington played at UH was on Dec. 1, 1938, in the Pineapple Bowl.
Huskies vs. Warriors History: Washington and Hawai'i have played only twice in the two teams' histories - in the 1938 Pineapple Bowl (sometimes also referred to as the Poi Bowl) and in a regular-season game in Seattle in 1973. For a bowl game, there's little information available about that 1938 meeting. The '37 Huskies had finished the regular season 5-2-2 and 4-2-2 in the PCC. The team had stored all its gear for the off-season when an invitation to play came from the University of Hawai'i. Coach Jimmy Phelan polled the team, received unanimous approval, and the UW set off by ship from Vancouver, B.C., for a week-long voyage, during which the team practiced on deck. The UW took the lead early on as Jimmy Johnston ran 15 yards around left end before lateralling to center Bud Erickson, who went 32 more yards for a touchdown. Johnston then hit Merle Miller on a 35-yard score, then set up two other TDs with a 69-yard punt return and a 30-yard run to the Hawai'i one. The Huskies led 26-0 before the home team notched a first down. The Huskies' second unit posted two more long scores (a 41-yard run from Everett Austin and a 50-yard play on a ball lateralled from Joe Dubsky to Rich Worthington) in the second quarter for a 39-0 halftime lead. Lloyd Phelps (53 yards) and Don Jones (20) added two more TDs in the third quarter before Hawai'i got two late scores from Akee Choy. A few days later, the Huskies beat a team called "Honolulu Townies", 35-6, before returning to Seattle. The Huskies opened the 1973 season with a 10-7 loss to the Rainbows (as they were known at the time) at Husky Stadium. The Dawgs scored their lone points on their second drive of the game as a one-yard run from Pete Taggares capped an 11-play drive. Later in the first quarter, Hawai'i got a 27-yard field goal from Reinhold Stuprich to make it 7-3. The Huskies had a chance for another score in the second quarter when the UW recovered a fumble on the Hawaii 23, but Taggares lost a yard on a fourth-down run from the one, and then missed a 35-yard field goal in the final minute of the half. Hawaii took the lead for good in the third quarter when Casey Ortez hit Abe Brown with 24-yard pass. In the fourth, the UW squandered chance after chance, fumbling the ball at the Hawaii 23-yard line with 13:05 left and at the Rainbows' eight-yard line with 7:48 remaining. The Dawgs then got the ball back on a fumble, but Denny Fitzpatrick's fourth-down pass from the Hawaii 17 was intercepted. The Rainbows then ran the final 3:37 off of the clock to hang on for the win. The game featured five interceptions (three from UW, two from Hawaii) and 13 fumbles (six lost: two from UW, four from Hawai'i). After the game, Hawai'i coach Dave Holmes called it "the biggest win ever for me."
Television: The Washington-Hawaii will air live on ESPN2 with Ron Franklin, former Husky center Ed Cunningham and Jack Arute providing commentary. Additionally, "Huskies All-Access" airs Thursday at 7:30 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-Hawaii Ties: Husky running backs coach Trent Miles spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Hawaii under former coaches Bob Wagner (1995) and Fred VonAppen (1996). UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano and Warriors defensive coordinator Greg McMackin spent time together on Dennis Erickson's staffs with both the Seahawks and the 49ers. McMackin was also the defensive coordinator at Idaho when Husky linebacker coach Chris Tormey played LB for the Vandals in the 1970s. The Huskies have four players from the state of Hawaii on their roster: senior DT Wilson Afoa (Honolulu/Saint Louis), DL Kalani Aldrich (Hilo/Kamehameha-Hawaii), S Jay Angotti (Honolulu/Punahou) and DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (Waikoloa/Hawaii Prep). The Warriors' roster includes four players from Washington: OL Daniel Johnson (Issaquah/Skyline), LB Adam Leonard (Seattle/Rainier Beach), LB Tyson Kafentzis (Richland/Richland) and RB Leon Wright-Jackson (Pasco/Pasco). Johnson went to Skyline with UW's Tony Chidiac and Cody Habben. Leonard and Husky CB Vonzell McDowell are Rainier Beach grads and Husky OG Ryan Tolar and Wright-Jackson went to Pasco together. Afoa attended Saint Louis with Hawaii's Aaron Bain, Fale Laeli, Keao Monteilh, Timo Paepule, Elliott Purcell. Interesting, with two players from the Big Island (Aldrich and Te'o-Nesheim), the Huskies have more than Hawaii (Daniel Libre). Apart from the Hawaiians and Washingtonians, a few Huskies and Warriors went to high school together in California: UW's Willie Griffin and UH's Mario Cox (Oakland/McClymonds), UW's Josh Gage and UH's A.J. Martinez (Huntington Beach/Edison) and UW's Byron Davenport and UH's Hercules Satele (Long Beach Poly).
Other Games In Hawaii: Aside from the Huskies' game vs. Hawaii in the 1938 Pineapple Bowl, the Huskies have played several other games in Hawaii, in both the Aloha and O'ahu Bowls, posting an overall record of 4-2. Here all the Huskies' games in Hawaii:
Date Result Bowl/Event Jan. 1, 1938 UW 53, Hawai'i 13 Pineapple (Poi) Bowl Jan. 6, 1938 UW 35, Honolulu "Townies" 6 after Pineapple Bowl Dec. 25, 1982 UW 21, Maryland 20 Aloha Bowl Dec. 26, 1983 Penn State 13, UW 10 Aloha Bowl Dec. 25, 1997 UW 51, Michigan State 23 Aloha Bowl Dec. 25, 1998 Air Force 45, UW 25 O'ahu Bowl
On The Run: The UW currently ranks 25th in the nation and 2nd in the Pac-10 in rushing offense with 198.25 yards per game. If that pace continues, it would be the Huskies' best rushing average since 2000 (211.7), when the Huskies won the Rose Bowl. Additionally, the Dawgs are averaging 4.885 yards per carry. The school record for yards per carry is 4.868 yards, set by the 1991 national championship team.
Ranked Opponents in `07: Hawaii, ranked No. 11 in the current Associated Press top 25, is the sixth Husky opponent this season to be ranked by the AP, tying the school record for most ranked opponents in a season. The UW has played a regular-season schedule that included six ranked teams on only three occasions: in 1969, 1986 and 1992.
About The 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.
About The Win vs. Boise State: 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.
About The Win At Stanford: Washington's 27-9 win at Stanford on Nov. 3 had its share of historical points. For one, senior tailback Louis Rankin had a career day with 255 yards on 36 carries, both shattering previous career highs (23 and 147 were the old highs). His 255 yards were fourth most in UW history and his 36 carries tied for fourth-most. The Huskies' 31 total first downs tied for fifth-most in school history and their 23 first downs by rush also tied for fifth. Lastly, the Dawgs' 388 rushing yards were ninth-most in school history, their most since the 1996 San Jose State and their most in a conference game since a 1990 win over California. Lastly, the Cardinal's nine points were fewest by a Husky opponent in a Pac-10 game since the 51-3 win at Washington State in 2000.
About The Win Vs. Cal: The Huskies' fourth win of the season came last week vs. Cal, 37-23. The Huskies' 28 points in the first half tied for their highest first-half total of the season. The UW defense held the Golden Bears to only three points in the second half. Without starting QB Jake Locker, the Huskies relied on their ground game, compiling 334 yards rushing. Louis Rankin ran for 224 on 21 carries before leaving in the third quarter with an injury. Freshman Brandon Johnson took up the slack, running for 121 yards on 23 carries. The Huskies also won the turnover battle, 3-0, to wrap up their best all-around game of the season.
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 starts in three games.