Nov. 12, 2007
The Game: The Washington football team (3-7 overall, 1-6 in the Pac-10) returns home for the first of two straight games at Husky Stadium as the Dawgs take on California (6-4 overall, 3-4 Pac-10) in a 12:30 p.m. game Saturday at Husky Stadium. Saturday is Military Appreciation Day as active military, veterans and their families can purchase tickets for $42, a 30-percent discount. Those same individuals are also invited to appear on the field for the National Anthem. Saturday is also the 28th annual Husky Food Drive. UW police and local law enforcement Explorers will accept donations of non-perishable food and cash outside the stadium. After the Cal game, the Huskies remain in Seattle for the 100th Washington-Washington State game Nov. 24 at Husky Stadium. The season wraps up Dec. 1 at Hawaii.
Huskies vs. Golden Bears History: Washington and California are the only two teams that have played in what is now the Pacific-10 Conference in every season since the league was founded in 1916. As that would indicate, they've played one another quite often. The Huskies hold a 46-37-4 record in the all-time series, which began in 1904. Prior to Cal victories in each of the last five meetings, the Huskies had won 19 consecutive games in the series, a streak that began with a 50-31 win in 1977. Before 2002, the last Cal win had come in 1976. Over the 19-game streak, the Huskies were ranked at the time of the Cal game 12 times, including playing as the No. 1 team in the country three times vs. the Golden Bears. The Bears were ranked on only three occasions in the streak, but have been ranked each of the last three seasons (No. 16 in 2004, No. 5 in 2005, No. 11 last year). Cal and UW first met in 1904, battling to a 6-6 tie in a game played in Seattle. In both 1915 and 1916, they played one another twice each year, with unbeaten Gil Dobie's Washington team sweeping the four games. In 1917, Cal broke the UW's 63-game unbeaten streak (still an NCAA record) with a 27-0 win in Berkeley. Other big games in the series include the 1937 game, when the unranked Huskies held No. 1 Cal to a 0-0 tie in Seattle. In 1991, the Bears probably came as close as anyone to beating Washington that national championship season, as Mike Pawlawski's last-gasp pass into the endzone was batted down in a 24-17 UW win. Washington has also posted four of its nine biggest comebacks in history against California. The biggest ever was in 1988, when the Dawgs trailed 27-3 before rallying to win, 28-27. In 1981, Washington was down 21-0 in the third quarter before coming back for a 27-26 victory. A 20-point comeback in 1993 (24-23) and a 14-point rally in 1999 (31-27) also rank on the list. In 2001, the Huskies trailed 21-7 in the first quarter, but came back to earn a 31-28 victory in Berkeley. The Bears, however, have now won five straight against the Huskies. In 2002, the Bears beat the Huskies, 34-27, at Husky Stadium to break the Dawgs' 19-game streak in the series. The following year in Berkeley, Cal routed Washington, 54-7, in the next-to-last game of the season. In 2004, the Bears visited Husky Stadium and left with a 42-12 win. The 2005 game, a 56-17 Bears win in Seattle, marked the first head-to-head matchup of Bears coach Jeff Tedford and Tyrone Willingham. Last year, Carl Bonnell hit Marlon Wood with a 40-yard pass on the final play of regulation to force overtime, but the Bears won in OT, 31-24.
Television: The Washington-California game will air live on ABC television with Dan Fouts, Tim Brant and Todd Harris 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. The game will also air nationally on the Touchdown Radio network with Rich Waltz and Gino Torretta calling the action. 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-California Ties: Three members of the Washington coaching staff have spent time as assistant coaches at California. Prior to the 2006 season, Husky secondary coach J.D. Williams had spent the previous four years in the same role at Cal. UW defensive coordinator Kent Baer held that same job in Berkeley from 1987 to 1991 while Husky offensive coordinator Tim Lappano was assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Bears from 1992 to 1995. UW running backs coach Trent Miles and Cal head coach Jeff Tedford were on the same staff at Fresno State for one season, 1997. Lappano and Cal offensive coordinator and Seattle native Jim Michalczik were all on Dennis Erickson's Oregon State staff in the late 1990s and early 2000s. New Cal DBs coach R. Todd Littlejohn, who replaced Williams on the Bears' staff, also replaced Williams at San Jose State in 2000 after Williams had left for Fresno State. Finally, as far as the coaches go, Michalczik is married to former Husky volleyball player Jennifer Streatfeild. Cal's preseason roster lists two players from Washington: RS-freshman linebacker Anthony Felder and freshman DB Brandon Jones, who both attended O'Dea High, same as UW's Fred Wiggs and Quinton Richardson. Washington's roster includes numerous Californians, but only nine from Northern California: Donald Butler (Sacramento), Mason Foster (Seaside), Willie Griffin (Oakland), Greyson Gunheim (Santa Rosa), Chad Macklin (Visalia), De'Shon Matthews (Sacramento), Jordan Murchison (Oakland), Louis Rankin (Stockton) and Curtis Shaw (Stockton). Numerous Bears and Huskies attended the same high school: UW's Wilson Afoa and Cal's Tyson Alualu, Solomona Aigamaua and Scott Smith (St. Louis); Murchison and Cal's Jesse Brooks, Drew Glover and Cameron Toler (Bishop O'Dowd); UW's Quintin Daniels and Cal's Chris Conte and Mark Gray (Loyola); UW's Erik Folk and Cal's Sam DeMartinis (Notre Dame); UW's Byron Davenport and Cal's Gary Doxy and DeSean Jackson (Long Beach Poly); UW's Willie Griffin and Cal's Derrick Hill and Kyle Reed (McClymonds); UW's Austin Sylvester and Cal's Ernest Owusu (The Hun); and UW's Eric Berglund and Cal's Kevin Riley (Beaverton).
Huskies vs. Bay Area Schools: Washington has a combined, all-time record of 98-72-8 vs. opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area. Washington is 46-37-4 against Cal, 40-34-4 vs. Stanford, 10-0 vs. San Jose State, 1-1 vs. St. Mary's and 1-0 vs. Santa Clara. The Huskies haven't played Santa Clara since 1935 and St. Mary's since 1947. Since 1977, UW is 48-8-0 vs. Bay Area teams: 19-4 vs. Cal, 21-4 vs. Stanford and 8-0 vs. San Jose State.
Willingham vs. Cal: In his seven seasons as head coach at Stanford (1995-2001), UW head coach Tyrone Willingham posted a perfect 7-0 record against the Cardinal's biggest rival, California. That stretch of games included four contests played at Stanford Stadium and three at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium. Several of the games were close. In Willingham's first "Big Game" in 1995, Stanford won, 29-24. Two years later, the Cardinal snatched a 21-20 win followed by a 10-3 victory in 1998 in Berkeley. The 2000 game in Berkeley was a 36-30 overtime victory and Willingham's most recent win over the Bears, in 2001, came by a touchdown, 35-28. Willingham has 1-0 head-to-head vs. Keith Gilbertson, 1-0 vs. Steve Mariucci, 5-0 vs. Tom Holmoe and 0-2 vs. Jeff Tedford.
On The Run: The UW currently ranks 33rd in the nation and third in the Pac-10 in rushing offense with 182.0 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 4.8 yard per carry. The school record for yards per carry is 4.9 yards, set by the 1991 national championship team.
Ranked Opponents in `07: Oregon, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press top 25 when the Ducks faced the UW, 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 six AP-ranked teams this season as the UW's Dec. 1 opponent, Hawaii, is ranked No. 13. 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.
Random Notes: The Huskies have 10 interceptions this year, by nine different players ... the Dawgs hadn't blocked a field goal since 2001 prior to the Boise State game, but now had a blocked FG (both by Jordan Reffett) in two straight games (Boise State and Ohio State) ... on the other hand, the Huskies 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 33 games under Coach Tyrone Willingham.
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.