Sept. 25, 2006
The Game: The Washington football team (1-0 Pac-10, 3-1 overall), fresh from two straight home victories over Fresno State and UCLA, returns to the road for only the second time this season this Saturday, Sept. 30, when the Dawgs take on Arizona (0-1 Pac-10, 2-2 overall). Game time is 7:00 p.m. MST and PDT (there's currently no time change between Arizona and Washington). UW drew 13 points in the latest AP ranking and six in the coaches' poll, good for 34th and 37th, respectively. The Huskies have won four of their last six games after enduring a 2-18 stretch. The first of those four wins over the last six came last season in Tucson in a 38-14 win over the Wildcats. Since then, the Huskies fell in a close game in last season's Apple Cup and have won three of four this season, beating San Jose State, Fresno State and UCLA while falling at Oklahoma.
Huskies vs. Wildcats History: Washington holds a 15-6-1 (.705) edge in the series against Arizona, with the Huskies taking eight of the last 11. Overall, the Huskies are 30-16-1 all-time against the Arizona schools (Arizona and Arizona State), including a 14-10-1 record away from Husky Stadium. Before last season's 38-14 Husky win in Tucson (more on that game on page three of this release), the previous six games in the Huskies' series with Arizona have been 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. Prior to the loss two seasons ago, the Huskies hadn't lost to the Wildcats in Tucson since 1992, when the "Desert Swarm" defense lifted UA to a 16-3 win over No. 1 Washington, breaking the Huskies' 22-game winning streak. In only his third season as a head coach, Arizona's Mike Stoops is 1-1 against Washington. During his one year at the UW and seven seasons at Stanford, UW head man Tyrone Willingham is 3-3 against the Wildcats (Stanford and Arizona didn't play one another in 1995 or 1996). All three of Willingham's wins over the `Cats have come in Tucson (1999: 50-22; 2001: 51-37; 2005: 38-14)
Television: The Washington-Arizona game will not air on live television. However, fans can watch an delayed internet broadcast 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. Many 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-Arizona Ties: There are a few connections 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. UA running backs coach Kasey Dunn (a graduate of North Kitsap High School) worked on Tormey's staff at Idaho in 1995, Tormey's last season as Vandals head coach. Arizona's current roster includes just one player from the state of Washington: RS-freshman tight end Adam Grant, from Puyallup High, the alma mater of Husky wide receiver Cody Ellis. Washington's roster lists two Arizonans: kicker Michael Braunstein (Gilbert/Gilbert HS) and offensive guard Clay Walker (Scottsdale/Horizon), also the alma mater of Arizona offensive lineman Brad Allen and defensive linemen Dave Bertrand. Other Huskies and Wildcats that went to the same high school: Arizona receiver Gerold Rodrigues was a member of the 2004 senior class at L.A.'s Venice High along with Husky defensive lineman Erick Lobos and defensive back Mesphin Forrester. UW linebacker Scott White went to Mission Bay High in San Diego, as did Arizona defensive ends Marcus Smith and Jason Parker. Husky linebacker Dan Howell and Arizona QB Tyler Lyon both played at Hart High in Newhall, Calif., while UW CBs Matt Fountaine and Jordan Murchison, as well as Arizona TE A.J. Simmons are all Bishop O'Dowd graduates. Finally, Arizona safety Nate Hess and Husky receiver Marcel Reece were teammates at El Camino JC in Torrance, Calif., last season.
Last Year vs. Arizona (Nov. 12, Arizona Stadium): The Washington football team broke a string of streaks last season with a 38-14 win last season in the next-to-last game of the year. The Huskies won their first Pac-10 game in nearly two seasons, dating back to the 2003 Apple Cup. It was also Washington's first road win since a victory in Tucson in 2003. The Dawgs' 333 rushing yards were the most since the 2000 Apple Cup (336) and senior James Sims became the first Husky to rush for 200 yards in a game since Marques Tuiasosopo ran for 207 vs. Stanford in 1999. Despite all the ground yards, however, the game hinged on one long, long pass. After each team scored first-quarter touchdowns (a 17-yard pass from Willie Tuitama to Syndric Steptoe and a 2-yard run from Sims), Arizona went on top with only 1:09 remaining in the half on another Tuitama pass, this one a 3-yarder to Gilbert Harris. However, the Huskies took momentum into the locker room as Isaiah Stanback launched a 69-yard touchdown pass to Craig Chambers as the clock hit 0:00, tying the game at 14-14. In the second half, the Huskies took over, scoring 24 unanswered points. Stanback rushed for two TDs in the third quarter, and after a fourth-quarter field goal from Evan Knudson, cornerback Roy Lewis closed the game out with a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown. Sims finished the day with 200 yards and one TD on 30 carries. Stanback rushed for 96 yards on 14 carries and completed 10-of-19 passes for 157 yards, 1 interception and 1 touchdown. Tuitama was 22-for-44 passing, for 235 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.
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 30-16-1 (.649) against the two Arizona teams, including a 14-10-1 record in games played Tucson and Tempe (6-3-1 at Arizona; 8-7-0 at Arizona State, which includes one win forfeited to the UW). In only 13 of the 47 all-time games between the UW and the two Arizona schools has neither team been ranked by the Associated Press.
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. 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.
UCLA Recap: Washington pulled off the seventh-biggest comeback in school history last Saturday, coming back from a 16-0 deficit to beat UCLA, 29-19. The Bruins dominated most of the first half. After a 28-yard Justin Medlock field goal on the game's first drive got things started, the Huskies turned the ball over on a punt attempt on the next drive, giving the Bruins the ball on the six-yard line. Tailback Chris Markey scored a touchdown from one yard out to give the Bruins a 10-0 lead. UCLA's next two drives also resulted in field goals, staking the visitors to a 16-0 advantage. The Huskies, in the meantime, didn't pick up a first down until there was 6:30 remaining in the second quarter (and that was on a penalty) and didn't get a first down on their own until Isaiah Stanback hit Quintin Daniels with a 17-yard pass on third-and-11 with 2:56 remaining in the half. That drive ended with a 23-yard TD pass from Stanback to Sonny Shackelford and the Huskies went into the locker room at halftime fortunate to be trailing by only nine at 16-7. The momentum carried into the third quarter as the Huskies marched 65 yards on the opening drive for a 28-yard Stanback-to-Shackelford touchdown. Later in the third, the Huskies saved some points when defensive end Greyson Gunheim ran down punt returner Terrance Austin at the end of a 79-yard runback, saving a touchdown with a tackle at the UW nine-yard line. The Husky defense held the Bruins to another Medlock field goal, making it a 19-14 Bruins lead. Washington completed the comeback in the fourth when a 46-yard drive was capped with a four-yard scoring pass to tight end Johnie Kirton, who also caught the two-point conversion to make it 22-19. On the ensuing drive, Husky linebacker Dan Howell returned an interception 33 yards for another touchdown to close out the scoring. Stanback passed for 200 yards and a career-high three touchdowns while also rushing for a team-high 48 yards. He accounted for 248 of the UW's 249 yards of total offense. Sonny Shackelford caught a career-high nine passes for 120 yards.
All Or Nothing For O-Line: UW's five starting offensive linemen (LT Ben Ossai, LG Stanley Daniels, C Juan Garcia, RG Clay Walker, RT Chad Macklin) have played every snap of all four games this season. Garcia and Ossai both entered the season never having played in a game. All five backup players on the UW's depth chart have yet to play a single down in college.
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.
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 77 of its last 103 (.752) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (77-25-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 125-36-2 (.773) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 48-18-1 (.724) 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 341-147-21 (.691).
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
Fresno State: Tahj Bomar, Kenny James, Louis Rankin, Scott White
UCLA: Brandon Ala, Sean Douglas, Marc Palaita, 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.