Sept. 24, 2007
The Game: Washington's much-discussed opening string of five games before an off week comes to a close this Saturday as the Huskies (2-2 overall, 0-1 in the Pac-10) plays host to No. 1-ranked USC (3-0, 1-0) at Husky Stadium. Kickoff is 5:00 p.m. and the game will air nationally on ABC television. The Trojans will be the third UW opponent that played in a BCS bowl game last year over a four-week stretch (along with Boise State and Ohio State). The UW will also honor its 1960 national champion football team and will wear jerseys in the design of the `60 team in the game. After the USC game, the Huskies take a Saturday off before returning to the rigors of the Pac-10 at Arizona State on Oct. 13.
Huskies vs. Trojans History: Washington and USC have played one another 77 times since the series began in 1923. The Trojans hold a 47-26-4 series advantage, although the Huskies have gone 7-7-1 over the last 15. Washington won its first-ever meeting against the Trojans, beating USC, 22-0, in Seattle in 1923. When the series re-started in 1927, USC handed the Huskies six straight defeats before Washington reeled off five in a row. The longest streak either way in the series began in 1965, when the Trojans beat Washington for the first time of 10 straight wins. The Huskies are 16-18-4 in the 38 games played in Husky Stadium and 10-28-0 against the Trojans in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Last year, the Huskies dropped a 26-20 heartbreaker to the No. 3 Trojans as time ran out with the Huskies' on the Trojans' 15-yard line. The year before in Seattle, the No. 1 Trojans used a 23-point second quarter to break open a previously close game in a 51-24 win. In 2004, the top-ranked Trojans handed the UW a 38-0 loss, breaking the Huskies' 271-game scoring streak, the longest in Division I-A at the time. The most recent Husky win over the Trojans came in 2001, when Husky kicker John Anderson booted a 32-yard field goal with no time remaining for a 27-24 Husky victory. In that game, backup QB Taylor Barton came on in place of injured starter Cody Pickett to lead the visitors to the win. Sixth-year USC coach Pete Carroll is 5-1 as the Trojan's head man vs. Washington. Before taking over at USC prior to the 2001 season, Carroll had never faced Washington as a coach, but did come to Husky Stadium in 1972 as a player for the University of the Pacific as the No. 9 Huskies narrowly beat the Tigers, 13-6. Carroll, a starting safety, made eight tackles that day. Husky head coach Tyrone Willingham, who faced the Trojans as head coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and at the UW, is 4-8 against USC - 4-3 while at Stanford, 0-3 while coaching the Irish and 0-2 as the Husky head man.
Salute To 1960 Champions: Saturday's game will include a salute to the Huskies' 1960 national champion team. The `60 Huskies, who lost to Navy, 15-14, in week three of the season, went undefeated the rest of the way, beating No. 1 Minnesota, 17-7, in the 1961 Rose Bowl. One of the only polls of the era that held its final vote after the bowls, the Helms Foundation poll, ranked Washington No. 1. As part of the celebration, the Huskies will wear 1960-style throwback jerseys for the game. The jerseys, as they were for much of the Huskies' football history, are dark blue. Prior to the 1972 season, the Huskies wore blue since purple fabric was generally unavailable. The first time the Huskies wore actual purple jerseys was in the 1972 season opener vs. Pacific - a game in which, coincidentally, current USC coach Pete Carroll played as a Tigers safety. The jerseys from the USC-UW game will be auctioned off via gohuskies.com.
Television: The Washington-USC game will air live on ABC television, with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters providing the commentary. Additionally, "Husky Football 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 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. ESPN will also air a national broadcast of the game on many of its stations. Check your local listings for more information. 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-USC Ties: There are a few relevant connections between the UW and USC coaching staffs. Tyrone Willingham went to work at North Carolina State in 1983, the year after Pete Carroll had just completed three seasons with the Wolfpack. USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt was an assistant at Idaho from 1990 to 1997. For three of those seasons, he worked under Chris Tormey, who's now the Huskies' linebackers coach. As far as players go, long snapper Danny Morovick's father, Dan, played at USC in the late `70s. Conversely, `SC safety Taylor Mays, from Seattle's O'Dea High, is the son of former Husky defensive lineman Stafford Mays, who lettered in 1978 and 1979. Mays is the only player on the USC roster from the state of Washington. As was the case last week with UCLA, a good deal of UW and USC players have played with or against one another in high school due to the number of Huskies from the L.A. area. The Huskies roster includes 30 players from southern California: OL Mark Armelin (Canoga Park), P/PK Jared Ballman (San Deigo), C Greg Christine (Camarillo), WR Quintin Daniels (Los Angeles), Davenport (Long Beach), DL Tyrone Duncan (Westlake Village), OL Skyler Fancher (Costa Mesa), PK Erik Folk (Woodland Hills), SS Mesphin Forrester (Los Angeles), QB Ronnie Fouch (Redlands), LB Joshua Gage (Huntington Beach), PK Zach Gerasin (Irvine), WR D'Andre Goodwin (Lancaster), LB Matt Houston (Goleta), LB Dan Howell (Newhall), TB Brandon Johnson (Hawthorne), LB Darrion Jones (Lynwood), TE Robert Lewis (Los Angeles), CB Roy Lewis (Los Angeles), DT Erick Lobos (Los Angeles), OL Sir Aaron Mason (Santa Monica), LS Danny Morovick (Mission Viejo), DL Jovon O'Connor (Los Angeles), CB Marquis Persley (Redlands), WR Marcel Reece (Hesperia), OT Morgan Rosborough (Long Beach), OL Matt Sedillo (Escondido), LB Chris Stevens (Mojave), FS Jason Wells (LaVerne) and DL Nick Wood (Poway).
UW Against No. 1: Washington has played 10 games against No. 1 teams, as ranked by the Associated Press. The Huskies have posted only a 1-8-1 record in such games, with the lone victory coming over top-ranked Minnesota in the 1961 Rose Bowl. The Huskies' first-ever game against a No. 1 team had to have been considered an upset as an unranked UW team travelled to Berkeley and held top-ranked California to a 0-0 tie. Of the 10 No. 1 teams the Huskies have played, the '60 Michigan team, the '67 USC team, the '72 USC team, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes and the 2004 Trojans went on to win the AP national title, though the '37 Cal, '39 USC, and '69 Ohio State each won minor poll championships. Here are Washington's 10 all-time games against No. 1-ranked (AP only) teams:
Nov. 6, 1937 at California T, 0-0 Dec. 2, 1939 at USC L, 7-9 Jan. 2, 1961 vs. Minnesota (Rose Bowl) W, 17-7 Oct. 21, 1967 USC L, 6-23 Oct. 19, 1968 at USC L, 7-14 Oct. 4, 1969 Ohio State L, 14-41 Oct. 21, 1972 at USC L, 7-34 Nov. 24, 2001 at Miami (Fla.) L, 7-65 Oct. 23, 2004 at USC L, 0-38 Oct. 22, 2005 USC L, 24-51
vs. Los Angeles Schools: Washington has a combined record of 55-83-6 (.403) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 29-36-2 vs. UCLA and 26-47-4 against USC. While that combined record may not sound that successful, it's worth noting that no team in the Pac-10 has a winning record against either one of the two L.A. schools (other than USC's record vs. UCLA). In fact, Washington has more wins against the Trojans and Bruins (combined) than every conference school except California (58-107-6 (.357) combined record), and has a better winning percentage against the two than every team in the league. The next closest is Arizona State, which has totalled a combined mark of 16-29-1 (.359) against the Bruins and Trojans.
Big 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.
And a Big Win vs. Broncos: 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.
Random Notes: The Huskies hadn't blocked a field goal since 2001 prior to the Boise State game, but now have a blocked FG (both by Jordan Reffett) in two of their last three games (Boise and Ohio State) ... on the other hand, the Huskies have 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 27 games under Coach Tyrone Willingham ... with 361 yards (90.25 per game), quarterback Jake Locker is the Huskies' leading rusher ... the last Huskies to lead the team in rushing was Denny Fitzpatrick, with 697 yards in 1974 ... Locker rushed for 102 yards vs. Ohio State and is currently sixth in the Pac-10 in rushing.
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.