Nov. 10, 2003
The Game: The Washington football team (3-3 in the Pac-10, 5-5 overall) has its sites set on a sixth victory this Saturday as the Huskies travel to Memorial Stadium in Berkeley to face California (3-3, 5-6). The Huskies need a sixth win to become eligible for a bowl game (though they won't be technically assured a berth) while California, which is playing a 13-game schedule this season, must win its final two games (UW and Stanford) to finish .500 or above. Cal hasn't played in a bowl game since 1993 when the Bears, then under current UW head coach Keith Gilbertson, beat Iowa, 37-3, in the Alamo Bowl. Kickoff for Saturday's game, which will not be shown on live television, is 12:30 p.m. After the Cal game, the Huskies return to Seattle for the regular season finale against Washington State in the Apple Cup on November 22. That game has been changed to a 3:30 p.m. kickoff and will air live on Fox Sports Net.
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 45-33-4 record in the all-time series, which began in 1904. Prior to a 34-27 loss last season at Husky Stadium, the Huskies had won 19 consecutive games in the series, a streak that began with a 50-31 win in 1977. Before last season, 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. 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 head coach 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 championshipo 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 last time that Washington visited Memorial Stadium, the Huskies trailed 21-7 in the first quarter, but came back to earn a 31-28 victory in Berkeley. This game will mark Husky head coach Keith Gilbertson's first game against the Bears as head coach. Gilbertson was, of course, California's head coach from 1992 to 1995. Cal coach Jeff Tedford, in his second season in Berkeley, is 1-0 against Washington. Gilbertson and Tedford have never squared off as head coaches.
vs. Bay Area Schools: Washington has a combined, all-time record of 95-66-8 vs. opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area. Washington is 46-33-4 against California, 39-32-4 vs. Stanford, 8-0 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 haven't faced St. Mary's since 1947. Since 1977, Washington is 47-3-0 vs. Bay Area teams: 19-1 vs. Cal, 21-2 vs. Stanford and 7-0 vs. San Jose State. That includes this season's 28-17 win over Stanford.
Television: The Washington-Arizona game will not be shown on live television. However, it will air on a same-day tape delay Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports in the Northwest with Jim Watson and Sonny Sixkiller calling the action. It will also re-air Sunday at 4:00 p.m.. Additionally, "Husky Football Experience" airs each Thursday during the season on Fox Sports. 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-California Ties: Washington head coach Keith Gilbertson served four years (1992-95) as head coach at Cal. He's still the last Bears head coach to take them to a bowl game and until last year, he was the last Cal head coach to beat Stanford. A couple the Huskies' new assistant coaches are also former California assistants. UW co-defensive coordinator Phil Snow, who started his career coaching at Berkeley High School, was the Bears' secondary coach for five seasons (1987-91) under Bruce Snyder. He worked at Cal alongside current UW offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto, who tutored the Bears' o-line from 1990 to 1992. Cozzetto also served on Dennis Erickson's staff at Oregon State alongside Cal's o-line coach, Jim Michalczik, who is married to former UW volleyball standout Jennifer Stretfeild. Cal secondary coach J.D. Williams is an older brother of late Husky safety Curtis Williams. Cal's special teams and tight ends coach Pete Alamar spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Eastern Michigan under former UW offensive coordinator Jeff Woodruff, who was fired by EWU last week. There are no players from the state of Washington on the Bears' roster. Washington's roster includes only two players from the Bay Area: Rob Meadow (San Francisco/De La Salle) and Matt Fountaine (Oakland/Bishop O'Dowd). Additionally, Manase Hopoi and C.J. Wallace are from Sacramento, Jon Lyon is from Carmel, Chad Macklin is from Visalia and Louis Rankin is from Stockton. Meadow played at De La Salle along with Cal's Tosh Lupoi, Tag McCurdy and Andy Briner. Fountaine was a teammate of Cal's Michael Gray and Burl Toler at O'Dowd. UW CB Kim Taylor attended Long Beach Poly, as did Cal's Ray Tago and Josh Tauanu'u.
Last Year vs. California: The Golden Bears smashed two Husky winning streaks last Oct. 5 at Husky Stadium with a 34-27 win. The Cal win broke the Huskies' 17-game home winning streak and broke a string of 19 straight UW wins over the Bears. Cal's Kyle Boller was eclipsed by UW's Cody Pickett in all of the passing stats except touchdowns. Boller was 13-for-24 for 266 yards and threw five TDs and no interceptions while Pickett was 35-for-59 for 399 yards and two interceptions with no touchdowns. Pickett's 35 completions marked a school record. Cal opened the scoring in the first quarter on a flea-flicker pass from Boller to Jonathan Makonnen that went for a 40-yard TD. The UW tied the game at 7-7 on a 21-yard run from Braxton Cleman and pulled ahead on the first of four John Anderson field goals. In the second, the Bears got a second TD pass from Boller to Vincent Strang while Anderson's two kicks left the Bears with a 21-16 halftime edge. Boller hit Tom Swoboda with a 23-yard score in the third and, after a Cal safety on a holding penalty in the endzone, Boller and LaShaun Ward hooked up on a two-yard pass to make it 34-18. The Huskies looked like they might work the same kind of fourth-quarter magic they'd come to rely on vs. Cal, but after Pickett's one-yard TD run and the fourth Anderson field goal with 1:54 drew the UW to within a touchdown, the Dawgs were unable to recover an onside kick and Cal ran out the clock.
Last Time In Berkeley (Sept. 29, 2001): For the third straight year, the Washington football team needed to mount a comeback to beat California, rebounding from a 21-7 deficit to win, 31-21. Down 14-0, Cody Pickett hit Paul Arnold with a 42-yard TD pass to cut the Bears lead to 14-7. After another Bears score, John Anderson's field goal made it 21-10 at half. In the third quarter, Pickett again connected for a long distance score with Arnold, this time a 62-yarder in the third and in the final quarter, Rich Alexis scored twice from one yard out to put the Huskies in front for good. Pickett was 18-for-33 for 291 yards and two scores while Arnold caught five for 116. Bears quarterback Kyle Boller threw for four TDs and 265 yards on 21-of-36 passing.
Spreading It Around: Through 10 games, Washington has had a remarkable 18 players record a pass reception during the 2003 season. A scan of the records indicates that the UW has never had as many as 18 receivers make a catch in a single season (records go back to 1972; before that only leaders are listed in final stats). Washington has used 16 receivers in two somewhat recent seasons: 1992 and 2001, when the 16 receivers included Omare Lowe (on a shovel pass on a fake punt) and quarterback Cody Pickett (thrown to himself on a batted pass). Of the 18 Huskies to catch a pass this year, 12 were making their first career reception: Kenny James, Quintin Daniels, Shelton Sampson, Ben Bandel, Adam Seery, Ty Eriks, Corey Williams, Isaiah Stanback, Sonny Shackelford, Clayton Ramsey, Jordan Slye and Jon Lyon. The Oregon State game earlier this year was truly an anomoly as the Huskies completed passes to only four receivers.
Mr. November: During Washington's season-ending, three-game winning streak (Oregon State, Oregon, Washington) last year -- all three games played in November -- Reggie Williams caught 35 passes for 461 yards (153.7 yards per game) and four touchdowns. In the WSU win, Williams set an Apple Cup record with 12 receptions bettering his own mark of 11 he set as a freshman in 2001. In two career games vs. Washington State, Williams has 23 receptions for 372 yards. His November magic has continued in 2003. In the win over Oregon, he caught seven passes for 130 yards and at Arizona, he had 13 receptions for 121. So, over the last five November games, Williams has made 55 receptions for a total of 712 yards, an average of 11 catches and 142 yards per game. In 10 career games in the month of November, he has averaged 8.5 catches and 11.95 yards per game.
Reggie On the Prowl: In less than three full seasons, junior receiver Reggie Williams has already compiled 3,516 career receiving yards on 232 receptions (counting bowl games both seasons) easily surpassing the school's career marks. Only a junior, Williams already ranks No. 2 on the Pac-10 career chart in both categories, trailing Stanford's Troy Walters, a four-year player, by 16 receptions and 531 yards. Here are the Pac-10's all-time top fives for receiving yards and receptions:
Rank Yards Player, School, Years 1. 4,047 Troy Walters, Stanford, 1996-99 2. 3,516 Reggie Williams, Washington, 2001-present 3. 3,351 Bobby Wade, Arizona, 1999-2002 4. 3,252 Dennis Northcutt, Arizona, 1996-99 5. 3,201 Johnnie Morton, USC, 1990-93
Rank Rec. Player, School, Years 1. 248 Troy Walters, Stanford, 1996-99 2. 232 Reggie Williams, Washington, 2001-present 3. 230 Bobby Wade, Arizona, 1999-2002 4. 228 DeRonnie Pitts, Stanford, 1997-2000 5. 223 Dennis Northcutt, Arizona, 1996-99 223 Darrin Nelson, Stanford, 1977-81
Kenny & Shelton: With senior Rich Alexis out with an injury the last two-plus games (he was hurt partway through the Oregon State game), a pair of redshirt freshmen have had to step up to fill the void. For whatever success they may have had prior to Nov. 1 game at Oregon, they truly earned the limelight with their performance vs. the Ducks. In that game, a 42-10 Husky win, Sampson rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns on only six carries while James, the starter, ran for 104 yards on 18 attempts. It was the first time since the 2000 Apple Cup that two Huskies had run for 100 yards in a single game and Sampson was the first Husky since the 2001 Stanford game that a Husky had run for three scores. Since stepping into their larger role (the last three games), the pair have combined for 479 yards and five touchdowns on 91 carries, good for a 5.3-yard average per carry.
D.J. Picks Up The Pace: Junior cornerback Derrick Johnson has long been a key part of the Husky defensive secondary, having started 23 games in his UW career. After having registered only one interception over the first 21 games of his career, he's emerged as a top pickoff artist. Over the last 13 regular season games, Johnson has compiled nine interceptions to raise his career total to 10. That ties Johnson with four other Huskies for eighth place on the UW career leaders chart. Johnson has five interceptions this season. His five picks in 10 games (0.50 per game) are good for fourth in the Pac-10 Conference and 20th in Division I-A.
Garth's Big Season: While nothing will become official until the end of the season, senior Garth Erickson is currently in the midst of one of the top-five seasons ever by a UW punter, at least in terms of his average yards per punt. Erickson, who is currently punting for a 42.0-yard average, would rank fourth all-time if the season ended today. Here's a look at Washington's top-five list for season average yards per punt:
Season Punting Average No. Yds. Avg. 1. Skip Boyd (1973) 69 2,964 43.0 2. Skip Boyd (1974) 57 2,407 42.2 3. Jeff Partridge (1982) 65 2,739 42.1 4. Garth Erickson (2003) 55 2,312 42.0 5. Thane Cleland (1986) 47 1,938 41.2
Kicking It Deep: While true freshman Sean Douglas originally came from his home near Omaha, Neb., to the UW to be the Husky punter, it turns out he's become the Huskies' kickoff specialist. While senior Garth Erickson is handling the punting duties, Douglas is biding his time kicking off, and he's performed very well. Douglas has kicked off a total of 49 times this season. Of those 49, only seven have been returned beyond the 28-yard line and one other was placed at the 35 after being kicked out of bounds. Of the 49, 21 have resulted in touchbacks while an additional 10 have been returned inside the 20 (not counting penalties on either the kickoff or return team). The longest return of the year by a Husky opponent was by Nevada's Maurice Mann, who returned a kick 43 yards to the 44 (starting at the one-yard line).