Sept. 21, 2009
Monday Press Conference (Subscription Required): Sarkisian and Locker
THE GAME: After three straight home games to open the season, including a magical 16-13 win over No. 3 USC last Saturday, the Washington football team takes to the road for the first time this season. The Huskies (2-1 overall, 1-0 Pac-10) travel to Palo Alto to face Stanford (2-1, 0-0) in a 6:00 p.m. (PT) game Saturday night at Stanford Stadium. The Huskies, ranked No. 24 in the AP top 25, enter the game on a two-game win streak. After a 31-23 loss to No. 11 LSU in the season-opener, the Huskies have beaten Idaho (42-23) and USC. The Dawgs made national news last Saturday, winning the game on a 63-yard drive that ended in a 22-yard field goal from Erik Folk with 0:03 remaining. After the Stanford game, the Huskies return to the road the following week for a game at Notre Dame before returning to Seattle to face Arizona on Oct. 10.
BIG WIN OVER USC: Last Saturday, Washington pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UW history, beating third-ranked USC, 16-13. The Trojans were the highest-ranked team that the Huskies had beaten at Husky Stadium since a 1981 victory over another third-ranked USC. It was also the first time the Huskies had beaten a top-10 team since the 2003 Apple Cup and the first victory over a ranked opponent since a win over No. 22 Boise State in 2007. There were several keys to the game, not the least of which was a 3-0 win in the turnover battle, with two of the takeaways coming deep in UW territory. Additionally, the Huskies continued their trend of playing well on third down, converting 7-of-15 while the Trojans were a remarkable 0-for-10 on third-down conversions. Husky quarterback Jake Locker led the way for the UW, going 21-for-35 for 237 yards passing while also running for the only UW TD. Senior linebacker Donald Butler had a career day for the defense, finishing with 12 tackles, including two for loss, a forced fumble and an interception. And of course, Erik Folk was the hero as his third of three field goals on the day won the game with 0:03 left.
TELEVISION: The Washington-Stanford game will air live on FCS (Fox College Sports) with Sean Farnham, Yogi Roth and Samantha Steele providing the commentary. The broadcast will also air on the UW campus on the campus-wide cable system. Additionally, "Huskies All-Access" airs each Wednesday evening on FSN. The program is an up-close look at each Husky game, with features, one-on-one interviews and sideline video.
RADIO: The Washington ISP Sports Network, with its flagship station KJR 950-AM, will carry the live broadcast of every football game on 15 Northwest 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 193, 194 or 195 and can be heard over the internet via the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com.
HUSKIES vs. CARDINAL HISTORY: Washington holds a relatively close 40-35-4 advantage in the series against Stanford, but has been the dominant team in recent decades. After winning eight straight vs. Stanford from 1959 to 1966, the Huskies lost 10 in a row from 1967 to 1976. Since that 1976 loss, Washington has gone 21-5 against the Cardinal. One of those four losses was a big upset in 1982 when the No. 2 Huskies fell to the Cardinal, 43-31, in Palo Alto. The second UW loss during that stretch came at Stanford in 1994, when the Cardinal upset 12th-ranked Washington, 46-28. More recently, the Cardinal beat the Huskies, 27-13, at Palo Alto in 2004. After no game in 2005, Stanford won its second straight over the UW in a 20-3 victory in 2006 at Husky Stadium. The Cardinal also won last season in Seattle, 35-28. The last time the two teams met in Palo Alto, however, the Huskies rushed for a total of 388 yards in a 27-9 win over the Cardinal. Louis Rankin led the way with 255 yards on 36 carries. Over the last 12 seasons, the two old league rivals have not played one other four times (1998, 1999, 2002 and 2005). Washington and Stanford first played one another in 1893 in a game that marked the first major college opponent for UW. That game, played in West Seattle, resulted in a 40-0 Stanford victory. There wouldn't be another matchup between the two schools until 1920, when the Cardinal nipped Washington, 3-0, in the last UW home game played somewhere other than Husky Stadium. Three weeks after that game, the UW would open what would eventually come to be known as Husky Stadium. After a 0-0 tie in 1921, the Huskies' first victory in the series came in 1922, 12-8 at Palo Alto.
WASHINGTON-STANFORD TIES: There are not a lot of connections between the UW and Stanford coaching staffs, other than that Husky WRs coach Jimmie Dougherty was on Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh's staff at the University of San Diego when Harbaugh was the Toreros' head coach. Stanford assistants Lance Anderson, Tim Drevno and David Shaw were also on that USD staff. There are four Washingtonians on the current Stanford roster: freshman OL David DeCastro (Bellevue), freshman OL Geoff Meinken (Lynnwood), senior QB Tavita Pritchard (Tacoma/Clover Park) and junior WR Marcus Rance (Yakima/Davis). Washington's roster includes numerous Californians, but only seven from Northern California: Donald Butler (Sacramento), Mason Foster (Seaside), Anthony Gobern (Fair Oaks), Willie Griffin (Oakland), De'Shon Matthews (Sacramento), Curtis Shaw (Stockton) and Jordan Wallace (Sacramento). Only a few Huskies attended the same high school as any Cardinal players. Shaw attended Lincoln HS in Stockton, the same as Stanford RB Michael Spanos. DeCastro went to Bellevue High with Husky linebacker E.J. Savannah and long snapper Brendan Lopez. UW junior DB Matt Mosley and Stanford OT Allen Smith and CB Blaise Johnson all graduated from Tempe's Corona del Sol, while Husky long snapper Danny Morovick and Stanford kicker David Green, tight end Konrad Reuland and wide receiver Warren Reuland all went to Mission Viejo High. Husky receiver Devin Aguilar and Stanford TE Ryan Hewitt are both graduates of Denver's Mullen High while UW linebacker Kurt Mangum and Cardinal safety Harold Bernard and cornerback Quinn Evans were all classmates at Arizona's Chandler HS. Lastly, Stanford safety Delano Howell is the younger brother of former Husky linebacker Dan Howell.
HUSKIES vs. BAY AREA SCHOOLS: Washington has a combined, all-time record of 99-74-8 vs. opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area. Washington is 47-38-4 against Cal, 40-35-4 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 49-10-0 vs. Bay Area teams: 20-5 vs. Cal, 21-5 vs. Stanford and 8-0 vs. San Jose State.
THIRD-DOWN SUCCESS: One hallmark of the current season for the UW has been its success on third down, both offensively and defensively. The Huskies currently rank third in the nation with a 60.42 percent (29-of-48) success rate on offense (Florida is first at 66.67 and South Florida is second at 60.61). On the defensive side, the Huskies are holding opponents to a conversion rate of only 28.13 percent (9-for-32) which is tied for No. 19 in the nation. The Huskies have had some nearly unheard of single-game performances on third down as well. On the offensive side, the Huskies were a solid 11-of-19 vs. LSU and then a sparkling 11-of-14 vs. Idaho. Defensively, the Dawgs held No. 3 USC to an 0-for-10 on third down.
BACK IN THE POLLS: Washington made a remarkable return to the Associated Press top 25 this week, earning the No. 24 spot. What's remarkable is that the Huskies hadn't received a vote in a previous vote and had broken a 15-game losing streak only one week before, illustrating the huge turnaround. Washington hadn't been ranked in the AP poll since early October of 2003. On Oct. 4, 2003, the Huskies lost to UCLA, dropped out of the top 25 and hadn't returned until this week, when they were rewarded for their win over then-No. 3 USC.