Oct. 17, 2005
The Game: The Washington football team (0-3 in the Pac-10, 1-5 overall) returns to Husky Stadium for its ony home game of the month of October this Saturday, Oct. 22, when top-ranked and two-time defending national champion USC (3-0, 6-0) comes to Seattle for a 12:30 p.m. game. The Trojans, ranked No. 1 in both the AP and USA Today coaches' polls, pulled out a narrow win over Notre Dame last week in South Bend and have used second-half rallies to win in each of their last four games. USC will be the first team to visit Husky Stadium while ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press top-25 poll since Oct. 4, 1969, when Ohio State beat the Huskies, 41-14. With USC ranked in the AP Top 25 (obviously), Washington will be playing its fifth ranked opponent of the year. The Trojans join Cal, Notre Dame, UCLA and Oregon in that capacity.
Huskies vs. Trojans History: Washington and USC have played one another 75 times since the series began in 1923. The Trojans hold a commanding 45-26-4 series advantage, although the Huskies have gone 7-5-1 over the last 13. 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 16-17-4 against the Trojans in the 37 games played in Husky Stadium. In their most recent trip to Seattle, fifth-ranked USC beat Washington, 43-23 on Oct. 25, 2003. In that game, Matt Leinart completed 19-of-29 passes for 351 yards, no interceptions and four TDs as the Trojans pulled away after leading 20-14 at halftime. UW quarterback Cody Pickett threw for 274 yards on 22-of-42 passing and Reggie Williams caught nine passes for 115 yards and a score. Last year (Oct. 23) at the Coliseum, the No. 1 Trojans handed the UW its first shutout loss since 1981, a string of 271 games, the longest such active streak in Division I-A at the time. USC held the Huskies to only six first downs and 113 yards of total offense while Leinart completed 24-of-43 passes for 217 yards and two scores. Fourth-year USC coach Pete Carroll is 3-1 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 both Stanford and Notre Dame, is 4-6 against USC, 4-3 while at Stanford and 0-3 while coaching the Irish. Willingham is 1-3 head-to-head vs. Carroll (1-0 at Stanford, 0-3 at Notre Dame).
vs. Los Angeles Schools: Washington has a combined record of 54-79-6 (.410) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 28-35-2 vs. UCLA and 26-45-4 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. In fact, Washington has more wins against the Trojans and Bruins (combined) than every conference school except California (57-105-6 (.351) 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 16-26-1 (.384) against the Bruins and Trojans.
Television: ABC-TV will air a live regional broadcast of the UW-USC game, with Keith Jackson, Dan Fouts and Todd Harris providing the commentary. The game will also air on tape delay on FSN Northwest Sunday at 3:00 p.m. with Brian Davis and Sonny Sixkiller on the call. All remaining Husky games will air on FSN on tape delay Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Additionally, "Husky Football All-Access" airs each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. during the season on FSN. 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 26 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Steve Sandmeyer. Most broadcasts will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio on channel 194, 195 or 196.
The Coach: Tyrone Willingham was named Washington's 22nd head football coach on December 13, 2004. A former head coach at Notre Dame and Stanford, Willingham became the first African-American to serve as the Huskies head coach. While he brings an impressive resume with him to resurrect the Husky program, Willingham has acquitted himself well among his peers for much more than just fielding winning teams. Over the past 28 years Willingham has developed a coaching style that emphasizes toughness, enthusiasm, intelligence, discipline, commitment and unselfish play. The result has provided his players with more than just the opportunity to enjoy victories on the field. His guiding principles have prepared his players to be successful in life. Willingham, who turned 51 on Dec. 30, served as the head coach at Stanford (1995-2001) and Notre Dame (2002-2004) over the past decade. His Stanford teams enjoyed a 44-36-1 record while he was 21-15 with the Fighting Irish, including a 38-3 victory against Washington last season at Notre Dame Stadium. In his inaugural season with the Irish in 2002, he wasted no time reversing the tide of the Irish program, leading Notre Dame to a 10-2 regular-season record and a trip to the 2003 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. He was named Sportsman of the Year by The Sporting News after the 2002 season, while also picking up several national coach of the year awards. Prior to his tenure at Notre Dame, Willingham directed the Stanford program for seven seasons. In 1999, the Cardinal won the Pac-10 and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1972, earning Willingham Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. He also led the Cardinal to the 1995 Liberty Bowl, the 1996 Sun Bowl and the 2001 Seattle Bowl. Willingham, who grew up in Jacksonville, N.C., played both football and baseball at Michigan State, earning three letters in both sports and was awarded the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor as the outstanding scholar-athlete in the league. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1977 and, aside from his two previous head coaching stints, has served as a full-time assistant at Central Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Rice and Stanford, as well as with the Minnesota Vikings.
Willingham vs. The Pac-10: Thanks mostly to his time at Stanford, but also via frequent games vs. western teams while at Notre Dame, Tyrone Willingham has amassed a lengthy record against Pac-10 teams. Overall, Willingham is 47-31 against Pac-10 teams. Interestingly, his teams have struggled the most against Washington, as he's gone 1-6 against his new charges. Here's Willingham's record against each Pac-10 team: Arizona (2-3), Arizona State (4-3), California (7-1), Oregon (4-2), Oregon State (3-4), Stanford (3-0), UCLA (3-5), USC (4-6), Washington (1-5), Washington State (6-2).
Coaching Staff: Washington's new coaching staff, under first-year head coach Tyrone Willingham, includes a number of names that might be familiar to more savvy Pac-10 football fans. Willingham, of course, spent seven seasons in charge of Stanford, where he'd previously served as an assistant (1989-91) for three seasons. And, two members of the Husky staff from last season were held over as well, lending more than a little familiarity. Defensive line coach Randy Hart is now working for his fifth different head coach as a member of the Husky staff while linebackers coach Chris Tormey, is beginning his 15th season at the UW, spread over three different stints. Aside from those three, several other UW coaches have experience in or around the Northwest. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer has coached in the Pac-10 at California, Arizona State and Stanford, as well as at Idaho. Spokane native Tim Lappano previously worked at Idaho, Washington State, California, Oregon State and with the Seattle Seahawks. Receivers coach Eric Yarber, an Idaho grad, has spent time at his alma mater, with the Seahawks and at Oregon State while Mike Denbrock (offensive line) and Trent Miles (running backs) both worked one season each at Stanford. Only tight ends/special teams coach Bob Simmons, the former Oklahoma State head coach, and defensive backs coach Steven Wilks can't trace their coaching roots through the Pac-10.
The GAs: Washington's two graduate assistant coaches this season are Kyle Benn (offense) and Joey Hildbold (defense). Benn earned four letters as a center and was a captain on the 2001 team. That season, he was one of only two players named to the All-Pac-10 and Academic All-Pac-10 first teams. He is in his second season as a G.A. at his alma mater. Hildbold, a 2003 graduate of Notre Dame, was a punter for the Irish from 1999 to 2002. He was a two-time finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top collegiate punter.
Washington-USC Ties: There aren't too many connections between the coaching staffs at USC and Washington. However, Tyrone Willingham went to work at North Carolina State in 1983, the year after Pete Carroll had just completed three seasons with the Wolfpack. 'SC secondary coach Greg Burns saw plenty of the Huskies as a four-year letterman (1991-93, 1995) at Washington State, and in 1991, Husky offensive coordinator Tim Lappano was the Cougars'offensive coordinator. Burns was also on Chris Tormey's staff at Idaho in 1997. Tormey is the Huskies' linebackers coach. Husky running backs coach Trent Miles and USC d-line coach Jethro Franklin both worked for the Green Bay Packers during the 2000 season and served on the staff at Fresno State in 1997 and 1998 along with USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. As far as players go, the most obvious connection is the fact that UW sophomore WR Marlon Wood is the son of three-time All-American Richard Wood, who played at USC from 1972-74. USC's media guide roster lists only three players from the state of Washington: sophomore fullback Sean Kelly (Gig Harbor/Bellarmine), and senior fullback David Kirtman and RS-freshman punter Taylor Odegard, both from Mercer Island. USC also has a number of players from Long Beach Poly High, alma mater of Husky cornerback Kim Taylor. The Huskies roster includes 17 players from the greater Los Angeles area: TE Dash Crutchley (Temecula), WR Quintin Daniels (Los Angeles), CB Mesphin Forrester (Los Angeles), S Dashon Goldson (Carson), S Chris Hemphill (Gardena), DT Jasper Henry (Los Angeles), ILB Dan Howell (Newhall), LB Darrion Jones (Lynwood), TE Robert Lewis (Van Nuys), DT Erick Lobos (Los Angeles), SS Durrell Moss (Orange), OL Jovon O'Connor (Los Angeles), CB Josh Okeobor (Colton), WR Sonny Shackelford (Beverly Hills), CB Clarence Simpson (Sylmar), TB Chris Singleton (Etiwanda) and CB Kim Taylor (Long Beach).
UW Against No. 1: Washington has played nine games against No. 1 teams, as ranked by the Associated Press. The Huskies have posted only a 1-7-1 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 nine 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 nine 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
Last Year vs. USC: Matt Leinart threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns as No. 5 USC beat Washington, 43-23 for its first victory at Husky Stadium in 10 years. Leinart completed 19-fo-29 passes without an interception as the Trojans compiled 565 total yards. The two teams were tied at 7-7 after a Kenny James TD run for Washington and a 20-yard pass from Leinart to Keary Colbert from USC, before Ronald Nunn intercepted a Cody Pickett pass and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown to give the Trojans a lead they'd never relinquish. In the second quarter, the teams traded TDs wtih LenDale White running for a 20-yard score and Reggie Williams catching a 10-yard touchdown pass from Pickett. In the third, Reggie Bush caught a Leinart pass at midfield and ran in untouched for a 60-yard score. After an exchange of field goals to close the third, the Trojans put the game away with two straight touchdown drive in the final quarter. First, Leinart hit Brandon Hancock on a 52-yard pass before connecting with Bush for a second time in the game, this time for a 37-yard score. Pickett, who finished 22-for-42 for 274 yards, one TD and one interception, ran in from two yards out for the final score of the game. Hershel Dennis led all rushers with 98 yards on 14 carries. Reggie Williams caught nine passes for 115 yards and a TD, but was shut out in the second half, while USC's Mike Williams caught six passes for only 43 yards. Bush, however, finished the game with 132 receiving yards on five catches plus 81 rushing yards on 12 tries.
Last Time vs. USC At Husky Stadium: Matt Leinart threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns as No. 5 Southern California beat Washington 43-23, on Oct. 25, 2003, for its first victory at Husky Stadium in 10 years. Leinart completed 19-of-29 passes without an interception as the Trojans compiled 565 total yards. With the score tied at 7-7 in the first, Washington quarterback Cody Pickett threw an interception with USC's Kenechi Udeze in his face. Ronald Nunn picked it off and returned the ball 57 yards for a TD in the first period. The Huskies missed receiver Charles Frederick, who sprained his left shoulder in the first quarter, and tailback Rich Alexis, who sat out after bruising his thigh the previous week at Oregon State. The Trojans led 20-7 early in the second period after a 21-yard TD run by LenDale White, but missed a chance to extend it when Ryan Killeen's extra point attempt was blocked. He also missed two field goals in the half, including a 20-yarder. The Huskies answered White's touchdown with an 80-yard scoring drive to keep things within reach, pulling to 20-14 when Pickett found Reggie Williams for a 10-yard TD only 32 seconds before halftime. The Trojans regrouped at the break, though, and Leinart found Bush on a 60-yard pass play to make it 26-14. Bush caught the ball in stride at midfield and went untouched to the end zone. In the fourth quarter Leinart connected on a 52-yard TD pass to Brandon Hancock. His fourth score, a 37-yarder to Reggie Bush, put USC ahead 43-17. Hershel Dennis carried 14 times for 98 yards. And Bush, a freshman running back, had a big day with five catches for 132 yards and two TDs. He also rushed 12 times for 81 yards. The matchup between receivers Mike Williams of USC and Reggie Williams of Washington favored the Husky. Mike Williams had six catches for 43 yards while Reggie Williams had nine receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. However, Reggie was held without a reception in the second half.
Captains: Washington will not have season-long captains 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 the captains that have served in each game:
Air Force: Evan Benjamin, Joe Lobendahn, James Sims, Joe Toledo
Cal: Dashon Goldson, Joe Lobendahn, James Sims, Brad Vanneman
Idaho: Manase Hopoi, Evan Knudson, Robin Meadow, Scott White
Notre Dame: Dashon Goldson, Manase Hopoi, Isaiah Stanback, Brad Vanneman
UCLA: Tusi Sa'au, Isaiah Stanback, C.J. Wallace, Scott White
Oregon: Evan Benjamin, Joe Lobendahn, Tusi Sa'au, Isaiah Stanback