Nov. 17, 2003
The Game: Nineteen Husky seniors will make play their final regular season game and make their final Husky Stadium appearance this Saturday as the Washington football team (3-4 in the Pac-10, 5-6 overall) hosts No. 8 Washington State (6-1, 9-2) in the annual Apple Cup. Kickoff is November 22 at 3:30 p.m. and the game will air live on Fox Sports Net. The Huskies can keep their bowl hopes alive with a win (though a win does not guarantee a bowl berth) while the Cougars are still strong candidates to make a Bowl Championship Series game. The Huskies have won each of the last five Apple Cups, including the last two in which Washington teams pulled off upsets against WSU teams ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
Huskies vs. Cougars History: The Washington-Washington State series dates back to 1900, when the teams played to a 5-5 tie in Seattle, but only since 1962 has the winner been awarded the Apple Cup trophy. Washington holds a commanding 62-27-6 edge in the 95-game series, including a 30-10 record in Apple Cup games. In games played in Seattle, the Huskies hold a 35-13-5 record against Washington State, with a 28-11-3 mark in games played at Husky Stadium. The Huskies have won the last five Apple Cup games overall, though only the last two straight at Husky Stadium dating back to the Cougars' Rose Bowl-cliniching win in 1997. Last season, in a game that surely ranks as one of the most memorable ever in the series, Washington shocked the No. 3 Cougars with a triple-overtime, 29-26 win, despite trailing by 10 with only 4:30 to play. The last time the two teams met at Husky Stadium, in 2001, the 16th-ranked Huskies upset the No. 9 Cougars with a 26-14 win. Three years ago in Pullman, the Dawgs wrapped up a Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl berth with a 51-3 blowout of the Cougars. This Saturday's game will mark only the second time since 1951 that the Huskies have entered the game unranked and the Cougars ranked, with the only other such incidence coming last season. The UW lost that 1951 game to a 15th-ranked WSU squad, 27-25, in Seattle. In 1942, unranked Washington and No. 15 WSU played to a 0-0 tie in Husky Stadium in the only other such game. Washington has won 11 of the last 14 vs. WSU and 22 of the last 29. Despite being only seven miles or so down the road from Pullman during his three-year tenure as head coach at Idaho, Husky coach Keith Gilbertson never faced the Cougars as a Vandal. However, Gilbertson did square off vs. WSU three times during his four seasons in charge at California. The Bears went 1-2 in those three games: a 34-7 loss at Pullman in 1993, a 26-23 loss at Berkeley in 1994, and a 27-11 win at Berkeley in 1995. Washington State's Bill Doba, in his first season as a college head coach, has obviously never faced Washington in that capacity. However, as an assistant, he has been on the winning sideline vs. the UW four times in 15 tries (1-0 as an assistant at Indiana in 1978 and 3-11 as a WSU assistant from 1989 to 2002).
Senior Day: Saturday's Apple Cup game will mark the final home and regular season game for 19 Husky seniors: CB Roc Alexander, TB Rich Alexis, C Todd Bachert, FS Owen Biddle, OG Justin Booker, OLB Greg Carothers, ILB Marquis Cooper, P Garth Erickson, DT/DE Terry Johnson, OLB Tyler Krambrink, CB Chris Massey, FS B.J. Newberry, OT Nick Newton, QB Cody Pickett, WR Clayton Ramsey, FB Adam Seery, OG Jason Simonson, DT Jerome Stevens and C Mike Thompson. The Huskies' 19 seniors will be introduced individual during pregame ceremonies.
Television: The Apple Cup will air live on Fox Sports Net to a national audience with Steve Physioc and Tom Ramsey calling the action. Fox Sports will also provide pre- and post-game coverage in the Northwest, and the game will air again the following day at 4:00 p.m. on Fox Sports in the Northwest. 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 Elise Woodward.
Washington-WSU Ties: While there's not much history between the coaching staffs at Washington and Washington State, there's plenty between the players. On the coaching side, very few Husky coaches have ever worked with members of WSU's staff. UW co-defensive coordinator Phil Snow and offensive coordinator John Pettas both spent some time on Bruce Snyder's staff at Arizona, where they worked with WSU assistant head coach Robin Pflugrad and offensive line coach George Yarno. Snow also worked at UCLA on Bob Toledo's coaching staff with WSU running backs coach Kelly Skipper. While there aren't that many Huskies from the eastern side of the state, there are plenty of Cougar players from this side of the Cascades. And of course, a number of Huskies and Cougars played with or against one another in their high school days. UW OT Ryan Brooks, PK Ricardo DoValle and WSU DB Jeremy Bohannon were teammates at Richland High. Cougs junior LB Ira Davis and Husky QB/WR Isaiah Stanback both graduated from Seattle's Garfield High. Husky DT Jordan Reffett and WSU DB Marques Tucker are both Moses Lake High alumni. Husky junior WR Nick Lunzer and WSU's Charles Harris were teammates at Mead HS in Spokane. Shelton Sampson, a freshman TB at Washington, went to Clover Park with two current Cougs: LB Paul Stevens and DL Ropati, Pitotua. Husky freshman quarterback Carl Bonnell is the younger brother of WSU DE Raymond Bonnell. Both attended Kentwood High, as did UW freshman ILB Tahj Bomar. WSU d-lineman Sean O'Connor and UW safety Evan Benjamin are Redmond High grads while UW's Ty Eriks and Jason Benn both went to O'Dea High in Seattle, same as Cougs kicker Alex Oyer. Other Huskies from Eastern Washington: senior punter Garth Erickson (Spokane/Gonzaga Prep), freshman offensive lineman Juan Garcia (Yakima/Eisenhower) and sophomore defensive end Will Murphy (Spokane/Central Valley).
"Couskies": A number of players throughout history have played football for both Washington and Washington State. Most such players were put in that circumstance by World War II. The first example, however, came more than 100 years ago in Frank Field. Field captained Washington State in 1897 before going on to play at the UW in 1899 and 1900. The World War II-era "Couskies" all played first at WSU before the Navy and Marines transferred them to the UW for officer training in time for the 1943 football season. Their names: Tag Christensen, Wally Kramer, Vern Oliver, Jay Stoves, Bill Ward, Hjalmer "Jelly" Andersen and Jim Thompson. Also Al Akins had played basketball at WSU before appearing on the gridiron for the UW. Additionally, in more recent vintage, placekicker Nick Lentz, who lettered at Washington in 1997, transferred to WSU after that season, but never lettered for the Cougars.
Last Year vs. Washington State: Down 20-10 with 4:30 to go, Washington emerged with a three-overtime, 29-26 upset win over No. 3 Washington State in one of the most memorble Apple Cups ever. Trailing by 10 points late in the fourth quarter, the UW drove 92 yards in only six plays and 1:28. Paul Arnold scored on a seven-yard pass from Cody Pickett to draw the UW to within a field goal. On the ensuing drive, Husky freshman CB Nate Robinson intercepted a pass from backup QB Matt Kegel on the second play of the Cougars' drive and John Anderson hit a 25-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Kegel was in the game after WSU starter Jason Gesser suffered a leg injury on a third-quarter sack by Husky DT Terry Johnson, one of six sacks on the day. Neither team's offense was able to do much in overtime as Anderson and WSU kicker Drew Dunning exchanged field goals in the first two extra frames. After Anderson hit a 49-yarder to open the third OT, the Huskies won the game when, on WSU's second play, defensive end Kai Ellis batted down and recovered what was ruled a backwards pass from Kegel. Pickett completed 35-of-57 passes for 368 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Husky sophomore Reggie Williams notched 169 yards on 12 receptions to break his own Apple Cup record of 11, set the previous year. Anderson tied a school record with five field goals.
Last Time at Husky Stadium (Nov. 17, 2001): Washington handed No. 9 Washington State a 26-14 defeat in the 2001 version of the Apple Cup. True freshman receiver Reggie Williams set Apple Cup records with 11 receptions for 203 yards while QB Cody Pickett set a series record with 371 yards on 25-of-38 passing. Washington was helped by four WSU turnovers, including two on goal-to-go situations. The Cougars had first-and-goal three times without scoring, including a first-quarter goal-line stand when Washington kept Cougar tailback Dave Minnich out of the end zone on fourth down from inside the one. Following that stand, the UW drove 99 yards on 10 plays to score the game's first points on a one-yard run by Rich Alexis. The Cougars tied the score in the second quarter when Jason Gesser hit Mike Bush with a 15-yard TD pass. But, with the game tied at 7-7 near the end of the half, UW kicked a field goal and then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff with only one second left, setting up another FG. One minute and one second in the third quarter, the Huskies scored on a one-yard TD run by Willie Hurst after recovering a Cougar fumble and returning it to the one.
Pickett & Williams vs. WSU: While both Cody Pickett and Reggie Williams can point to many outstanding single-game performances in their respective careers, they've both managed to save some of their best for Apple Cups. Pickett has posted the two best passing days in the history of the UW-WSU series, in terms of yards, throwing for 371 (on 25-of-38) in 2001 and 368 (on 35-of-57) in 2002. In two career Apple Cups, he's 60-for-95 (.632) for 739 yards, with one interception and two touchdowns. Williams has the top two performances in series history in terms of receptions (11 in 2001 and 12 in 2002) and two of the top four games in terms of yards (203 in 2001 and 169 in 2002). In his two Apple Cup games, he's caught 23 passes for 372 yards (almost exactly half of Pickett's total yards).
Streaking vs. Northwest Foes: Washington's win over Oregon earlier this year meant that the Huskies have won their last six straight games against their three northwest, Pac-10 rivals -- Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State. The Huskies have beaten each team twice in a row despite the fact that the Huskies have been unranked in all but one of those games and their opponent has been ranked in four of them (No. 9 WSU in 2001, No. 23 Oregon and No. 3 WSU in 2002 and No. 22 Oregon State earlier this year).
Dawgs and the Northwest: Washington's oldest and longest rivalries are against the other three other northwest Pac-10 schools. The Huskies have faced Oregon 95 times, Washington State in 95 games and Oregon State on 88 occasions. Washington owns the advantage in all three series. The Huskies lead the Ducks 58-33-5, Washington State 62-27-6 and Oregon State 57-27-4. Combined, Washington has a 177-87-15 (.661) record against its northwest rivals, including a sweep of all three last season and the first two thusfar in 2003.
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 58 times. The Huskies' record stands at 53-4-1 (.922) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 28-1-1 (.950) when rushing for 200 yards.
Playing at Home: Washington has gone unbeaten at home 13 times in its history, including six times in the last 11 seasons. Washington has won 71 of its last 87 (.822) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (71-15-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 119-26-2 (.816) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 45-10-1 (.813) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 opponents.
Historic Husky Stadium: The 2003 season marks the 84th 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. That makes Husky Stadium the 24th-largest college football venue in the nation. It is the 20th-largest on-campus facility in the country. UW's all-time record in Husky Stadium currently stands at 336-137-21 (.701).
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 six November games, Williams has made 59 receptions for a total of 735 yards, an average of 9.8 catches and 122.5 yards per game. In 11 career games in the month of November, he has averaged 8.1 catches and 110.7 yards per game.
Reggie On the Prowl: In less than three full seasons, junior receiver Reggie Williams has already compiled 3,539 career receiving yards on 236 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. 3,539 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. 236 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
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 42.5-yard average, would rank second 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. Garth Erickson (2003) 64 2,721 42.5 3. Skip Boyd (1974) 57 2,407 42.2 4. Jeff Partridge (1982) 65 2,739 42.1 5. Thane Cleland (1986) 47 1,938 41.2