Nov. 2, 2009
THE GAME: The Washington football team (3-5 overall, 2-3 in the Pac-10) returns to action this Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena when the Huskies take on UCLA (3-5 overall, 0-5 in the Pac-10) in a 12:30 p.m. game. The Dawgs, who have faced the nation's second-toughest schedule to this point, come into the game after a weekend off while the Bruins' comeback fell short in a 26-19 loss at Oregon State last weekend. UCLA went 3-0 in non-conference play to open the season, but have lost five straight, all against Pac-10 opposition, since then. After the trip to L.A. this weekend, the Dawgs play at Oregon State the following Saturday before a bye week. Then, the Huskies' wrap up the regular season with home games vs. Washington State and California.
GAME THEMES vs. THE BRUINS: Washington enters this week's game off of a bye ... the Huskies were the last team in the Pac-10 to take a week off ... UCLA will be the Huskies' first opponent this season with a sub-.500 record ... all eight of the Huskies' previous opponents are over .500 except Arizona State, which is 4-4 ... the Huskies' schedule, according to the NCAA rankings, has ranked No. 2 in the nation to this point with opponents having compiled a 42-14 (.750) record (not counting results in their games vs. UW) ... only Virginia Tech has face tougher competition (45-13; .776) ... the Huskies' five remaining opponents are 15-17 on the year ... through eight games, Washington has already been a part of four games that have gone down to the last minute (or overtime) ... the UW beat USC on a field goal with 0:03 left, lost to Notre Dame in OT, beat Arizona on a late interception return and lost to ASU on a TD with 0:05 remaining ... Washington has had 10 true freshmen play this year, including four who have started at least one game: wide receiver James Johnson, defensive end Talia Crichton, cornerback Desmond Trufant and safety Nathan Fellner.
TELEVISION: The Washington-UCLA game will air live on various FSN channels. In the Northwest, fans can watch on FSN, except in Oregon. The game will also air on Prime Ticket in California and on FCS-Central nationwide. Bill MacDonald, James Washington, Courtney Jones and Brooke Olzendam will provide the call. 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 16 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. BRUINS HISTORY: UCLA enjoys an eight-game edge in the series, with 37 wins, 29 losses and two ties in 68 all-time games against Washington. The Bruins have taken that lead relatively recently, having have won 10 of the last 12, with many recent games having been comebacks. Last year, UCLA pulled away late fora 27-7 win. But in 2007 in Pasadena, the Bruins beat the Huskies, 44-31, in a game that featured 41 combined points scored in the fourth quarter after a 10-10 tie at the half. The Huskies got the win in 2006 in Seattle, coming back from 16-0 behind to win, 29-19. In 2005, the Bruins needed a fourth-quarter comeback to secure a 21-17 win as the Huskies led 10-0 at half and 17-7 after three quarters. In 2004 in Seattle, Maurice Drew ran for 322 yards and five touchdowns as the Bruins came back from a 24-7 deficit to win, 37-31. In 2003 at the Rose Bowl, 18th-ranked Washington built a 16-7 halftime lead, but the Bruins stormed back to win going away, 46-16. UCLA's 39 second-half points were the most ever against a Husky team in a second half. In 2002, the Bruins parlayed a 24-14 halftime lead into a 34-24 win. In 2001, the Bruins won, 35-13, as tailback DeShaun Foster rushed for 301 yards in a game the Huskies played without injured starting quarterback Cody Pickett (the only game Pickett missed after separating his right shoulder the previous week vs. USC). In 2000, with a 35-28 win, Washington broke the Bruins' three-game winning streak in the series. UCLA had won games in 1997, 1998 and 1999 to take the series advantage, which, prior to the `97 meeting was tied at 27-27-2. In 12 of the last 17 meetings (all but 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007) between Washington and UCLA, one or both of the teams has been ranked. Going by ranking alone, the Bruins managed to upset the Huskies in four of those games - most notably the 1990 loss at Husky Stadium that knocked aside the UW's national title hopes. In that `90 game, the unranked Bruins handed No. 2 Washington a 25-22 loss. In the next meeting in 1993, 22nd-ranked UCLA beat the 12th-ranked Dawgs, 39-25. Prior to 2004, the most recent "upset" was in 1999, when an unranked UCLA team beat No. 22 Washington, 33-20. The UW-UCLA series first got underway in 1932, when the Huskies posted the first of four straight shutouts against the Bruins. UCLA got its first win in the series in 1938 with a 13-0 win in Los Angeles. UCLA coach head coach Rick Neuheisel is 2-0 vs. Washington as his Colorado team won the 1996 Holiday Bowl, 33-21, over the Huskies and his Bruins won last year's contest.
WASHINGTON-UCLA TIES: The most notable and obvious of the ties between the UW and UCLA teams is the fact that Bruins first-year head coach Rick Neuheisel was the Husky head coach from 1999 through 2002. Also on the Bruins staff are three former UW assistant coaches: Tim Hundley, Wayne Moses and Reggie Moore (who was a GA at Washington). Additionally, several UW coaches (notably, Steve Sarkisian) have an association with UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Sarkisian played under him at BYU and spent time on USC's coaching staff working with Chow. The Bruins' current roster includes two players from the state of Washington: RS-freshman DE Justin Mann is a graduate of Woodinville High while freshman kicker Madison Poole went to Seattle's Bishop Blanchet High. A good deal of UW and UCLA 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 29 players from (loosely-defined) southern California: OL Mark Armelin (Canoga Park), TE Marlion Barnett (Corona), WR Anthony Boyles (Compton), C Greg Christine (Camarillo), DE Talia Crichton (Lakewood), DL Tyrone Duncan (Westlake Village), OL Skyler Fancher (Costa Mesa), PK Erik Folk (Woodland Hills), QB Ronnie Fouch (Redlands), LB Joshua Gage (Huntington Beach), WR D'Andre Goodwin (Pacoima), LB Matt Houston (Goleta), WR James Johnson (Valley Center), LB Darrion Jones (Lynwood), CB Adam Long (Los Angeles), P Will Mahan (Bakersfield), LS Danny Morovick (Mission Viejo), OG Craig Noble (Los Angeles), OT Ben Ossai (Bakersfield), CB Marquis Persley (Redlands), TB Chris Polk (Redlands), QB Keith Price (Compton), DL Chris Robinson (Tustin), OT Morgan Rosborough (Long Beach), S Will Shamburger (Compton), LB Tim Tucker (Harbor City), S Greg Walker (Bellflower), FS Jason Wells (LaVerne) and OG Nick Wood (Poway).
vs. LOS ANGELES SCHOOLS: Washington has a combined record of 56-86-6 (.399) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 29-37-2 vs. UCLA and 27-49-4 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 Cal (59-111-6 (.352) 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 totaled a combined mark of 18-31-1 (.370) against the Bruins and Trojans.
PLAYING THE FORMER COACH: This Saturday, the Huskies will face a former UW head coach for the 14th time in history, and for the second time since 1975 (the other in that span was a loss last year vs. UCLA, coached by Rick Neuheisel). In `75, the Dawgs played the second of two games vs. Texas, coached by Darrell Royal, who was the Husky head man for one season (1956). The Huskies lost to Texas in both 1974 and 1975. In 1946 and 1947, the Huskies face a St. Mary's team coached by James Phelan, who was the UW head man from 1930 to 1941. The UW lost the first of those two, 24-20, but won the `47 meeting, 26-6. Lastly, the Huskies faced Cal teams coached by Leonard Allison (UW coach in 1920) nine times between 1935 and 1944, going 5-3-1. The UW is therefore 6-7-1 in games against teams led by former Washington head coaches.
DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS: Dating back to 1947 (which is as far back as UW game-by-game records go), Washington had never scored a defensive TD in three straight games until this year. Sept. 26 at Stanford, safety Justin Glenn picked up a backwards pass and returned the fumble 51 yards for a touchdown. The following week at Notre Dame, Desmond Trufant scored on a similar play, returning a loose lateral 17 yards for a score. Against Arizona, linebacker Mason Foster notched an interception when a pass bounced off the receiver's feet and ran it back 37 yards for a game-winning touchdown. The streak ended at ASU.
THIRD-DOWN & RED-ZONE SUCCESS: One hallmark of the current season for the UW has been its success on third down and in the red zone. The Huskies currently rank seventh in the nation with a third-down conversion rate of 50.41 percent (61-of-121). In the red zone, Washington has scored 23 of 27 times this season, with only a lost fumble, two interceptions and a loss of downs marring a perfect record. On defense, the Huskies have had remarkable red-zone success. While opponents have scored in 31 of 38 attempts, they've been held to a field goal on 15 of those 31 scores, meaning that opponents have scored a touchdown on only 16 of 38 (.421) trips inside the UW 20-yard line.
PLAYING THE FRESHMEN: Washington has utilized a total of 10 true freshmen this season as TB Demitrius Bronson, DE Talia Crichton, S Nate Fellner, CB Anthony Gobern, WR James Johnson, DE Andru Pulu, TB Cole Sager, DT Semisi Tokolahi, CB Desmond Trufant and LB Jordan Wallace have all seen action this year. Among that group, Crichton, Johnson, Trufant and Fellner have all started at least one game. Last season, a school-record 12 true freshman played for the Huskies, with nine of them starting at least one game. This season's total of 10 betters the total number of nine true freshmen who played in 2003 and in 2000 and matches the second-highest total in school history - 1997, when the UW also utilized 10 freshmen.