Sept. 29, 2003
The Game: After 34 consecutive days at home, the Washington football team (1-0 Pac-10, 3-1 overall) is set to return to the road this week, traveling to the Rose Bowl to face unranked UCLA (0-0, 2-2) in 3:30 p.m. game this Saturday, October 4. The Huskies, who remained No. 18 in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll but moved up to 17th in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, haven't played a road game since opening the year at defending national champion Ohio State. After three straight home games, the season sets up with four home and four away games remaining on the schedule. Saturday's game will pit the UW against its former offensive coordinator, Karl Dorrell, the first-year head coach at UCLA, his alma mater. After the UCLA game, the Dawgs return to Seattle the following week to face Nevada in their final non-conference game.
Huskies vs. Bruins History: UCLA enjoys a slight edge in the series, with 32 wins, 28 losses and two ties in 62 all-time games against Washington and have won five of the last six. Last year at Husky Stadium, the Bruins parlayed a 24-14 halftime lead into a 34-24 win (more on page three). The last time the Huskies visited the Rose Bowl to face UCLA, 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 10 of the last 11 meetings (all but last year) between Washington and UCLA, one or both of the teams has been ranked. Going by ranking alone, the Bruins have managed to upset the Huskies in three 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. 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 L.A. Bruins coach Karl Dorrell, in his first season as a head coach, has (obviously) yet to face the Bruins. Husky coach Keith Gilbertson, in his four seasons at head coach at California, posted a 3-1 record against the Bears' sister-school to the south. Gilbertson's Cal teams beat the Bruins in 1992 (48-12 at Berkeley), 1993 (27-25 at Pasadena) and 1994 (26-7 at Berkeley) before falling in 1995 (33-16 at Pasadena). The '92 Cal win was the widest winning margin ever by a Cal team over UCLA.
Cody To Reggie: Many consider Husky senior quarterback Cody Pickett and junior wideout Reggie Williams the best QB-receiver combination in the country. And why not? Both have appeared on numerous preseason All-America teams and Heisman Trophy hopefuls lists, and both held the rare distinction of having entered a new season already holding the UW career records for passing yards and receiving yards. Pickett, who set a Pac-10 and UW record with 4,458 passing yards last season, holds the career mark with 7,883 yards, more than 2,100 more than the No. 2 passer. He also holds the UW career records for attempts and completions, among others. Williams, who is only a junior in 2003, has already bagged a number of school records as well. After compiling his UW single-season mark of 1,454 yards last season, he has since upped his career total to 2,842 yards, also a school record and eighth all-time in Pac-10 history. He is also the Dawg's all-time leader in receptions, receptions per game and receiving yards per game and could have as many as 21 games remaining in his career.
Television: The Washington-UCLA game will be aired live on television on Fox Sports Net with Steve Physioc (play-by-play) and former Bruins quarterback Tom Ramsey (color) calling the action. It will also air on tape delay the following day at 4:00 p.m. on Fox Sports in the Northwest. Alll remaining replays will be shown Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Additionally, "Husky Football Experience" airs each Thursday during the season on Fox Sports (schedule subject to change based on Mariners broadcasts). 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-UCLA Ties: The most notable and obvious of the ties between the UW and UCLA football teams is that fact that Bruins head coach Karl Dorrell spent a season as the Huskies' offensive coordinator in 1999 before leaving the college ranks temporarily to coach with the Denver Broncos. Dorrell also worked at Colorado alongside current Husky assistant coaches Chuck Heater and Tim Hundley. Hundley, the UW's co-defensive coordinator, spent six seasons in Westwood (1990-95), serving as special teams and linebackers coach under Terry Donahue. The Huskies' other co-defensive coordinator, Phil Snow, was coordinator at UCLA for two seasons (2000-01) under head coach Bob Toledo. Both Hundley and Snow coached with Bruins' tight ends coach Gary Bernardi, who is in his 10th season at UCLA and Snow, Bruins d-line coach Don Johnson, and o-line coach Mark Weber were on Toledo's staff together. Hundley and Heater were both on Colorado staffs with Current Bruins offensive coordinator Steve Axman left the UW last spring to go to work for Dorrell. He'd spent the previous four seasons as quarterbacks coach at the UW, mentoring Marques Tuiasosopo and Cody Pickett. Lastly, as far as coaches go, Bruins outside linebackers coach Brian Schneider played his college football at Colorado State where Heater was his position coach and defensive coordinator in his freshman and sophomore seasons. The UCLA preseason roster didn't include a single player from the state of Washington. The Huskies roster includes 15 players from the greater Los Angeles area: C Todd Bachert (Mission Viejo), TE Ben Bandel (Murrieta), TE Dash Crutchley (Temecula), CB Sam Cunningham (Los Angeles), WR Quintin Daniels (Los Angeles), S Chris Hemphill (Gardena), CB Derrick Johnson (Riverside), OLB Robert Lewis (Van Nuys), CB Chris Massey (Moreno Valley), SS Durrell Moss (Orange), WR Sonny Shackelford (Beverly Hills), CB Clarence Simpson (Sylmar), TB Chris Singleton (Etiwanda), DT Jerome Stevens (Oxnard) and CB Kim Taylor (Long Beach).
Last Year vs. UCLA: The Huskies dropped their third straight game despite a late comeback bid as UCLA came away from Husky Stadium with a 34-24 win. Trailing nearly the entire game, the Huskies got back to within a field goal when quarterback Cody Pickett hit Paul Arnold with a 66-yard TD pass with 8:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, Pickett was intercepted by Spencer Havner on the next drive and Havner returned the pick 42 yards for a score to put the game away. The game was mostly close throughout. After Nate Fikse hit his first of two field goals in the first quarter, the Huskies responded when Pickett connected with Reggie Williams on a 13-yard score. UCLA went back in front on the first of three Tyler Ebell one-yard TD runs. Ebell scored again in the second quarter, taking advantage of the first of four Pickett interceptions. After Pickett hit tight end Kevin Ware with a 20-yard score to draw the Huskies to within three point again at 17-14, Ebell sent the Bruins to the lockerroom with a 24-14 after his third first-half score. Fikse and John Anderson traded field goals in the second half before Arnold's long catch and run closed the gap. UCLA freshman QB Drew Olson, in his first career start, went 13-for-27 for 189 yards while classmate Ebell ran for 102 yards on 31 carries. The Huskies, who out-gained the Bruins 498-316 in terms of total offense, got 92 yards rushing frmo sophomore Chris Singleton, who was also starting for the first time. Pickett went 29-for-60 for 429 yars and three TDs, but threw a season-high four interceptions. Arnold finished with five catches for 148 yards.
vs. Los Angeles Schools: Washington has a combined record of 54-78-6 (.413) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 28-32-2 vs. UCLA and 26-43-4 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 (55-102-6 (.356) 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 15-22-1 (.408) against the Bruins and Trojans.
Stanford Redux: Washington's running game continued its re-emergence as senior tailback Rich Alexis ran for 128 yards and a score as Washington held off Stanford, 28-17, for a win in both teams' Pac-10 opener. The game was close throughout and was in doubt until Husky cornerback Derrick Johnson intercepted Trent Edwards and ran 36 yards for a touchdown with 2:32 remaining in the fourth quarter. Stanford's final drive also resulted in an interception, that one by Jimmy Newell. After Stanford scored on its first drive -- closing with a 12-yard pass from Edward to tight end Alex Smith -- Washington tied the game late in the first quarter when Alexis broke free for on a 53-yard touchdown run. Early in the second period, Husky QB Cody Pickett hit Reggie Williams with a 74-yard TD pass to give the UW its first lead. The teams entered halftime tied at 14-14 after Edwards and Smith connected for their second touchdown. After a third-quarter field goal gave Stanford a 17-14 lead, Washington culminated a 76-yard, 12-play drive on a six-yard touchdown pass from Pickett to Williams. Pickett finished the day 20-for-33 for 231 yards, no interceptions and two TDs. Williams caught 10 balls for 138 yards and a pair of scores. Edwards was 16-for-32 for 159 with two TDs and two INTs.
Tale Of Two Halves: While it might be popular to accuse the Huskies of being a slow-starting team, the statistical evidence clearly shows that the UW finishes games strong. The Huskies have been out-scored in the first half this season, 52-41 (28-28 in the first quarter, 24-13 in the second). However, in the second half, the UW holds a dominating 79-20 edge. Washington has a 52-20 scoring advantage in the third quarter and have held opponents scoreless in the final period thusfar, outscoring them by a healthy 27-0 margin. Same goes for yards of total offense, especially when you look at the Husky defense. The UW has allowed a total of 702 yards in the first half this year (237 vs. OSU, 186 vs. Indiana, 115 vs. Idaho164 vs. Stanford), but have clamped down in the second half, allowing a total of 442 (129, 98, 91 and 124 respectively). Washington has allowed only 99 yards of total offense over the course of four fourth-quarters this season while gaining an aggregate 425 yards in the last quarter. Here's a look at the Huskies' and their opponents' performance by quarter:
Total Offense 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total Opponents 377 325 322 99 1,123 Washington 372 368 485 425 1,650
Points Scored 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total Opponent 28 24 20 0 72 Washington 28 13 52 27 120
Spreading It Around: Through four games, Washington has had a remarkable 17 players already record a pass reception during the 2003 season. A scan of the records indicates that the UW has never had as many as 17 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 17 Huskies to catch a pass this year, 11 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 and Jon Lyon.
The 100-Yard Factor: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 157-35-3 (.813) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The last two weeks, Rich Alexis has rushed for more than 100 yards in wins over Idaho and Stanford. Washington, incidentally, is 8-0 all-time when Alexis rushes for 100 yards.
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 57 times. The Huskies' record stands at 52-4-1 (.921) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 27-1-1 (.948) when rushing for 200 yards.