Oct. 13, 2003
The Game: The Washington football team (1-1 in the Pac-10, 3-3 overall) looks to snap a two-game losing streak this Saturday. However, it won't be easy as the Dawgs will have to do it on the road against a ranked opponent. Saturday's game pits the Huskies against Oregon State (2-0, 5-1), currently tied for first place in the conference while ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press poll and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' rankings. Kickoff for Saturday's game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis has been moved to 7:00 p.m. as TBS Superstation will broadcast the game. After visiting the Beavers, the UW returns home for another staunch test as fifth-ranked USC comes to Husky Stadium on Oct. 25. A home date with Oregon follows on Nov. 1.
Huskies vs. Beavers History: Washington holds a commanding 56-27-4 record in the all-time series against Oregon State, having won the 14 of the last 15 meetings and 24 of the last 26, dating back to 1975. The series against the Beavers is the second -longest (to Stanford) active series in Washington football history in terms of years and third-longest in terms of total meetings (to Oregon and Washington State). The teams first met on Dec. 4, 1897, with Oregon State earning a 16-0 home win. That game was Washington's second-ever against a major college. The next OSU-UW game didn't come until 1902, a 16-6 UW win . From 1924 to 1964, the annual UW-OSU game was played either at Husky Stadium or Multnomah (Civic) Stadium in Portland (now called PGE Park). Since 1966, the OSU home games have been played in Corvallis. The Huskies are 14-4 all-time at Reser (Parker) Stadium and 17-7 all-time in Corvallis. The Huskies are 32-15-2 all-time against OSU in games played in Seattle, including a 25-13-0 mark in Husky Stadium. The last time the Huskies played OSU in Corvallis (Nov. 10, 2001), the Beavers broke a 13-game losing streak to the Huskies when unranked OSU trounced No. 8 Washington, 49-24, the first Beaver win (home or away) since the 1985 Husky Stadium game. While the last two games vs. OSU in Corvallis have been blowouts (the 1999 game going UW's way and the 2001 contest in favor of Oregon State), both of the the last two games at Husky Stadium have gone down to the wire. In 2000, Ryan Cesca missed a game-tying field goal in the closing seconds as the Huskies held on for a 33-30 win. In 1998 (the last time a Mike Riley-led OSU team played Washington), the Beavers went for a two-point conversion with no time left. The pass attempt was batted down and the Huskies won, 35-34. Riley is 0-2 in his two meetings against Washington (45-17 in 1997, 35-34 in 1998). Husky coach Keith Gilbertson, in his four years as head coach at California, went 2-0 against the Beavers (OSU and Cal didn't play in 1993 and 1994). In 1992, the Bears shut out OSU, 42-0, in Berkeley. In 1995, Cal nipped the Beavs, 13-12, in Corvallis. Riley and Gilbertson have never gone head to head.
Television: The Washington-Oregon State game will air live on TBS Superstation with Ron Thulin, Charles Davis, Craig Sager and Erin Andrews on the commentary. It will also air on tape delay the Sunday at 4:00 p.m. on Fox Sports in the Northwest with Jim Watson and Sonny Sixkiller calling the action. All remaining replays will be shown Sundays at 4:00 p.m. 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 Steve Sandmeyer.
Washington-Oregon State Ties: Oregon State secondary coach Nigel Burton, in his first season on the Beavers staff, was a three-year letterman safety at Washington (1996-98). A transfer from Pacific, Burton came to Washington after the Tigers dropped their program after the 1995 season and ended up as Husky team captain and District 8 Academic All-America in 1998. Husky offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto spent the last three seasons at Oregon State, a member of Dennis Erickson's staff, before coming to Washington this season. OSU linebackers coach Charlie Camp was on the same coaching staff as Husky tight ends coach Scott Pelluer last season at Arizona. The Beavers' preseason roster included six players from the state of Washington: Sr. P Carl Tobey (Chehalis/Adna), Fr. OG J.C. Ronnfeldt (Federal Way/Decatur), Jr. TE Pat Loney (Mukilteo/Kamiak), Fr. TB Ryan Cole (Port Orchard/South Kitsap), So. LB Trent Bray (Pullman) and Fr. WR Scott Lawson (Tacoma/Lakes). Lawson was a teammate of several currently Huskies while at Lakes, including Anthony Russo, Felix Sweetman and Reggie Williams. Loney and Husky freshman Derrick Bradley attended the same high school, as did Cole and Husky safety Jimmy Newell. The only Oregonian on the Washington roster is true freshman offensive lineman Eric Berglund, from Beaverton, the same school as OSU punter James Millar.
Last Year vs. Oregon State: November 9, 2002, the Huskies began their season-ending stretch of games vs. Northwest rivals with a 31-29 win over Oregon State at Husky Stadium. The Huskies, who entered the game 4-5, on the verge of not qualifying for a bowl game and in danger of breaking its streak of 25 straight .500-or-better seasons, would finish the year with consecutive wins over Oregon State, Oregon and Washington State. The game against the Beavers was close through much of the game. After an exchange of field goals, Oregon State took a 10-3 lead when Derek Anderson hit James Newson with a 60-yard pass. The Huskies, however, tied the game on an 11-yard pass from Cody Pickett to Reggie Williams and then took the lead for good on a pair of interception returns for scores. Late in the first, Derrick Johnson's 42-yard runback gave the UW a 17-10 lead before Chris Massey, early in the second, took another pick back 25 yards to make it 24-1. OSU closed the gap to 24-22 on two Kirk Yliniemi field goals and a 13-yard run from Steven Jackson. Washington answered with a apir of long drives, both capped by one-yard, Rich Alexis touchdown runs. After another Jackson TD late in the third drew OSU two within nine points at 38-29, John Anderson's 52-yard field goal accounted for the only fourth-quarter points for either team. Pickett finished the game 22-for-43 for 262 yards, no interceptions and one TD. Williams caught nine passes for 94 yards and a score. Jackson led the Beavs with 135 yards an two touchdowns on 25 carries while Anderson was 15-for-40 for 250 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. Johnson finished with two of those interceptions while Massey, Nate Robinson and Ben Mahdavi had one each.
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 87 occasions, including last week. Washington owns the advantage in all three series. The Huskies lead the Ducks 57-33-5, Washington State 62-27-6 and Oregon State 56-27-4. Combined, Washington has a 175-87-15 (.659) record against its northwest rivals, including a sweep of all three last season.
UW In The State of Oregon: Washington has played 82 games against Oregon and Oregon State in the state of Oregon. That includes games at the two schools' current stadiums as well as a number of games at earlier stadiums and in Portland at Multnomah (Civic Stadium), where both teams used to host many of their games. Over those 82 "road" games against the Ducks and Beavers, Washington has compiled an overall record of 51-28-3 (.640).
Spreading It Around: Through six 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.
Ranked-Wins Streak: With wins over then-No. 23 Oregon and then-No. 3 Washington State to close out last season, Washington salvaged a streak that has now lasted 15 years. Through last season, the Huskies have beaten at least one team ranked in the Associated Press poll in each of the last 15 seasons. This Saturday's game at Oregon State represents the Huskies' second chance this season to extend that streak after falling to then-No. 2 Ohio State in the season opener. In fact, Washington has defeated an AP-ranked team in 25 of its last 26 seasons prior to 2002. The only break in the streak came in 1988 when the Huskies played only two games against nationally-ranked foes - UCLA (No. 2) and USC (No. 3), losing both of those games.
Alexis Rising: With 2,345 rushing yards and 28 rushing TDs on 570 career carries, senior tailback Rich Alexis is climbing some UW top-10 career lists. Alexis ranks No. 9 on the Huskies' career rushing yards-per-game list with 60.1. He has captured fourth place on the career rushing attempts list and has moved into seventh place in career yards. Finally, he has moved into a tie for third place on the career rushing TDs chart.
Tank's Quick Start: Senior captain and defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson got his season off to a good start at Ohio State, racking up a pair of sacks in the Huskies' loss to the Buckeyes. He followed that with three tackles for loss, including one sack, vs. Indiana, two sacks and three TFL's vs. Idaho and three TFLs against Stanford. Johnson now leads the UW with 13 tackles for loss (first in the Pac-10) and seven sacks (second in the conference). Johnson, a former partial qualifier, could return for another season if he graduates this year (he's on track to do so), Last year, Johnson, who orginally came to the UW as a tight end, was tied for third on the team with five sacks on the season. Incidentally, in each of the last three seasons (including 2003), Johnson has managed to score a touchdown, despite playing on the defensive line. He scored on a 38-yard interception return in the 2001 Holiday Bowl vs. Texas, intercepted a pass in the end zone last year vs. San Jose State and recovered a fumble in the endzone this season vs. Idaho.
Walkons For Kicks: Despite the arrival of two scholarship freshmen, it was a pair walkons that have handled the lion's share of the kicking duties this season. Both of them - senior punter Garth Erickson and junior kicker Evan Knudson - have been, to say the least, solid thusfar. Erickson, who like Knudson had never appeared in a game before this year, is averaging 42.6 yards per punt this season and has had nine of his 30 punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He's a big reason that the Huskies currently rank third in the Pac-10 in net punting (39.4). Knudson is 7-for-11 thusfar on field goal attempts. All four of his misses have been due to blocks. Knudson booted three field goals in the loss at UCLA and hit a 46-yarder in his first career attempt at Ohio State, still his season and career long. Knudson is also a perfect 17-for-17 on PAT tries and leads the Huskies in scoring with 38 points and is ranked seventh in the Pac-10 with 6.3 points per game.