Nov. 7, 2011
NOTE: Tonight's Coach Sarkisian Radio Show will air live on KJR Radio (950 AM/102.9 FM) at 4:30 p.m. Tonight's who will be held in the Founders' Club in Alaska Airlines Arena.
THE GAME: The Washington football team (6-3 overall, 4-2 Pac-12) heads south to Los Angeles for the first of two straight road games this Saturday as the Dawgs take on USC (7-2 overall, 4-2 Pac-12) at 12:45 p.m. PT at the Coliseum. It's the second straight trip to USC for the Dawgs, who beat the Trojans, 32-31, on a last-second field goal last year, one season after beating them, 16-13, on another kick with four seconds left in 2009. Washington is receiving votes, but is not ranked, in both polls while USC ranks No. 18 in the AP top 25, but is ineligible to receive votes in the coaches' poll. The Huskies, who played their final game at Husky Stadium prior to major renovations last Saturday, return to the road Nov. 19 at Oregon State before closing out the 2011 regular season vs. Washington State Nov. 26. That game will be played at the Seahawks' CenturyLink Field.
QUICK SNAPS: The Huskies are 6-3 overall and 4-2 in conference for the first time since 2001 ... UW quarterback Keith Price is tied for eighth in the nation with 25 touchdown passes ... 25 TD passes already ranks tied for No. 2 in UW single-season history, three shy of Cody Pickett's record of 28 ... if Price were to maintain his current pass efficiency rating of 156.0, he would surpass the school record (153.8, Brock Huard, 1997) ... at .668, he's also well ahead of the UW season record for completion percentage (.650, Steve Pelluer, 1983) ... Price is 14 in the nation in pass efficiency ... tailback Chris Polk has rushed for 100 yards in seven of nine games this year and now has 18 career 100-yard games, a new school record ... Oct. 29 vs. Arizona, Polk tied the UW modern record by scoring five touchdowns and became the first player in UW history to top 100 yards in both rushing (144) and receiving (100) in the same game ... he also passed the 1,000-yard mark for a third straight season, joining Napoleon Kaufman as one of two Huskies ever to do that ... Polk is second on the UW career rushing yards list with 3,657 yards ... Polk ranks seventh in the nation in rushing (121.8 yards per game) ... senior linebacker Cort Dennison leads the Pac-12 in tackles ... six true freshmen have played this year for the UW: S James Sample, TB Bishop Sankey, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DT Danny Shelton, OLB John Timu and WR Kasen Williams.
TELEVISION: The Washington-Oregon game will air live to a national audience on FX televison. Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster will provide the commentary. Additionally, "Huskies All-Access" airs each Wednesday evening on ROOT Sports. 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/102.9 FM, will carry the live broadcast of every football game on 16 Northwest radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Damon Huard are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. Many game broadcasts will also be carried on SiriusXM Satellite Radio and can be heard over the internet at gohuskies.com. Touchdown Radio will also air the game nationally.
HUSKIES vs. TROJANS HISTORY: Washington and USC have played one another 81 times since the series began in 1923. The Trojans hold a 49-28-4 series advantage, although the Huskies have gone a closer 9-9-1 over the last 19. 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 17-19-4 in the 40 games played in Husky Stadium and 11-29-0 against the Trojans in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Last season, Washington posted its second straight victory via late field goal as Erik Folk connected from 32 yards to beat USC, 32-31, on the final play of the game. In 2009 in Seattle, Washington handed No. 3 USC a 16-13 win as Folk connected on a 22-yard field goal with three seconds left to cap the game-winning drive. Three years ago in L.A., USC blanked the Dawgs, 56-0, as then-coordinator Steve Sarkisian's offense racked up 488 yards while then-USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt held the Huskies off the scoreboard. Four seasons ago, the No. 1 Trojans escaped Seattle with a 27-24 win, the second of two straight close matchups. USC overcame three turnovers and 16 penalties. USC out-gained Washington with 460 yards of total offense to the Huskies' 190, but only won the game by three points. In 2006 in L.A., the Huskies dropped a 26-20 heartbreaker to the No. 3 Trojans as time ran out with the Huskies' on the Trojans' 15-yard line. The year before in Seattle, the No. 1 Trojans used a 23-point second quarter to break open a previously close game in a 51-24 win. In 2004, the top-ranked Trojans handed the UW a 38-0 loss, breaking the Huskies' 271-game scoring streak, the longest in Division I-A at the time.
WASHINGTON-USC TIES: Washington's coaching staff ties to USC are obvious as Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian was hired away from the Trojans, where he spent seven of the previous eight seasons (all but 2004). Washington also hired defensive coordinator Nick Holt from Pete Carroll's USC staff and Husky cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin was a former staff member under Carroll at USC. Finally, Husky head strength coach Ivan Lewis, director of football operations Dennis Slutak and director of player personnel Jared Blank all worked for the Trojans before being hired by Sarkisian. Many of Lane Kiffin's current staff at USC (including Kiffin himself) spent time on Carroll's Trojans staff along with Sarkisian and the other UW staff with USC ties. USC o-line coach James Cregg was on the staff when Holt was head coach at Idaho. As far as players go, the only Washingtonian on the USC roster is RS-Fr. TE Michael Cox (Bainbridge). However, as is the case each year, a good deal of UW and USC 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 34 players from (somewhat loosely-defined) southern California: QB Derrick Brown (Winchester), TB Jesse Callier (Downey), TB Deontae Cooper (Perris), DE Talia Crichton (Lakewood), OL Mike Criste (Mission Viejo), CB Gregory Ducre (Los Angeles), OL Skyler Fancher (Costa Mesa), PK Erik Folk (Woodland Hills), LB Princeton Fuimaono (Long Beach), LB Garret Gilliland (Anaheim), DE Andrew Hudson (Redlands), WR James Johnson (Valley Center), OL Erik Kohler (Camarillo), CB Adam Long (Los Angeles), LB Matthew Lyons (Los Angeles), P Will Mahan (Bakersfield), QB Nick Montana (Thousand Oaks), S Sean Parker (Los Angeles), WR Joshua Perkins (Cerritos), CB Marquis Persley (Redlands), TB/FB Dezden Petty (Carson), TB Chris Polk (Redlands), QB Keith Price (Compton), S Will Shamburger (Compton), DE Josh Shirley (Fontana), WR Kevin Smith (Compton), OL Colin Tanigawa (Pasadena), LB John Timu (Long Beach), LB Tim Tucker (Harbor City), OL Siosifa Tufunga (Long Beach), S Greg Walker (Bellflower), QB Erik Wilson (Redondo Beach), DE Corey Waller (Long Beach) and OG Nick Wood (Poway). Lastly, UW safety Nathan Fellner and USC punter Tyler Negrette are cousins.
vs. LOS ANGELES SCHOOLS: Washington has a combined record of 58-87-6 (.404) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 30-38-2 vs. UCLA and 28-49-4 against USC. While that combined record may not sound that successful, it's worth noting that no team in the Pac-12 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 (60-112-6 (.354) 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 19-34-1 (.361) against the Bruins and Trojans.
10 OUT OF 13: Washington enters this week's game at USC having won 10 out of its last 13 games. The last time the Huskies had won 10 out of 13 was at the end of the 2001 season, when Washington went 8-3 during the regular season (they'd also won their last eight in 2000). That year, the Huskies won their first four games of the season (stretching a win streak from the previous season to 12 games) before losing at UCLA on Oct. 13, 2001. After that UCLA loss, Washington reeled off wins over Arizona, ASU and Stanford before falling at Oregon State.
THE PAC-12: This season, the Pac-10 Conference has added Utah and Colorado to expand to the Pac-12. Washington, which along with California is one of two schools who have been in the conference since its founding in 1915, will play in the Pac-12 North, along with the other three Northwest schools (Oregon, OSU, WSU) and Stanford and California. Under current plans, each school will play all five division rivals, plus four of six teams in the other division each season. This year, the Huskies will not face UCLA or Arizona State. The last time that Washington didn't face UCLA in a season was in 1992 (when the Pac-10 schedule was eight games). The UW didn't face Arizona State in 2003 or 2004.
CAPTAINS: At the end of the spring practice season, the four captains for the 2011 season, as voted by their teammates, were revealed. They are senior linebacker Cort Dennison (Salt Lake City, Utah), senior wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (Lakewood, Wash.), senior offensive tackle Senio Kelemete (Seattle, Wash.) and senior defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu (Kent, Wash.). Kelemete was also voted as a season captain in 2010. The team also names two game captains each game. Here's a list of those:
EWU: Cody Bruns, Greg Walker
Hawai'i: Desmond Trufant, Marlion Barnett
Nebraska: Travis Feeney, Everrette Thompson
California: Kevin Smith, Evan Zeger
Utah: Tim Tucker, Taniela Tupou
Colorado: Jamaal Kearse, Willis Wilson
Stanford: Will Shamburger, Corey Waller
Arizona: DiAndre Campbell, Thomas Tutogi
Oregon: Will Shamburger, Marcus Peters
DECADE AFTER DECADE: Washington has won a conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl in each of the last nine decades, dating back to the 1920s when Washington won the berth in 1923 and 1925. In the 1930s, the Dawgs won the `36 title. In the `40s, Washington earned the trip in 1943 and then barely slipped in under the wire in the 1950s, winning the 1959 crown. The Huskies won two Rose Bowl berths in the 1960s -- 1960 and 1963 -- and one in the 1970s (1977). Titles in 1980 and 1982 did it for that decade and three straight trips to Pasadena to begin the 1990s covered that 10-year span. In the 2000s, UW was the first team to earn Rose Bowl berths in nine straight decades. USC joined the Dawgs in that distinction in 2004 after their New Year's Day appearance in Pasadena.
FINISHING FIRST OR SECOND: UW has finished either first or second in the conference (including ties) in 18 of the last 34 seasons, dating back to a fourth-place finish in 1976. Over that span, Washington has won the championship (outright or shared) eight times - 1977, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2000 - while finishing second 10 other times.
THE 100-YARD FACTOR: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 178-54-3 (.764) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. So far this year, the UW is 5-2 in such games (Chris Polk has rushed for 100 in every game but vs. Cal and Oregon).
HISTORY LESSON: Successfully rushing the football and winning go hand-in-hand for the Huskies. Since 1990, UW has rushed for 200 yards in a game 77 times. The Huskies' record stands at 65-12-1 (.851) in those contests. Since 1995, UW is 40-9-1 (.810) when rushing for 200 yards.