Sept. 15, 2003
The Game: After a week off following two games vs. Big Ten teams to open the season, the Washington football team (1-1) returns to the field this Saturday, September 20, as Idaho (0-3) comes to Husky Stadium for a 12:30 p.m. game. The Huskies moved up two spots to No. 19 in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll while they earned the No. 21 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll after a Saturday off. The Idaho game, which will air the following day at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net, will pit new Husky head coach Keith Gilbertson against one of the two teams for which he has previously served as head coach. Gilbertson led the Vandals for three seasons, 1986-88. Idaho returns to Seattle (the Vandals played Washington State earlier this season at Seahawks Stadium) coming off of a 24-10 loss to Boise State last Saturday in Moscow.
Huskies vs. Vandals History: Washington and Idaho have a long history of football, mainly due to the fact that the two universities were both a part of the Pacific Coast Conference for many years. Idaho was a PCC member from 1922-1942 and again from 1945-1958, when the league was broken up and re-formed as the AAWU. The Huskies and Vandals didn't play one another every year during their seasons together in the PCC, but did play often. Washington is 32-2-2 all-time against Idaho, losing the teams' first-ever meeting (12-6, Oct. 27, 1900, in Spokane) and the fifth meeting (8-0, Oct. 30, 1905 in Moscow). The ties came in 1907 (0-0 in Seattle) and 1938 (12-12 in Seattle). Only two of the 36 all-time meetings have been played in Moscow and only two others in Spokane, meaning the Huskies are 30-0-2 all-time vs. the Vandals in Seattle. The Huskies have won 15 consecutive games against Idaho, dating back to the 1938 tie, and are undefeated (with two ties) in their last 31, dating back to the 1905 loss. Prior to 2000, the Huskies hadn't played Idaho since 1973. The game returned to the schedule as the 2000 season opener at Husky Stadium, when Willie Alderson's 82-yard TD run on the game's first play from scrimmage sent a scare in the UW. Washington led 20-13 at halftime, and scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to win, 44-20. In 2001, the two teams met in the second game of the season in the first game after the Sept. 11 attacks. Special teams touchdowns highlighted the day for the Huskies in a 53-3 win. Roc Alexander returned a kickoff 95 yards, Chris Massey returned a blocked field goal 69 yards for a score and Charles Frederick took a punt back 87 yards for a touchdown. Last season, the Huskies ran out to a 28-0 lead late in the second quarter and won, 41-27. Cody Pickett threw for 438 yards and three TDs while Idaho quarterback Brian Lindgren was 22-for-38 for 309 yards and two scores.
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 entering 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 7,418 yards, nearly 1,700 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 2,632 yards, also a UW record. 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 23 games remaining in his career.
Television: The Washington-Idaho game will not appear on a live telecast. However, it will air on tape delay Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on Fox Sports in the Northwest with Jim Watson and former Husky QB Sonny Sixkiller calling the action. Also, "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.
The Coach: New Husky head coach Keith Gilbertson hit the ground running, as his first official day as the Washington coach was only a month and a day before opening the 2003 season against defending national champion Ohio State. However, Gilbertson had the advantage of having served as an assistant coach at the UW for the previous four seasons, his third stint as a Dawg assistant. Gilbertson, a native of Snohomish, Wash., north of Seattle, served as a graduate assistant at the UW under Don James in 1976, James' second season. In 1989, Gilbertson left his head coaching job at Idaho to join the Washington staff, first as offensive line coach before taking over as offensive coordinator in 1991, when the Huskies won the national championship and led the Pac-10 in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense. In 1992, Gilbertson took his second head coaching position, traveling down to the coast to California. His four-year stint at Berkeley was highlighted by the 1993 team that posted a 9-4 record and defeated Iowa, 37-3, in the Alamo Bowl. That win stands as California's last bowl victory. Until last season, Gilbertson was the last Cal coach to notch a win over rival Stanford. Gilbertson, a 1966 graduate of Snohomish High School, played football at the University of Hawaii and graduated from Central Washington in 1971. His coaching career includes two professional stints, first as an assistant for the L.A. Express in the USFL (1983-85) and then for the Seattle Seahawks (1996-98). In his seven-plus seasons as a head coach (2003 is his eighth), Gilbertson has posted a career record of 49-38 while going 30-25 in conference games.
Pac-10 Double Dip: Keith Gilbertson is the first coach in Husky history to come to Washington after having been head man at another Pac-10 school. In fact, it's relatively rare for a coach to have served in that capacity at more than one Pac-10 institution. Recently, Bruce Snyder (California and Arizona State), Dennis Erickson (Washington State at Oregon State) and Larry Smith (Arizona and USC) have done it. Earlier examples include Tommy Prothro (Oregon State at UCLA) and Washington's own Leonard "Stub" Allison, who coached one season at the UW (1920) before eventually spending 10 seasons as Cal head coach (1935-44).
Washington-Idaho Ties: Obviously, there are numerous ties between the Washington and Idaho football programs. The top connection is that current Husky head man Keith Gilbertson spent a total of five seasons in Moscow, two (1982 and 1985) as offensive coordinator and three more (1986-88) as head coach. Additionally, Husky defensive coordinator Tim Hundley coached three seasons at Idaho (1977-79), serving as defensive coordinator in the last of those three years. Husky offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto played at Idaho (1976-78) and then coached there for a total of 11 seasons (1979-89), a stint that saw him work on staffs with (and under) Gilbertson and over and alongside Idaho head coach Tom Cable. Cable was a senior offensive lineman at Idaho when Gilbertson was offensive coordinator and then served two years under Gilbertson as a graduate assistant in 1987 and 1988. Cable was also the offensive line coach at California when Gilbertson was the Bears' head coach. Idaho offensive coordinator Bret Ingalls graduated from Snohomish (Wash.) High School, the same school as Gilbertson and where Gilbertson's father coached. Receivers coach Tarn Sublett is a former UW quarterback and was a graduate assistant at Washington in 2000, coaching the Husky receivers. Idaho's preseason roster included 21 players from the state of Washington. Among the Huskies and Vandals that played on the same high school team: IU junior Orlando Winston played at Garfield High along with Husky Isaiah Stanback; UI's Jeff Stowe with UW's Ryan Brooks at Richland High; UI's Lee Jones and UW's Jason Benn and Ty Eriks at O'Dea; UI's Brian Yarno and UW's Evan Benjamin at Redmond; and UI's Akeen Anthony and UW's Reggie Williams, Felix Sweetman and Anthony Russo at Lakes. The Husky roster includes only one player from Idaho -- quarterback Cody Pickett from Caldwell.
Last Year vs. Idaho: Washington tied a modern school record with its 17th consecutive home victory in a 41-27 win over Idaho as the Huskies' aerial attack continued to post big numbers. Husky QB Cody Pickett, who went 32-for-44 for 438 yards and three TDs, broke or extended a few more records. He became the first Husky ever to pass for 400 yards in two straight games and extended his 300-yard games streak. He also upped his own record for career 70-plus-yard passes to five as he hit Charles Frederick with a 74-yarder. The Huskies led 28-3 at the intermission, getting the scoring going in the first when safety Greg Carothers scooped up a fumble and ran it in 25 yards for a score. In the second quarter, Frederick's 74-yard reception was sandwiched by a pair of TD passes from Pickett to tight end Kevin Ware. As time expired at the end of the first half, Keith Stamps got the Vandals on the board with a 49-yard field goal. Two second-half field goals from John Anderson, and a two-yard TD run from Rich Alexis, capped the UW scoring. Idaho got a pair of TD passes from Brian Lindgren, another Stamps field goal and a two-yard touchdown run from Kevin O'Connell.
Home vs. Non Conference: Washington has been very tough to beat in home, non-conference games over the last couple of decades or so. Going back to (and including) the 1981 season, the Huskies have posted a 44-5 record against non-Pac-10 foes in Husky Stadium. Those five losses have come to Air Force (1999), Nebraska (1997), Notre Dame (1995), Colorado (1989) and Oklahoma State (1985). The wins during that stretch include victories over No. 11 Michigan in 2001, No. 4 Miami in 2000, and No. 12 Nebraska in 1992, to name just three. Washington hasn't lost a home game to a non-league opponent since falling to Air Force, 31-21, on September 18, 1999. The Huskies have won nine such games since then.
Huskies vs. Sun Belt Conference: Idaho is the only team from the Sun Belt Conference that has ever faced Washington on the football field. The Huskies have never played any of the six other current membes of the Sun Belt: Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State and North Texas. Idaho, incidentally, is the only school from the state of Idaho ever to play against Washington as the Huskies have never met Boise State.
First-Timers Club: Of the 72 Husky players that traveled to Ohio State for the season opener, 31 had never played in a Division I football game while 26 had never traveled, other than to bowl games. A total of 23 Huskies saw their first college action in front of the 105,078 fans at Ohio Stadium, including seven true freshmen. Those true freshmen were SS C.J. Wallace, ILB Tahj Bomar, K/P Sean Douglas, and WRs Corey Williams, Quintin Daniels, Bobby Whithorne and Sonny Shackelford. Additionally, the following Huskies played in their first game last week: CB Matt Fountaine, TB Shelton Sampson, ILB Scott White, TB Kenny James, K Evan Knudson, ILB Mike McEvoy, P Garth Erickson, DE Brandon Ala, OG, Tusi Sa'au, OG Clay Walker, DT Stanley Daniels, TE Jon Lyon, TE Ben Bandel, TE Jason Benn, DE Donny Mateaki and DE Dan Milsten. Finally, four Huskies made their first-ever start in Columbus: FB Adam Seery, DE Graham Lasee and OGs Sa'au and Walker.
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. 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.
.500 or Better Seasons: Last year's Apple Cup win over Washington State ensured the Huskies' of their 26th consecutive season with a .500 or better record. Washington finished the year 7-6. The last time that Washington finished below .500 was 1976, when the Dawgs went 5-6. Since then, the Huskies are 214-87-3 (.709) overall. The Huskies' 26-season streak of non-losing seasons is the 14th longest in NCAA history (tied with Florida State's current streak) and the third (tied) longest current streak (BYU's 27-season streak was snapped last year). Here are the longest streaks currently running:
41 seasons Nebraska 1962-2002 35 seasons Michigan 1968-2002 26 seasons Washington 1977-2002 26 seasons Florida State 1977-2002
Streaking in the Pac-10: While Washington's string of 26 straight non-losing seasons is easily the best in the Pac-10, their stretch of .500-or-better marks in Pac-10 play is even more dominant compared to the rest of the league. The Huskies last finished under .500 in Pac-10 play in 1988 (3-5), a streak of 14 straight non-losing league seasons. By contrast, every other team in the Pac-10 has had a losing league season at least once in the last three seasons (2000-2002). Only WSU, USC and UCLA have two-year streaks currenting running.
The Shutout Streak: Washington's win over Indiana marked the 255th consecutive game in which Washington has not been shut out. That's the best streak among Pac-10 schools. BYU has the nation's longest streak at 353 games (NCAA record), while Texas is second with 267 games. The last opponent to hold the Huskies scoreless was UCLA (31-0) on Nov. 7, 1981. Washington has played 168 Pac-10 Conference games since then without a shutout -- the second best current streak among Pac-10 schools.
Team All Games Pac-10 Games Washington 255 168 Washington State 214 212 Oregon 209 151 Arizona 136 93 Arizona State 89 59 Stanford 76 100 USC 64 46 California 45 67 UCLA 17 10 Oregon State 11 7
Switcheroo: A number of players on the Washington roster have made significant position changes since their arrival at the UW, with some moving several times. Here's a quick list of some of them: Scott Ballew (safety to tailback), Khalif Barnes (defensive end to offensive tackle), Greg Carothers (safety to outside linebacker), Matt Coombs (safety to fullback), Ty Eriks (fullback to safety to outside linebacker to fullback to defensive end), Derrick Johnson (wide receiver to tailback to cornerback), Terry Johnson (tight end to defensive tackle), Tusi Sa'au (defensive tackle to offensive guard), Jordan Slye (safety to wide receiver), Zach Tuiasosopo (defensive end to outside linebacker to fullback) and Casey Tyler (tight end to defensive end).
Purple Fridays: Seattle mayor Greg Nickels announced a proclamation Aug. 27 that every Friday between Aug. 29 and Nov. 21 will be "Purple Fridays" in the hometown of the Washington Huskies. In the proclamation Nickels encourages citizens to wear purple on Fridays to show support for the Huskies. Timed with the announcement of the proclamation was Washington's kickoff of its TGIP (Thank Goodness It's Purple) campaign, also encouraging Husky fans to wear purple on Fridays and to all Washington athletic events. To support the campaign, the TGIP slogan is featured on Washington's schedule posters and schedule cards and other various promotional items throughout the academic year.
Surgery Pavilion Open House: The University of Washington Medical Center will offer the public a preview of its new Surgery Pavilion during a pair of open houses Sept. 19 and 20. The public may tour the 160,000-square-foot Pavilion on Friday, Sept. 19, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., just prior to the UW-Idaho football game in nearby Husky Stadium. The Pavilion is located on the corner of Montlake Boulevard Northeast and Northeast Pacific Street, and is linked to UW Medical Center by a two-level, glass-enclosed skybridge.
Random Notes: Just like last year, the Huskies opened the season on the road in August against a Big Ten team (it was Michigan last season), and then return to Seattle for more than a month ... with an off week (Sept. 13) included, the Huskies won't play a road game in September for the second straight season ... last year, Washington played five straight home games after opening in Ann Arbor ... this time, the Dawgs play three straight at Husky Stadium before traveling to UCLA on Oct. 4 ... last season, Washington led the Pac-10 in attendance for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons, averaging 71,435 fans per game ... not bad, considering that Husky Stadium has a smaller capacity than five of 10 conference schools (ASU, Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC) ... the last time Washington played Nevada, as they will this Oct. 12, was 100 years ago, on November 23, 1903 ... what makes that somewhat significant is that the original Washington-Nevada meeting was the game attended by Chief Joseph, the legendary Nez Perce Indian who spent most of the game on the sidelines, smoking a cigar ... asked his impression of the game, which Washington won, 2-0, he said, among other things, "I feel pleased that Washington won the game. Those men, I should think would break their their legs and arms, but they did not get mad." ... oldest and youngest: the oldest member of the Washington team is sophomore outside linebacker Brian Tawney, who turned 25 last Valentine's Day ... Tawney served in the U.S. Navy before enrolling at the UW ... his younger sister, Traci, played softball for the Huskies ... the youngest Husky is freshman safety Chris Hemphill, who won't turn 18 until New Year's Day, 2004 ... four current Huskies are younger brothers of former UW players: Zach Tuiasosopo (brother of Marques), Jason Benn (Kyle), Matt Fountaine (Jamal) and Craig Chambers (Richie) ... a quick scan of Pac-10 rosters shows that Husky junior defensive tackle Tui Alailefaleula continues to lead the conference in syllables in his last name, with eight ... through two games, the Huskies have turned the ball over three times, but thusfar, have yet to allow any points to be scored after a turnover.