Sept. 26, 2005
The Game: The Washington football team (0-1 in the Pac-10, 1-3 overall) plays its first true road game of the season this Saturday when the Huskies travel to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA (0-0 in the Pac-10, 3-0 overall). The Bruins are ranked No. 20 in both the Associated Press Top 25 the USA Today coaches' poll. Game time is 7:15 p.m., marking the first night game ever between UCLA and the UW. The Huskies opened the season with a "road" game vs. Air Force, but that game was played at Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks in downtown Seattle, only about six miles from the UW campus. Thanks to the fact that Washington's only road game of last November was the Apple Cup vs. Washington State in Pullman, Wash., the UW last played a game outside of the state of Washington on Oct. 30, 2004, a span of 336 days. After this week's game at UCLA, the Huskies have a weekend off before returning to the road the following Saturday, Oct. 15, at Oregon. A home date vs. No. 1 USC follows on Oct. 22.
Huskies vs. Bruins History: UCLA enjoys a slight edge in the series, with 34 wins, 28 losses and two ties in 64 all-time games against Washington. The Bruins have taken that lead recently, having have won seven of the last eight. Last year 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. Two seasons ago 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 (more on the previous two meetings later in this release). 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 ever 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 11 of the last 13 meetings (all but 2002 and 2004) 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 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 last season, 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 third season as a head coach, is 2-0 vs. Washington, but has never faced Husky head coach Tyrone Willingham head-to-head. Willingham compiled a 3-4 record vs. UCLA during his seven seasons as head coach at Stanford (1995-2001). Willingham was 1-2 in three games at the Rose Bowl and 2-2 in games at Stanford Stadium. Among the Cardinal's wins over UCLA during Willingham's tenure was an upset in 2001 when 20th-ranked Stanford beat No. 4 UCLA, 38-28. Willingham also coached an unranked Cardinal team to a 42-32 win over the 18th-ranked Bruins in 1999.
Television: The Washington-UCLA game will air live on FSN Northwest with Bill McDonald, Mike Sherrard, Sonny Sixkiller and Lindsay Soto calling the action. The game will also be shown on tape delay Sunday, Oct. 2 at 3 p.m. on FSN Northwest. During the season, all remaining Husky games will air on FSN on tape delay Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Additionally, "Husky Football All-Access" airs each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. during the season on Fox Sports. The 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 five different states and British Columbia, Canada, on 26 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. Most broadcasts will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio on channel 194, 195 or 196.
The Coach: Tyrone Willingham was named Washington's 22nd head football coach on December 13, 2004. A former head coach at Notre Dame and Stanford, Willingham became the first African-American to serve as the Huskies head coach. While he brings an impressive resume with him to resurrect the Husky program, Willingham has acquitted himself well among his peers for much more than just fielding winning teams. Over the past 28 years Willingham has developed a coaching style that emphasizes toughness, enthusiasm, intelligence, discipline, commitment and unselfish play. The result has provided his players with more than just the opportunity to enjoy victories on the field. His guiding principles have prepared his players to be successful in life. Willingham, who turned 51 on Dec. 30, served as the head coach at Stanford (1995-2001) and Notre Dame (2002-2004) over the past decade. His Stanford teams enjoyed a 44-36-1 record while he was 21-15 with the Fighting Irish, including a 38-3 victory against Washington last season at Notre Dame Stadium. In his inaugural season with the Irish in 2002, he wasted no time reversing the tide of the Irish program, leading Notre Dame to a 10-2 regular-season record and a trip to the 2003 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. He was named Sportsman of the Year by The Sporting News after the 2002 season, while also picking up several national coach of the year awards. Prior to his tenure at Notre Dame, Willingham directed the Stanford program for seven seasons. In 1999, the Cardinal won the Pac-10 and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1972, earning Willingham Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. He also led the Cardinal to the 1995 Liberty Bowl, the 1996 Sun Bowl and the 2001 Seattle Bowl. Willingham, who grew up in Jacksonville, N.C., played both football and baseball at Michigan State, earning three letters in both sports and was awarded the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor as the outstanding scholar-athlete in the league. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1977 and, aside from his two previous head coaching stints, has served as a full-time assistant at Central Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Rice and Stanford, as well as with the Minnesota Vikings.
Pac-10 Double Dip: Having spent seven seasons as head coach at Stanford, Tyrone Willingham becomes the second head coach in UW history (following his predecessor Keith Gilbertson, who also was the head man at Cal) to come to Washington after having been head coach 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. In recent years, 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).
Willingham Selected For Hula Bowl: Tyrone Willingham will direct the West Team during the 2006 Hula Bowl scheduled for Jan. 21 at War Memorial Stadium on the island of Maui. Auburn's Tommy Tuberville will direct the East squad. Willingham will be assisted by San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey. The American Football Coaches Association's 2005 Division I-AA, Division II and Division III coach of the year winners will also serve as assistants in the game. This year's game will be the 60th edition of the all-star classic.
Willingham vs. The Pac-10: Thanks mostly to his time at Stanford, but also via frequent games vs. western teams while at Notre Dame, Tyrone Willingham has amassed a lengthy record against Pac-10 teams. Overall, Willingham is 47-29 against Pac-10 teams. Interestingly, his teams have struggled the most against Washington, as he's gone 1-6 against his new charges. Here's Willingham's record against each Pac-10 team: Arizona (2-3), Arizona State (4-3), California (7-1), Oregon (4-1), Oregon State (3-4), Stanford (3-0), UCLA (3-4), USC (4-6), Washington (1-5), Washington State (6-2).
Coaching Staff: Washington's new coaching staff, under first-year head coach Tyrone Willingham, includes a number of names that might be familiar to more savvy Pac-10 football fans. Willingham, of course, spent seven seasons in charge of Stanford, where he'd previously served as an assistant (1989-91) for three seasons. And, two members of the Husky staff from last season were held over as well, lending more than a little familiarity. Defensive line coach Randy Hart is now working for his fifth different head coach as a member of the Husky staff while linebackers coach Chris Tormey, is beginning his 15th season at the UW, spread over three different stints. Aside from those three, several other UW coaches have experience in or around the Northwest. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer has coached in the Pac-10 at California, Arizona State and Stanford, as well as at Idaho. Spokane native Tim Lappano previously worked at Idaho, Washington State, California, Oregon State and with the Seattle Seahawks. Receivers coach Eric Yarber, an Idaho grad, has spent time at his alma mater, with the Seahawks and at Oregon State while Mike Denbrock (offensive line) and Trent Miles (running backs) both worked one season each at Stanford. Only tight ends/special teams coach Bob Simmons, the former Oklahoma State head coach, and defensive backs coach Steven Wilks can't trace their coaching roots through the Pac-10.
The GAs: Washington's two graduate assistant coaches this season are Kyle Benn (offense) and Joey Hildbold (defense). Benn earned four letters as a center and was a captain on the 2001 team. That season, he was one of only two players named to the All-Pac-10 and Academic All-Pac-10 first teams. He is in his second season as a G.A. at his alma mater. Hildbold, a 2003 graduate of Notre Dame, was a punter for the Irish from 1999 to 2002. He was a two-time finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top collegiate punter.
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 previously coached on the same staff as UW defensive coordinator Kent Baer at Arizona State in 1994 and served on the Colorado staff alongside current Bruins tight ends coach Jon Embree and Husky tight ends/special teams coach Bob Simmons in 1992 and 1993. Tom Cable, the Bruins' offensive coordinator, has also seen his career interwoven with Husky coaches during his career, thanks to the fact that he spent time at Idaho as a player, assistant and head coach. For instance, he played for the Vandals at a time that current UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano was Idaho's running backs coach and present Husky linebackers coach Chris Tormey (also a former player, assistant and head coach at UI) was d-line coach. Finally, Cable was a teammate of UW receivers coach Eric Yarber, who was the Big Sky MVP as a senior at Idaho in 1985. UCLA's preseason roster includes two players from the state of Washington. Freshman receiver Jamil Turner attended Bethel High, the alma mater of current Huskies Johnny Durocher and Caesar Rayford. Bruins' freshman tight end Adam Heater (Snohomish HS) is the younger brother of Husky defensive lineman Andy Heater. Both are sons of former UW and UCLA assistant coach Chuck Heater. The Huskies roster includes 17 players from the greater Los Angeles area: TE Dash Crutchley (Temecula), WR Quintin Daniels (Los Angeles), CB Mesphin Forrester (Los Angeles), S Dashon Goldson (Carson), S Chris Hemphill (Gardena), DT Jasper Henry (Los Angeles), ILB Dan Howell (Newhall), LB Darrion Jones (Lynwood), TE Robert Lewis (Van Nuys), DT Erick Lobos (Los Angeles), SS Durrell Moss (Orange), OL Jovon O'Connor (Los Angeles), CB Josh Okeobor (Colton), WR Sonny Shackelford (Beverly Hills), CB Clarence Simpson (Sylmar), TB Chris Singleton (Etiwanda) and CB Kim Taylor (Long Beach).
Last Year vs. UCLA: Last season's UCLA-Washington game featured a furious comeback from the visiting Bruins as UCLA rallied from a 24-7 first-quarter deficit to win, 37-31. Bruins sophomore tailback Maurice Drew put on a one-man show, rushing 26 times for 322 yards and five touchdowns, setting school records for both yards and TDs. The Huskies jumped out to the big lead in the first thanks to TD passes from Casey Paus to Anthony Russo and Charles Frederick, a Michael Braunstein field goal and a 12-yard run from Shelton Sampson. Drew, who'd accounted for the Bruin's first-quarter score on a 47-yard run, then finished the first quarter with TD runs of 62 and 58 yards, drawing the Husky lead back to 24-20 at the end of the first. In the second, Drew gave his team the lead for good with a 15-yard run and then scored his fifth TD of the day in the third quarter on a 37-yard scamper. The Huskies' only score of the final three quarters came in the third on a one-yard run from Kenny James. Paus finished the day 13-for-28 for 200 yards, two scores and no interceptions. Drew Olson completed 12-of-17 for 122 yards, no TDs and one pick.
Last Time vs. UCLA At The Rose Bowl: 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. Bruins defensive lineman Rodney Leisle, who sat out the first half due to suspension, got the comeback started, pouncing on a Cody Pickett fumble in the endzone for a touchdown on the first play of the third quarter. Manuel White then capped a 14-play, 91-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to put the Bruins on top, 22-16. The Bruins would go on to convert four second-half UW turnovers into 25 points. One of those turnovers was an interception from Leisle at the Bruins' 12-yard line as the Huskies were driving to try and re-take the lead after White's TD. Bruins QB Drew Olson finished the game 16-for-24 for 258 yards, one interception and no touchdowns. White was his team's leading rusher with 83 yards and a score on 19 crries. Craig Bragg caught eight passes for 142 yards. The Huskies got 78 yards rushing on 18 carries from Rich Alexis while Pickett completed 26-of-42 for 281 yards, two interceptions and one TD, a nine-yard pass to Reggie Williams in the first quarter. Williams caught 10 passes for 105 yards and Evan Knudson provided all the UW's remaining points with three field goals.
vs. Los Angeles Schools: Washington has a combined record of 54-78-6 (.413) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 28-34-2 vs. UCLA and 26-45-4 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 (57-104-6 (.359) 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 16-25-1 (.393) against the Bruins and Trojans.
Captains: Washington will not have season-long captains this year. Instead, Coach Tyrone Willingham will name game captains each week. Each game's set of captains will be informed of the honor the Friday before each game. For the Air Force game, seniors Joe Lobendahn, Evan Benjamin, James Sims and Joe Toledo served as captains. Against Cal, the captains were Lobendahn, Sims, Dashon Goldson and Brad Vanneman. Against Idaho, the Huskies were led on to the field by captains Scott White, Evan Knudson, Manase Hopoi and Robin Meadow, while vs. Notre Dame, they were Hopoi, Vanneman, Goldson and Isaiah Stanback.