Oct. 8, 2007
The Game: The Washington football team (2-3 overall, 0-2 in the Pac-10), after a weekend off, returns to action this Saturday night in Tempe when the Huskies face unbeaten Arizona State (6-0, 3-0) in a 7:15 p.m. game at Sun Devil Stadium. The Devils are ranked No. 14 in the latest Associated Press top 25 and No. 13 in the most recent coaches' poll. ASU coach Dennis Erickson will be squaring off against the Huskies as head of a fourth different team. Erickson, a cousin of late UW rowing coach Dick Erickson, has faced the UW as coach of Washington State, Miami (Fla.) and Oregon State. After the trip to the desert, the Dawgs play back-to-back home games vs. Oregon and Arizona at Husky Stadium.
Huskies vs. Devils History: The Huskies hold a 15-11 record all-time against Arizona State in a series that only dates back to 1975. That `75 game marked the only time that the two teams ever played one another prior to the Sun Devils joining the Pac-10 Conference prior to the 1978 season. Since then, the two have played one another every year between 1978 and now except for the 1983 and 1984 seasons and the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Huskies lost that first-ever meeting at Tempe in 1975, 35-12, but routed the 12th-ranked Devils in the next matchup, winning 41-7 at Husky Stadium in 1978. One of the two teams (or both) has been ranked in 12 of the last 15 meetings, the only exceptions the 1999 game when the Devils came to Husky Stadium and beat Washington, 28-7, and the last two games, both ASU wins. Some of the Huskies' most memorable games in recent history have come vs. ASU. In the 1995 season-opener, tailback Rashaan Shehee hit receiver Fred Coleman with a 30-yard TD pass late in the fourth quarter to give Washington a 23-20 win. The following year at Tempe, Washington trailed 42-21 before backup QB Brock Huard came on to lead the Huskies to three fourth-quarter TDs, but Robert Nycz kicked a 38-yard field goal with 0:02 left to win, 45-42. In 1998 at Sun Devil Stadium, the Huskies pulled off the "Miracle in the Desert" as Huard hit tight end Reggie Davis with a 63-yard pass on fourth-and-17 with 0:28 left in the game to pull out a 42-38 Washington win. In 2001, the Huskies capped a seven-minute, 12-second drive with a 30-yard field goal with no time remaining to edge the Devils, 33-31. In 2005 in Tempe, ASU QB Rudy Carpenter passed for 401 yards and three TDs as the Devils pulled away in the second half of a 44-20 win. Last year was another tight contest as the Devils pulled out a 26-23 overtime win at Husky Stadium. The UW trailed 20-6 before receiver Sonny Shackelford threw a TD pass to Anthony Russo and then caught a touchdown from backup QB Johnny Durocher to send the game into OT. After a UW field goal, Rudy Carpenter hit Brent Miller with a 25-yard TD pass for the win. In his seven years at Stanford, Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham compiled a 4-3 record against the Sun Devils. Adding in his two games as the Husky head man, Willingham is 4-5 against ASU. Dennis Erickson, as former head coach at Washington State, Miami (Fla.) and Oregon State, is 2-6 all-time against Washington. He went 1-1 vs. the UW while at WSU (lost in 1987, won in 1988), 0-1 at Miami (lost in 1994 - the famous "Whammy in Miami"), and 1-3 at Oregon State (losses in 1999, 2000 and 2002 and a win in 2001).
Television: The Washington-Arizona State game will air live on FSN television with Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis and Jim Watson providing the commentary. 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 three different states and British Columbia, Canada, on 21 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. Many game broadcasts will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio on channel 194, 195 or 196 and can be heard over the internet via the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com, which is available for no charge this season.
Washington-Arizona State Ties: While there are a numerous connections between the coaching staffs at Arizona State and Washington, there's very little crossover between UW's roster and ASU's - probably as little as the UW and any Pac-10 team. New Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson is a native of Everett, Wash., and graduated from Everett High in 1965. UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano has a long association with Erickson, having worked on his staff at Washington State and Oregon State as well as with the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Lappano has also worked alongside a number of members of the current Sun Devil coaching staff (Rich Olson, Craig Bray, Jamie Christian, Dan Cozzetto, Matt Lubick, Al Simmons, Gregg Smith and Eric Yarber). Both Cozzetto and Yarber have previously worked as assistant coaches at UW (Yarber worked with the Huskies in 2005 and 2006). Husky linebackers coach Chris Tormey worked on Erickson's staff at Idaho in the early 1980s while Husky defensive coordinator Kent Baer spent time with the Sun Devils on Bruce Snyder's staff from 1992-94. As far as players go, Arizona State's roster doesn't include a single player from the state of Washington. The Huskies' roster includes only one player from the state of Arizona - cornerback Matt Mosley (Chandler/Corona del Sol HS). Mosley attended Corona del Sol along with ASU's Brett Nenaber and Mike Pollack. Outside of the states of Arizona and Washington, other Huskies and Devils who attended the same high school in California include ASU's Rudy Carpenter and UW's Tyrone Duncan (Westlake); ASU's Lance Evbuomwan and UW's Ronnie Fouch and Marquis Persley (Redlands East Valley), ASU's Rodney Glass and UW's Erik Folk (Notre Dame); and ASU's Thomas Weber and UW's Quintin Daniels (Loyola).
Back To The Desert: Last season marked what seems to be a relatively rare appearance by the Sun Devils in Husky Stadium as ASU visited Seattle for the first time since 1999. This year, the Dawgs are back in the desert for their fifth trip there in the two teams' last six meetings. Over the last seven seasons, the UW has played at ASU four times and in 2003 and 2004, ASU and UW didn't play one another. The stretch of UW-ASU games in Tempe marked the first time ever that the UW played any team on the road in fourth straight meetings. Additionally, the UW traveled to Tempe three seasons in a row (2000-02) to open the string of road games. Before that, the UW hadn't played a league opponent on the road in three straight seasons since 1933-35, when the Dawgs played at USC three times in a row. The Huskies also played three straight games at Stanford in the late 80s and early 90s, but not in consecutive seasons - 1988, 1990 and 1991 (didn't play in 1989).
Last Year vs. Arizona State (Oct. 28, 2006): Washington lost a heart-breaker to Arizona State last Oct. 28 at Husky Stadium, falling 26-23 in overtime. Husky QB Johnny Durocher came off the bench in place of injured starter Carl Bonnell (who was in the lineup in place of Isaiah Stanback, injured two weeks prior) to lead a comeback to send the game into OT. However, after a Husky field goal, ASU QB Rudy Carpenter hit Brent Miller with a 25-yard TD pass on the second play of the Devils' possession to win the game. The Huskies had trailed 20-3 before rallying for the tie. After a second field goal, receiver Sonny Shackelford passed to Anthony Russo for a 41-yard TD in the final period. Then, with 2:19 on the clock, DuRocher's four-yard pass to Shackelford wrapped up an 11-play, 63-yard drive to tie the game. DuRocher had come on during the drive after Bonnell was hurt on a tackle that resulted in a roughing the passer penalty. ASU's Ryan Torain led all rushers with 98 yards while Carpenter went 16-for-22 for 170 yards and two TDs.
Last Time vs. Arizona State At Sun Devil Stadium (Oct. 29, 2005): After a back-and-forth opening half, Arizona State pulled away in the second half for a 44-20 win over the Huskies in 2005 at Sun Devil Stadium. RS-freshman quarterback Rudy Carpenter, in for the injured Sam Keller, led the way for the home team, completing 27-of-34 passes for 401 yards, no interceptions and three touchdowns. The game also featured a then-career-best outing from UW fullback-turned-tailback James Sims, who rushed for 140 yards and two scores on 24 carries. ASU took a 14-3 lead in the opening quarter, answering an Evan Knudson field goal with a one-yard Carpenter run and 12-yard pass from Carpenter to Matt Miller. In the second quarter, Sims ran in from a yard out before Carpenter hit Miller with a 69-yard TD pass. A second Sims TD and an ASU field goal closed the half with the Devils on top, 24-17. After Knudson's second field goal of the game marked the only score of the third quarter and drew the Huskies to a 24-20 deficit, ASU pulled away. A third TD pass from Carpenter to Miller, from 10 yards, was followed by a Preston Jones 10-yard run and a 58-yard interception return from Josh Golden on the game's final play. Two ASU receivers finished with more than 100 yards as Miller caught five passes for 139 yards and three TDs. Derek Hagan had nine receptions for 115.
Big Win At Syracuse: The Huskies' 42-12 win at Syracuse was something of a milestone win. After all, with a 30-point margin of victory, it was the Dawgs' most-lopsided win over a non-conference opponent since a 34-0 win at Northwestern in the 1983 season-opener. For that matter, Washington hadn't beaten any opponent by 30 or more since a 42-10 over Oregon on Nov. 1, 2003, and was the biggest win over a BCS-conference team on the road (Pac-10 or non-conference) since the 51-3 win over Washington State in the 2000 Apple Cup.
And a Big Win vs. Broncos: The Huskies' 24-10 win over then-No. 22 Boise State had its share of milestones, not unlike the Syracuse game. The win over the Broncos was the Huskies' first win over a ranked team since the UW beat No. 8 Washington State, 27-19, in the 2003 Apple Cup (Nov. 22, 2003). It was the Dawgs' first win over a non-conference ranked team since the UW opened the 2001 season with a 23-18 victory over No. 11 Michigan. The 2001 season was also the last time that Washington has opened a season 2-0. In the meantime, the Huskies broke the Broncos' 14-game winning streak and held BSU to its lowest point total since 2005.
Random Notes: The Huskies have six interceptions this year, by six different players ... the Dawgs hadn't blocked a field goal since 2001 prior to the Boise State game, but now have a blocked FG (both by Jordan Reffett) in two of their last three games (Boise and Ohio State) ... on the other hand, the Huskies have also had a field goal blocked in those same two ... the UW hasn't committed double-digit (i.e., 10 or more) penalties in a game in any of their 28 games under Coach Tyrone Willingham ... with 411 yards (82.2 per game), quarterback Jake Locker is the Huskies' leading rusher ... the last Huskies to lead the team in rushing was Denny Fitzpatrick, with 697 yards in 1974 ... Locker rushed for 102 yards vs. Ohio State and is currently seventh in the Pac-10 in rushing.
True Freshmen: Last season, only two true freshman saw game action (LB Donald Butler and FB Paul Homer). However, this season, a much bigger group of first-year players have played - a total of seven thusfar. Cornerback Vonzell McDowell Jr. has started three games, while S Nate Williams, S Victor Aiyewa, LB Mason Foster, LB/FB Austin Sylvester and TBs Curtis Shaw and Brandon Johnson have all played.
Graduation Success Rate: The UW football team once again had a good showing in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report, released at the end in October, 2007. In the 2007 ranking (which measures graduation success rates for those who enrolled from 1997 to 2000 and graduated within six years), the UW football team ranked second in Pac-10 Conference at 64 percent, trailing only Stanford (93). Washington had also ranked second in the 2005 and 2006 ranking. Here are the Pac-10's 2007 NCAA Graduation Success Rate rankings:
1. Stanford 93 2. Washington 64 3. Oregon State 62 4. Washington State 58 5. USC 57 6. UCLA 56 7. Arizona State 55 Oregon 55 9. California 52 10. Arizona 41