Sept. 12, 2011
THE GAME: The Washington football team (2-0) takes to the road for the first time this season as the Huskies travel to Lincoln to face Nebraska (2-0) for the third time in a year. This Saturday's game at Memorial Stadium kicks off at 12:30 p.m. PT (2:30 p.m. CT) and will air live on ABC television (and on ESPN in areas where ABC is showing a different game). The Cornhuskers are ranked No. 10 in both major polls while the UW is receiving votes (but is unranked) in both. Last year, on Sept. 18, Nebraska came to Seattle and beat the Huskies, 56-21, but the two ended up in the Holiday Bowl, where the Huskies avenged the loss with a 19-7 victory in San Diego. The Huskies will travel to Lincoln on Thursday, as the UW has yet to begin its fall academic quarter. After this Saturday's game, the Dawgs return to Husky Stadium Sept. 24 to open Pac-12 Conference play vs. California.
QUICK SNAPS: The UW's current six-game winning streak is the fourth-longest (tied) in the nation ... only Auburn (17), Stanford (10) and Ohio State (8) have longer current win streaks (Oklahoma and UCF also have six-game win streaks currently) ... Washington is plus-five in turnover margin so far this season, tops in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation ... the UW is second in the conference and seventh in the nation in rush defense (43.0 yards per game) ... with 116 rushing yards per game, Chris Polk leads the Pac-12 ... Polk now has 13 career 100-yard games, third-most in UW history (Napoleon Kaufman had 17; Greg Lewis had 15) ... 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 ... Washington is 2-0 for the first time since 2007 and looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 2001 ... at 182.26, Husky QB Keith Price ranks 14th in the nation in pass efficiency ... the redshirt sophomore is tied (with six others) for the national lead in TD passes with seven ... the UW has faced 114 pass attempts in two weeks, by far the most in the nation ... next closest is Pittsburgh, which has had 95 opponent pass attempts in two games.
TELEVISION: The Washington-Nebraska game will air live to a national audience on ABC and ESPN. In markets airing a different game on ABC, the UW-NU game will air on ESPN. Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Heather Cox will provide the commentary. Additionally, "Huskies All-Access" airs each Wednesday evening on FSN. 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, 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.
ENTIRE STAFF RETURNS FOR THIRD SEASON: The UW's entire full-time coaching staff returns, in tact, for a third straight season in 2011. Dating back to the mid-1950s, before which records are incomplete, the 2011 season marks the first time in Husky history that the entire coaching staff has remained the same for three straight years. Last year's feat of returning an entire staff for just two straight years marked the first time that had happened at the UW since the 1989 and 1990 seasons.
HUSKIES vs. CORNHUSKERS HISTORY: The Huskers and the Huskies will meet for the 10th time this Saturday and the all-time series is knotted at four wins, four losses and one tie for each team. Last year, Nebraska beat Washington, 56-21, in Seattle during the regular season before the UW avenged that loss with a 19-7 victory in the Holiday Bowl, breaking a streak of three straight Cornhusker wins (1997, 1998, 2010). Prior to the two games last year, the most recent meeting was on Sept. 26, 1998, when Nebraska cruised to a 55-7 win in Lincoln. The Huskers rushed for 434 yards, led by 146 from DeAngelo Evans while the Huskies were limited to 273 yards of total offense. A year prior in Seattle, Nebraska handed the second-ranked Huskies a 27-14 loss as Ahman Green and Joel Makovicka rushed for 129 yards each. Nebraska's defense surrendered only 43 yards to Washington on the ground. True freshman QB Marques Tuiasosopo came off the bench for injured starter Brock Huard and threw for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns in only his third appearance. In the pervious two meetings, Washington came from behind to take two wins against the Huskers. In 1991, the fourth-ranked Huskies found themselves down 14-6 at halftime at Memorial Stadium. Derek Brown pushed the score to 21-9 before the Billy Joe Hobert led Huskies rallied for 25 unanswered points, giving No. 9 Nebraska a 36-21 loss. Washington went on to win the national title that year. In 1992, a raucous, packed house watched the second-ranked Huskies beat the No. 12 Huskers 29-14 in a then-rare night game at Husky Stadium. Nebraska tied Washington in 1925, 7-7. That UW team went on to lose by a point to Alabama in the 1926 Rose Bowl. Washington won in 1926 by a 10-7 margin and, 41 years later in 1967, Nebraska evened the series with a 17-7 win.
WASHINGTON-NEBRASKA TIES: There are just a couple direct links between Washington's and Nebraska's coaching staffs as new NU receivers coach Rich Fisher was on Idaho's staff for one year (1999) when current Husky safeties coach Jeff Mills worked for the Vandals. UW running backs coach Joel Thomas was also briefly on another Idaho staff along with Fisher. Not too surprisingly, there are no Washingtonians on the Nebraska roster, nor Nebraskans on the UW roster. Additionally, there are no players from the two teams who attended the same high school (it's worth noting that UW's Kevin Smith (Compton) and NU's Taylor Martinez (Corona) attended two different Centennial High Schools in southern California).
THREE GAMES IN ONE CALENDAR YEAR: On Saturday, Washington and Nebraska will meet on the football field for the third time inside of one calendar year (Sept. 18, 2010; Dec. 30, 2010; Sept. 17, 2011). Last year, of course, they played twice, marking the first time since World War II that the Huskies had played a team twice in one season. In 1945, the UW played Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State twice each, in addition to one-off games with USC, Idaho and Cal. In `44, the UW played two each against Whitman and Willamette Colleges. Prior to those years, the last time the UW played an opponent twice was in 1927, when Enoch Bagshaw's team took on the USS Idaho in back-to-back games, winning a pair of shutouts (the first of those two games was on the same day that the UW also beat Willamette). The last time that Washington played a major-college opponent twice in a non-wartime season was in 1916 (U.S. had not yet entered WWI) when Gil Dobie's Sundodgers beat California on the road and then at home 12 days later to end their season (and Dobie's 61-game unbeaten run as Washington's head coach). However, despite those seasons in which the UW played the same team twice, the ONLY time that Washington has ever played a team three times inside of one year was in 1945 and 1946, when the Huskies played Washington State on Oct. 13, 1945, Nov. 24, 1945 and Oct. 12, 1946.
HUSKIES vs. THE BIG TEN: Washington holds a 44-43-2 record all-time vs. Big Ten opponents, a record that includes an 0-2 mark against Penn State (though the Nittany Lions were not members of the Big Ten at the time of their games against the UW) and 4-4-1 vs. Nebraska, also obviously not a Big Ten member at the time of any of those games. Washington has played all 12 Big Ten teams multiple times, but have faced an Big Ten opponent only once since 2003 (the UW played Indiana in `03 and Ohio State in `07). The Huskies have played Big Ten teams seven times in bowl games since 1990 (not counting Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl last season): Iowa in the 1990 Rose Bowl, Michigan in the 1992 and 1993 Rose Bowls, Iowa in the 1995 Sun Bowl, Michigan State in the 1997 Aloha Bowl, Purdue in the 2001 Rose Bowl and Purdue in the 2002 Sun Bowl. The Huskies went 4-3 in those games. Here's the UW's all-time record vs. current Big Ten teams: 5-4 vs. Illinois, 1-2 vs. Indiana, 3-3 vs. Iowa, 5-7 vs. Michigan, 2-1 vs. Michigan State, 7-10 vs. Minnesota, 4-4-1 vs. Nebraska, 3-0 vs. Northwestern, 3-8 vs. Ohio State, 0-2 vs. Penn State, 7-2-1 vs. Purdue, 4-0 vs. Wisconsin.
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
THE 100-YARD FACTOR: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 175-52-3 (.767) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. So far this year, the UW is 2-0 in such games (Chris Polk vs. EWU and UH).
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 76 times. The Huskies' record stands at 64-12-1 (.838) in those contests. Since 1995, UW is 39-9-1 (.806) when rushing for 200 yards.
PLAYING AT HOME: Washington has gone unbeaten at home 13 times in its history, including six times in the last 21 seasons. UW has won 89 of its last 135 (.663) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (89-45-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 137-56-2 (.708) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 55-32-1 (.631) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10/Pac-12 opponents.
HUSKY STADIUM RENOVATION: Husky Stadium will undergo a massive renovation following the 2010 season. In fact, in order to aid the project, the Huskies will play this season's Apple Cup vs. Washington State Nov. 26 at CenturyLink Field (home of the Seahaws), meaning the Nov. 5 game vs. Oregon will be the final game in the "old" Husky Stadium. The Seattle icon was first opened in 1920. Upper decks were added in the 1950s (south) and 1980s (north). Renovations will completely remake the lower bowl and the south deck. The stadium track will be removed and an operations center for the football team will be built into the west end. For much more information, including a virtual look from every seat in the new stadium, photo galleries and more, go to huskystadium.com.
HISTORIC HUSKY STADIUM: The 2011 season marks the 92nd season of play in Husky Stadium. Original construction on the facility was completed in 1920 when Washington played one game in the new campus facility. Thanks to several major renovations, Husky Stadium's seating capacity has increased to its current total of 72,500. UW's all-time record in Husky Stadium currently stands at 354-168-21 (.671).