Aug. 30, 2010
THE GAME: The 2010 Washington football team opens its season with a challenging road test this weekend when the Huskies travel to Provo, Utah, to face Brigham Young. Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time/4:00 p.m. Pacific Time and the game will air live on CBS College Sports television. Neither team enters the season opener ranked in either major poll, but both squads did earn votes from both the AP and the coaches. The Huskies went 5-7 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-10 last season while BYU went 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the Mountain West. The game also marks the return to Provo of UW head coach Steve Sarkisian, who played quarterback for the Cougars in 1995 and 1996. In his two seasons, he completed 549-of-824 passes for 7,755 yards and 55 touchdowns while leading the nation in pass efficiency in 1996. In 1996, Sarkisian earned WAC Offensive Player of the year honors and led the Cougars to a 14-1 record and a victory in the 1997 Cotton Bowl. After the BYU game, the Huskies return home for the following two weekends to wrap up their non-conference schedule for the year vs. Syracuse on Sept. 11 and Nebraska on Sept. 18.
SEASON OPENERS: Washington is 81-33-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .700. Since 1989, Washington has posted an 11-9 record in season openers - 6-1 at home, 5-7 on the road, 0-1 neutral site. During that time, the Huskies have opened against BYU in Provo twice. In 1997, a No. 4 UW team beat No. 19 BYU, 42-20. Two years later, in a Thursday night game, the Huskies fell to the Cougars, 35-28. In that 20-season span dating back to 1989, the Huskies have opened vs. a ranked team nine times: vs. No. 15 Stanford in 1993 (W, 31-14), at No. 17 USC in 1994 (L, 24-17), at No. 20 Arizona State in 1996 (L, 45-42), vs. No. 19 BYU in 1997 (W, 42-20) at No. 8 Arizona State in 1998 (W, 42-38), vs. No. 11 Michigan in 2001 (W, 23-18), at No. 12 Michigan in 2002 (L, 31-29), at No. 2 Ohio State in 2003 (L, 28-9) and at No. 21 Oregon in 2008 (L, 44-10).
TELEVISION: The Washington-BYU game will air live to a national audience on CBS College Sports (check cbscollegesports.com for more information on that channel) with Dave Ryan, Aaron Taylor and Brooke Olzendam providing 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 17 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 XM Satellite Radio on channel 193, 194 or 195 and can be heard over the internet via the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com.
ENTIRE STAFF RETURNS: For the first time in two decades, the entire Husky football coaching staff returns in 2010. The head coach and all nine full-time assistants are back from the 2009 staff. The last time that happened at Washington was in 1990, when head coach Don James' entire staff returned after the 1989 season. Incidentally, both graduate assistants also return in 2010, though that wasn't the case in 1990, when more GAs were allowed on a staff.
HUSKIES vs. COUGARS HISTORY: Washington and Brigham Young will be meeting for the eighth time ever this Saturday. The most recent matchup came in 2008, when 15th-ranked BYU escaped with a 28-27 victory thanks to a blocked PAT attempt with two seconds left. Jake Locker threw for 204 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for 62 yards and two scores in the loss. It's the first meeting in Provo since the 1999 season, when the Dawgs traveled to Provo for a Thursday night game. That 1999 game marked the fourth straight season that BYU and the UW played one another. The Huskies hold a 4-3 edge in the all-time series, which began in 1985, the year after the Cougars won the National Championship ahead of No. 2 Washington. In that first game (Sept. 14, 1985), the unranked Huskies fell to No. 16 BYU 31-3 in a game played at (then) Cougar Stadium. The following year, the Huskies returned the favor at Husky Stadium. In that game (Sept. 20, 1986), the Dawgs, ranked No. 7, handed the 11th-ranked Cougars a 52-21 loss. The Huskies re-opened the series with the Cougars on Sept. 14, 1996, when unranked Rashaan Shehee rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns in a 29-17 win over the 14th-ranked Cougars, who finished that season 14-1. The following season in Provo, No. 4 UW opened the schedule with a 42-20 win over No. 19 BYU. In 1998 at Husky Stadium, the No. 9-ranked Dawgs ran their win streak over BYU to four games with a 20-10 win over the unranked Cougars. Toure Butler had two returns for touchdowns to lead the Huskies - a 98-yarder on kickoff and a 35-yarder on an interception. In the most recent UW-BYU game played in Provo, on Sept. 9, 1999, Cougars quarterback Kevin Feterik led the way in a 35-28 Brigham Young win. Feterik completed 39 of his 59 pass attempts for 500 yards and three touchdowns, the last of which (a 38-yarder to Chris Hale with just 1:16 on the clock) proved the game-winner. The Huskies were led by sophomore quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo, who threw for 237 yards on 22-of-36 passing while also running for two scores. His two rushing TDs both came in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 28-28, but on the final drive of the game, the UW fell short, advancing to the BYU 12-yard line before Tuiasosopo's pass on the game's final play went out of the endzone incomplete.
WASHINGTON-BYU TIES: The most obvious connection between BYU and Washington is the fact that Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian was the Cougars starting quarterback in 1995 and 1996 after having transferred from El Camino College. Sarkisian led the Cougars to a 14-1 record and won the WAC Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1996. Current BYU assistant head coach/running backs coach Lance Reynolds was on the staff when Sarkisian played for the Cougars. BYU QBs coach Brandon Doman played for the San Francisco 49ers when Husky offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto was a member of the Niners' coaching staff in 2004. Washington has just one player on its roster from the state of Utah: LB Cort Dennison (Salt Lake City/Judge Memorial). BYU's roster includes just two players from Washington: freshman QBs Jake Heaps (Issaquah/Skyline) and Jason Munns (Kennewick/Southridge). Munns actually first attended BYU in 2007 before going on a mission. A handful of UW and BYU players attended the same high school (mostly in Hawai'i): UW's Hau'oli Jamora and BYU's Jray Galea'i, Spencer Hafoka and Simote Vea (Kahuku); UW's Erik Kohler and Nick Montana and BYU's Alani Fua and Zac Stout (Oaks Christian); UW's William Chandler, Cody Habben and Cooper Pelluer and BYU's Heaps (Skyline); UW's Mykenna Ikehara and Anthony Tokunaga and BYU's Kalama Kaluhiokalani and Travis Uale (Kamehameha-O'ahu); UW's Lawrence Lagafuaina and BYU's Aveni Leung-Wai (Aiea); UW's Micah Hatchie and BYU's Graham Rowley (Waialua); and UW's Will Mahan and BYU's Peter Welsh (Bakersfield).
HUSKIES vs. THE MOUNTAIN WEST: Washington has played six of the nine teams that currently make up the Mountain West Conference. The Huskies have never played Colorado State, New Mexico or UNLV. Against those six teams, the Huskies have compiled a combined record of 17-9. Broken down, that's 2-6 vs. Air Force; 4-3 vs. BYU; 2-0 vs. San Diego State; 1-0 vs. Texas Christian; 6-0 vs. Utah; and 2-0 vs. Wyoming. The Huskies' most recent meeting vs. a Mountain West team was the 2008 loss to BYU. The last time the UW traveled to face a MWC team was also against Brigham Young in the 1999 season opener.
CAPTAINS: At the "Raise the Woof!" kickoff celebration held on Aug. 27, the four captains for the 2010 season, as voted by their teammates, were revealed. They are senior LB Mason Foster (Seaside, Calif.), junior offensive tackle Senio Kelemete (Seattle, Wash.), senior QB Jake Locker (Ferndale, Wash.) and senior S Nate Williams (Renton, Wash.). Locker was also voted as a season captain in 2009.