Sept. 3, 2007
The Game: The Washington football team (1-0) looks to build on its season-opening, 42-12 win at Syracuse last week as streaking Boise State visits Husky Stadium this Saturday, Sept, 8, for a 12:30 p.m. PDT game, which will air live on FSN-Northwest. The Huskies gained 302 ground yards in their win at Syracuse as senior Louis Rankin led the way with 147 yards and three touchdowns. In the meantime, the UW defense held the Orange to only eight yards on the ground. Boise State opened its season with a 56-7 win over Weber State in Boise, the Broncos' 14th consecutive win after a 13-0 season in 2006. The Broncos were ranked No. 24 by the AP and No. 23 by the USA Today coaches' poll (new rankings not yet released). The UW's tough schedule continues after the Broncos return home. On Sept. 15, Ohio State visits Husky Stadium and, after a trip to face UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Sept. 22, the Huskies host their third BCS-bowl opponent in four weeks when USC comes to Montlake.
Huskies vs. Broncos History: Odd as it may seem on the surface, Saturday's game between the Huskies and Broncos will be the first Washington-Boise State football game in history. Odd because the two campuses are located only about 500 miles from one another. The only Division I-A (now called Football Bowl Subdivision) colleges located inside a 500-mile radius of the UW are Washington State, Idaho, Oregon and Oregon State. However, all four of those other schools are (or were) in the same conference as Washington for many years whereas Boise State only began playing football as a four-year institution in 1968 and only moved up to Division I-A prior to the 1996 season, when the Broncos moved from the Big Sky to the Big West.
Home Openers: The Huskies are 84-26-5 in home openers (whether the first game of the season or not), a percentage of .752. (Washington did not play any home games in the 1890 or 1893 seasons.) That mark includes a 28-game streak of home opener wins that ran from 1908 to 1935. Before falling to Air Force in the 1999 home opener, Washington had won 13 straight since falling to Oklahoma State on Sept. 7, 1985. Washington fell to Fresno State in the 2004 home opener, which was also the season opener, and lost to Cal in 2005 in the second game of the year, but first at home. Last season, the Huskies beat San Jose State in the home (and season) opener, 35-29. The Huskies had posted wins over Indiana (2002) and San Jose State (2003) in other recent openers. In 2001, the Huskies opened vs. No. 10 Michigan, beating the Wolverines, 23-18, in a mild upset. Husky coach Tyrone Willingham holds a career record of 7-4-1 in home openers while at Stanford (3-3-1), Notre Dame (3-0) and UW (1-1). His teams have won five of his last six home openers, beating SJSU last year, losing to Air Force in 2005 with the UW while beating No. 8 Michigan in 2004, Washington State in 2003 and Purdue in 2002 while at Notre Dame; and Boston College in his final season at Stanford, 2001.
Television: The Washington-Boise State game will air live on FSN in the Northwest, with Brian Davis, Brock Huard and Brook Olzendam 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-Boise State Ties: Considering that their two home states border one another, it is perhaps surprising that there aren't more Idahoans on the UW roster or more Washingtonians on the Boise State roster. The Huskies currently list only one player from the state of Idaho, freshman kicker Cory Rutkowski (Sun Valley/Wood River HS). BSU's roster includes only four players who prepped in Washington: freshman QB Kellen Moore (Prosser), freshman P Brad Elkin (Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep), senior OT Dan Gore (Prosser) and freshman LB Travis Stanaway (Bellevue). The UW has two players (J.R. Hasty and E.J. Savannah) who also attended Bellevue High. Several Huskies attended the same high school as several of the Broncos, mostly in the L.A. area. UW's Darrion Jones went to Lynwood High, as did BSU's Keith McGowen and Ellis Powers. Freshmen Skyler Fancher (UW) and Stephen Gabbard (BSU) were classmates at Huntington Beach HS. Husky linebacker Matt Houston and Boise's Toshi Franklin both attended Dos Pueblos High in Goleta, Calif., while UW TB Brandon Johnson and BSU S Jeron Johnson (no relation) were teammates at Dominquez High in Los Angeles. UW freshman Ronnie Fouch and Marquis Persley were one year behind BSU's Derrell Acrey at Redland East Valley High. Husky LB Dan Howell and BSU's Evan Surratt both went to Hart High while the UW's Byron Davenport and the Broncos' Julian Hawkins played together at Long Beach Poly. Outside of southern California, the Huskies' Corey Williams and Boise's Billy Winn are both graduates of Las Vegas High, and the UW's Willie Griffin and Boise State's Thomas Byrd were classmates last year at McClymonds High in Oakland. No UW coaches have ever worked at Boise State (though Tim Lappano and Chris Tormey both played and worked at Idaho). Boise State defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and Husky secondary coach J.D. Williams both worked on the same staff at California before taking their current jobs, but that marks the only crossover between the UW and BSU staffs.
Huskies vs. The WAC: Washington has faced six of the nine current teams in the Western Athletic Conference, all except for Boise State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State. Against the other six teams, the Huskies have a combined record of 49-5-2. The vast majority (38 of 56) games against current WAC teams came against Idaho, which was a member of the Pacific Coast Conference (precursor to the Pac-10) for many years. The Huskies have a 34-2-2 record against the Vandals. The UW's next-most-common WAC foe has been San Jose State. The Huskies are 9-0 vs. the Spartans in a series that has spanned 1958 to 2006. The UW is 2-1 vs. Fresno State (games in 1979, 2004 and 2006), 1-1 vs. Hawaii (a win in the 1938 Pineapple Bowl and a loss in 1973), 1-1 vs. Nevada (a win in 1903 and a loss in 2003) and 2-0 vs. Utah State (1904 and 1998). Of the Huskies' 56 games against WAC teams, 50 have been played at home. Washington has played true away games against Utah State (1904), Idaho (1905, 1909) and Hawaii (1938, if you consider the Pineapple Bowl a home game for Hawaii), and twice played Idaho at a neutral site (1900, 1911). So, the Huskies haven't played a road game against a WAC team since 1938. However, that will change this year when the Huskies close out the regular season at Hawaii on Dec. 1.
Open On The Road; Home In Week two: In the vast majority of the 118 seasons of Husky football, the UW has opened the season with a home game, meaning that this year's season-opening scenario of a road game in the opener followed by a home game in week two is relatively uncommon. However, it has happened 17 times. On seven of those 17 occasions, the Huskies won the road game in week one, and in all seven of those cases, the UW won the following game at home: 1998 (won at Arizona State in week one and at home vs. BYU in week two); 1997 (won at Arizona State and at home vs. San Diego State); 1992 (won at Arizona State and at home vs. Wisconsin); 1988 (won at Purdue and at home vs. Army); 1983 (won at Northwestern and at home vs. Michigan); 1959 (won at Colorado and at home vs. Idaho) and 1903 (won at Oregon State and at home vs. Whitman).
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.
Running Start: Washington rushed for a total of 302 yards on 41 carries with six touchdowns in the win at Syracuse. The 302 yards are the most the Huskies have gained in a game since they ran for 333 in their 38-14 win at Arizona in 2005. Washington's six rushing touchdowns vs. the Orange represents half of their season total from last year, when the UW ran for 12 touchdowns all season.
Sack Exchange: In the win at Syracuse last week, the Huskies notched seven sacks of the Orange quarterbacks while the UW offensive line didn't surrender a single sack. Last season, the Huskies totaled 27 sacks on the season, meaning that the UW is already a quarter of the way to that total after only one game.
Only The Big Boys: As of Sept. 1, 2007, Washington was one of just six NCAA Division I-A programs that has never faced a non-Division I-A opponent since the current division setup was established in 1978 (the division's names have undergone a change this year, but the setup is still the same). Both Michigan and Ohio State fell of the club as the Wolverines opened the season with Appalachian State and the Buckeyes vs. Youngstown State on Sept. 1. The five remaining schools that have yet to play a non-Division I-A opponent since the advent of the current format are Michigan State, Notre Dame, USC, UCLA and Washington.
Decade After Decade: Washington has won a conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl in each of the last nine decades, dating back to the 1920s when Washington won the berth in 1923 and 1925. In the 1930s, the Dawgs won the `36 title. In the `40s, Washington earned the trip in 1943 and then barely slipped in under the wire in the 1950s, winning the 1959 crown. The Huskies won two Rose Bowl berths in the 1960s -- 1960 and 1963 -- and one in the 1970s (1977). Titles in 1980 and 1982 did it for that decade and three straight trips to Pasadena to begin the 1990s covered that 10-year span. Now in the 2000s, UW was the first team to earn Rose Bowl berths in nine straight decades. USC joined the Dawgs in that distinction in 2004 after their New Year's Day appearance in Pasadena.
The 100-Yard Factor: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 164-41-3 (.796) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies went 3-1 in such games in 2003, 1-1 in 2004, 2-3 in `05 and 2-1 last season. In this year's season-opener at Syracuse, tailback Louis Rankin rushed for 147 yards in a 42-12 Husky win.
History Lesson: Successfully rushing the football and winning go hand-in-hand for the Huskies. Since 1990, Washington has rushed for 200 yards in a game 66 times. The Huskies' record stands at 57-8-1 (.871) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 32-5-1 (.855) when rushing for 200 yards. Washington's latest such win came at Syracuse, when the Dawgs gained 302 ground yards in a 42-12 win.
Playing At Home: Washington has gone unbeaten at home 13 times in its history, including six times in the last 18 seasons. Washington has won 77 of its last 106 (.731) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (77-28-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 125-39-2 (.759) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 48-21-1 (.693) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 opponents.
Historic Husky Stadium: The 2006 season marks the 88th 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 342-151-21 (.686).
Captains: Washington does not have season-long captains as Coach Tyrone Willingham will name game captains each week. Each game's set of captains are informed of the honor the Friday night before each game and revealed to the fans, etc., when those four designated players take the field for the coin flip prior to each game. Here are this year's game captains:
Syracuse: Juan Garcia, Dan Howell, Louis Rankin, Jordan Reffett
Degrees of Success: Last June, a total of 11 current Husky football players participated in graduation ceremonies at the UW. While all remain enrolled and none have technically collected their diplomas, all have completed their coursework. Here's a list of the 11 current UW football players who went through graduation ceremonies last June: Wilson Afoa (American ethnic studies), Carl Bonnell (history), Cody Ellis (sociology), Robert Lewis (Spanish), Roy Lewis (American ethnic studies), Chad Macklin (general studies), Louis Rankin (American ethnic studies), Jordan Reffett (political science), Anthony Russo (American ethnic studies), Corey Williams (art history) and Sho Yoshinaga (electrical engineering).
Family Ties: As is the case with most seasons of Husky football, there are a number of players on the Washington football team related to either current or former Huskies. Linebacker Trenton Tuiasosopo is a first cousin of former Huskies Marques and Zach Tuiasosopo as well as older sister, Leslie, a standout Husky volleyball player and now an assistant coach for the UW volleyball team. Fullback Luke Kravitz' father Al, was a defensive end that lettered at the UW in 1970 and 1971. Sophomore fullback Paul Homer is a cousin, by marriage, of former Husky offensive lineman Aaron Dalan, who married former Washington women's basketball player Gena Pelz. Sophomore corner Matt Mosley is a cousin to former Husky Luther Carr. Sophomore defensive end Fred Wiggs is the younger brother of former Husky defensive lineman Sekou Wiggs and, finally, freshman safety LonZell Hill is the son of former standout receiver LonZell Hill.