Oct. 19, 2009
Mason Foster Interview (paid subscription required)
THE GAME: After having played three of its last four on the road, the Washington football team (3-4 overall, 2-2 in the Pac-10) returns home to Seattle for its annual clash with Oregon (5-1 overall, 3-0 Pac-10). The Ducks sit atop the Pac-10 standings as the conference's only unbeaten team in league play. They're also ranked No. 12 in the latest AP Top 25 and No. 14 in the coaches' poll. The Dawgs have played down to the wire on three straight Saturdays, falling 37-30 in overtime to Notre Dame three weeks ago, beating Arizona, 36-33, on an unlikely late interception two weeks ago and falling at ASU, 24-17, on a late, long pass last Saturday in Tempe. In the meantime, the Ducks have reeled off five straight wins since a season-opening loss at Boise State and come to Seattle off of a bye week. The Dawgs will enjoy their first bye week following the Duck game before facing UCLA in Pasadena on Nov. 7.
GAME THEMES vs. THE DUCKS: Through seven games, Washington has already been a part of four games that have gone down to the last minute (or overtime) ... the UW beat USC on a field goal with 0:03 left, lost to Notre Dame in OT, beat Arizona on a late interception return and lost to ASU on a TD with 0:05 remaining ... Oregon will be the Huskies' third ranked opponent of the season, and all three such games will have come at Husky Stadium ... according to the NCAA, Washington's schedule to date has ranked as the sixth-most difficult in the nation as, discounting their results in their games against the UW, Husky opponents have gone 28-9 this year ... the Huskies' five remaining opponents are 17-13 on the year ... the Huskies will be playing on their eight straight Saturday this weekend vs. Oregon before earning their first off day the following week ... the UW will be the last team in the Pac-10 to have a bye ... Washington has had 10 true freshmen play this year, including four who have started at least one game: wide receiver James Johnson, defensive end Talia Crichton, cornerback Desmond Trufant and safety Nathan Fellner.
TELEVISION: The Washington-Oregon game will air live to a regional audience on ABC with Terry Gannon and David Norrie 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 16 Northwest 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 193, 194 or 195 and can be heard over the internet via the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com.
HUSKIES vs. DUCKS HISTORY: Washington leads the all-time series against the Ducks with 58 wins, 38 losses and five ties. While the series of games played in Eugene has the Ducks enjoying a 14-12 edge all-time (Oregon's home games vs. the UW were played in Portland for many years), the Huskies are 31-18-4 against their cross-border rivals in games played in Seattle. This Saturday's game at Husky Stadium will mark the Huskies third game in Eugene in eight meetings. The teams played in Seattle in 2003 and in 2007, but played in Eugene in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008. The teams didn't play each other in 2001, the first break in the series since 1943, when Washington played only military opponents. The Ducks have had the edge of late, winning 10 of the last 14 against the Dawgs. The Huskies, however, have won 15 of the last 27 and 21 of the last 34. Last season in Eugene in the season-opener for both teams, Jeremiah Masoli came off the bench and led the Ducks to a 44-10 win. In 2007 in Seattle, the Huskies and Ducks were tied at 31-31 after three quarters before Oregon pulled away in the final period for a 55-34 win. The Huskies' last win over Oregon was in 2003, when Shelton Sampson and Kenny James both rushed for over 100 yards in a 42-10 Husky victory. Washington and Oregon first met on the football field in 1900, a 43-0 Oregon win in Eugene. The Huskies got their first win in the series in the next meeting, a 6-5 victory in 1903. From 1974 to 1993, Washington won 17 of 20 meetingsThe series also features one of the biggest year-to-year turnarounds in college football history as the Ducks beat the Huskies, 58-0, in 1973 and then lost at the UW, 66-0, the following year.
WASHINGTON-OREGON TIES: While there's barely any crossover between the UW and UO coaching staffs, many Husky and Duck players have played with or against one another in their high school days. On the coaching side, longtime Duck assistant Gary Campbell was on the coaching staff at Pacific for one season when UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt played there. Washington's current roster includes just two players from the state of Oregon: sophomore OL Scott Shugert, from Oregon City; and sophomore WR Jordan Polk of Portland. The Ducks' roster, however, includes five Washingtonians: RB Brandon Thurston (Woodinville), WR Rory Cavaille (Shelton/Shelton), OL Nick Cody (Brush Prairie/Hockinson), OL C.E. Kaiser (Veradale/Central Valley) and TE David Paulson (Auburn/Riverside). Kaiser attended the same high school as UW long snapper David Butler. A large of other Huskies and Ducks went to the same high school, mostly in California: UW kicker Erik Folk and Oregon OL Charlie Carmichael were classmates at Notre Dame High near Los Angeles while Ducks Michael and Chris DiVincenzo and Kenjon Barner also both went to that school. Freshmen Kurt Mangum (UW LB) and Dion Jordan (UO WR) were classmates at Chandler (Ariz.) High while Husky WR D'Andre Goodwin and Duck RB Andre Crenshaw were classmates at Antelope Valley HS in Lancaster. Husky freshman DL Chris Robinson and Oregon's Javes Lewis both went to Tustin (Calif.) High and UW TB Willie Griffin attended Oakland's McClymonds High along with Oregon's NaDerris Ward. Husky DT De'Shon Matthews and Duck LB Bryson Littlejohn are both grads of Laguna Creek HS in Sacramento while Husky TB Curtis Shaw and Oregon's Dewitt Stuckey both attended Lincoln High in Stockton, Calif. Lastly, the UW's Mykenna Ikehara and Anthony Tokunaga both attended Kamehameha in Honolulu, as did Oregon's Pono Kam.
DAWGS AND THE NORTHWEST: Washington's oldest and longest rivalries are against the other three other northwest Pac-10 schools. The Huskies have faced Washington State 101 times, Oregon in 101 games and Oregon State on 92 occasions. Washington owns the advantage in all three series. The Huskies lead the Ducks 58-38-5, Washington State 64-31-6 and Oregon State 57-32-4. Combined, Washington has a 179-101-15 (.632) record against its northwest rivals. Washington has played all three of the Northwest teams in a season on 80 prior occasions. Over those 80 seasons in which Oregon, OSU and WSU were all on the UW schedule, the Dawgs have swept all three 28 times. In the meantime, the Huskies have lost to all three in the same season on only seven occasions.
DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS: Dating back to 1947 (which is as far back as UW game-by-game records go), Washington had never scored a defensive TD in three straight games until this year. Four games ago at Stanford, safety Justin Glenn picked up a backwards pass and returned the fumble 51 yards for a touchdown. The following week at Notre Dame, Desmond Trufant scored on a similar play, returning a loose lateral 17 yards for a score. Against Arizona, linebacker Mason Foster notched an interception when a pass bounced off the receiver's feet and ran it back 37 yards for a game-winning touchdown. The streak ended at ASU.
THIRD-DOWN & RED-ZONE SUCCESS: One hallmark of the current season for the UW has been its success on third down and in the red zone. The Huskies currently rank fifth in the nation with a third-down conversion rate of 51.43 percent (54-of-105). Their 54 successful conversions are the fourth-most of any team in the country. In the red zone, Washington has scored 20 of 23 times this season, with only a lost fumble, an interception and a loss of downs marring a perfect record. On defense, the Huskies have had remarkable red-zone success. While opponents have scored in 27 of 34 attempts, they've been held to a field goal on 15 of those 27 scores, meaning that opponents have scored a touchdown on only 12 of 34 (.353) trips inside the UW 20-yard line.
PLAYING THE FRESHMEN: Washington has utilized a total of 10 true freshmen this season as TB Demitrius Bronson, DE Talia Crichton, S Nate Fellner, CB Anthony Gobern, WR James Johnson, DE Andru Pulu, TB Cole Sager, DT Semisi Tokolahi, CB Desmond Trufant and LB Jordan Wallace have all seen action this year. Among that group, Crichton, Johnson, Trufant and Fellner have all started at least one game. Last season, a school-record 12 true freshman played for the Huskies, with nine of them starting at least one game. This season's total of 10 betters the total number of nine true freshmen who played in 2003 and in 2000 and matches the second-highest total in school history - 1997, when the UW also utilized 10 freshmen.
CAPTAINS: At the "Raise the Woof!" kickoff celebration held on Aug. 28, the four captains for the 2009 season, as voted by their teammates, were revealed. They are senior LB Donald Butler (Sacramento, Calif.), junior QB Jake Locker (Ferndale, Wash.), senior DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (Waikoloa, Hawai'i) and junior C Ryan Tolar (Pasco, Wash.). Te'o-Nesheim was also voted as a season captain in 2008.
PLAYING AT HOME: Washington has gone unbeaten at home 13 times in its history, including six times in the last 20 seasons. Washington has won 82 of its last 124 (.665) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (82-41-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 130-52-2 (.712) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 51-29-1 (.636) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 opponents.
HISTORIC HUSKY STADIUM: The 2009 season marks the 90th 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 347-164-21 (.672).
RANDOM NOTES: Washington's roster includes player from 14 different states (based on where the player completed high school): Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawai'i, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington ... Washington has a long tradition of great Polynesian players; this year's roster includes 18 players of Samoan, Tongan or Hawai'ian descent: Kalani Aldrich, Jonathan Amosa, Talia Crichton, Cameron Elisara, Johri Fogerson, Ronnie Fouch, Mykenna Ikehara, Senio Kelemete, Kimo Makaula, Andru Pulu, Alameda Ta'amu, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Everrette Thompson, Tobias Togi, Semisi Tokolahi, Anthony Tokunaga, Trenton Tuiasosopo and Nate Williams ... the UW roster includes three players with brothers currently in the NFL: Desmond Trufant (Marcus/Seahawks), Jordan Wallace (C.J./Seahawks) and Erik Folk (Nick/Cowboys).