Aug. 30, 2004
The Game: The Washington football team kicks off the 2004 season Sunday, September 5, when the Huskies play host to Fresno State in a 2:30 p.m. (PDT) game at Husky Stadium. Last season, the Bulldogs posted a 9-5 overall record and a 6-2 Western Athletic Conference mark. Their season included wins over both Oregon State and UCLA from the Pac-10. The meeting will mark only the second time in history that these two West Coast teams have met and will be the first Sunday game in Husky football history. After the Fresno State game, the Huskies (6-6 overall, 4-4 in the Pac-10 in 2003) have a week off before hosting UCLA in the Pac-10 opener Sept. 18 at Husky Stadium. Trips to Notre Dame (Sept. 25) and Stanford (Oct. 2) follow the game against the Bruins. Huskies vs. Bulldogs History: Surprisingly enough for two teams from the West Coast, Washington and Fresno State have met only one time in their history. Sept. 29, 1979, at Husky Stadium, the No. 9-ranked Huskies beat Fresno State, 49-14, in what many in the press (as well as Coach Don James) regarded as a lackluster UW performance, final score nonwithstanding. Washington, fresh from a come-from-behind 21-17 win the previous week vs. Oregon in Eugene (the UW scored on a 53-yard punt return with 1:59 left to win 21-17) had moved into the top 10 for the first time in the Don James era when the unranked Bulldogs came to Husky Stadium. After quarterback Tom Porras got the UW on the board with a nine-yard TD run 2:48 into the first quarter, Fresno State replied with a 73-yard touchdown drive that was helped along by a converted fourth down and a 40-yard pass interference penalty. Ken Lovely scored on a one-yard run to cap the drive. On the ensuing kickoff, UW return man Anthony Allen was tackled in the endzone for a safety and Fresno (which had missed its PAT) led 8-7. Late in the opening quarter, the Bulldogs made it 14-7 when Gary Kaiser hit James Terry on a 20-yard pass. However, Washington would go on to score 42 unanswered points, including 21 in the second quarter, to roll to the win. Mike Lansford hit two field goals, the UW got scoring runs from Toussaint Tyler (3 yards), Joe Steele (69 yards) and Willis Ray Mackay (1 yard) and two TD passes (Tom Porras to Paul Skansi, 23 yards; Tom Flick to Steele, 5 yards) to account for their total. Steele finished with 133 rushing yards on 14 carries while Porras passed 11-for-16 for 158 yards and one TD. For the Bulldogs, Lovely ran for 83 yards on 24 tries while Kaiser was 10-for-27 for 197 yards and a TD to go with five interceptions. Incidentally, future Fresno star Henry Ellard, only a freshman in 1979, had two punt returns for 51 yards. Orange Bowl Team Remembered: Washington's 1984 team, which won the 1985 Orange Bowl vs. Oklahoma, will be honored as part of Saturday's game as the "Husky Legend". The day will also include special recognition for that team's defensive coordinator, Jim Lambright. Lambright, a former Husky player and longtime assistant coach, went on to serve as the UW head coach from 1993 to 1998. Sunday Opener: In an unusual turn, the Huskies will open the 2004 season on a Sunday, having moved their opener back by one day so that their matchup vs. Fresno State can air live to a nationwide audience on Fox Sports Net. The fact that the NFL doesn't get its season underway until the following weekend allowed for the move. The obvious question -- has Washington ever played a game on a Sunday? The answer is no. At some point in their history, the Huskies have played a game on every day of the week other than Sunday, many of those non-Saturday contests coming in bowl-game action. In the early years of UW football, games on Thursday and Friday were not at all uncommon. On two occasions, 1961 and 1978, the Huskies played in the Rose Bowl on January 2, as those two years, New Year's Day fell on Sunday. Incidentally, the last time the UW opened a season on a day other than Saturday was in 1999, when the Huskies traveled to Brigham Young for a Thursday night ESPN game and fell to the Cougars, 35-28. Television: The Washington-Fresno State game will air live on Fox Sports Net to a national audience with Barry Tompkins and Petros Papadakis calling the action. The game will also re-air Monday, Sept. 6 at noon on Fox Sports Northwest. During the season, all Husky games will air on tape delay Sundays at 3:00 p.m. The lone exception is the Stanford game, which will be shown at 5:00 p.m on Oct. 3. Additionally, "Husky Football Experience" airs each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. during the season on Fox Sports. The third-year, two-time Emmy-winning 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 four different states on 25 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. Washington-Fresno State Ties: Members of the UW and Fresno State coaches staffs have run into one another a few times over their various careers. Husky offensive line coach Charlie Dickey was a graduate assistant at Arizona in 1988, the same season that Bulldogs' associate head coach John Baxter worked on the Wildcats staff. Fresno defensive coordinator Dan Brown coached at Boise State along with Husky assistants Phil Snow and Scott Pelluer while Bulldogs secondary coach Randy Stewart played at Boise when Snow coached there and then coached with Snow and Pelluer. Fresno State offensive line coach Mark Weber coached at UCLA the last seven seasons, spending time on the same staff as Snow and Husky receivers coach Steve Axman at one time or another. Fresno linebackers coach Tom Mason crew up in Walla Walla, played and coached at Walla Walla CC and also coached at Eastern Washington While Fresno State has no Washingtonians on its roster, there are some ties between the Bulldog and Husky players. Most notably, FSU sophomore receiver Paul Williams is a younger brother of former Husky Curtis Williams. Husky sophomore tailback Kenny James prepped at Dos Palos High near Fresno, the alma mater of Bulldogs defensive lineman Cole Powers. Fresno State defensive tackle Amitoelau Faalevao and UW defensive end Mike Mapuolesega are both from Pago Pago, American Samoa. Former Husky Robin Kezirian is a backup center for the Bulldogs after having transferred from the UW. Husky freshman Dan Howell and Bulldog newcomers Sean Norton and Kevin Ciccone were classmates at Hart High in Newhall, Calif., and also played with offensive guard Chris Piligian, who is a year old than the other three. UW tailback Louis Rankin and FSU receiver Justin Belcher and linebacker Anthony Robinson all attended Lincoln High in Stockton, Calif., at the same time. Finally, Husky lineman Robin Meadow and FSU cornerback Damon Jenkins both graduated from Bay Area football powerhouse De La Salle High School. Home Openers: The Huskies are 83-24-5 in home openers (whether the first game of the season or not), a percentage of .763. 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. Last year, Washington opened the home slate with a 38-13 win over Indiana after having beaten San Jose State in 2002. In 2001, the Huskies opened vs. No. 10 Michigan, beating the Wolverines, 23-18, in a mild upset. Husky coach Keith Gilbertson is 6-2 as a head coach in home openers. Gilbertson was 3-0 in home openers at Idaho, 2-2 at California and is 1-0 at the UW. He had won his first five in a row before losing to Hawaii, 21-7, in the Bears' 1994 home opener. Season Openers: Washington is 79-29-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .719. Since 1989, Washington has posted a 9-5 record in season openers -- 5-0 at home and 4-5 on the road. In that 14-season span, the Huskies have opened vs. a ranked team eight 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) and at No. 2 Ohio State last year (L, 28-9). Home vs. Non Conference: Washington has been very tough to beat in home, non-conference games over the last couple of decades or so. Going back to (and including) the 1981 season, the Huskies have posted a 45-6 record against non-Pac-10 foes in Husky Stadium. Those five losses have come to Nevada (2003), Air Force (1999), Nebraska (1997), Notre Dame (1995), Colorado (1989) and Oklahoma State (1985). The wins during that stretch include victories over No. 11 Michigan in 2001, No. 4 Miami in 2000, and No. 12 Nebraska in 1992, to name just three. Prior to last year's loss to Nevada, Washington hadn't lost a home game to a non-league opponent since falling to Air Force, 31-21, on September 18, 1999. The Huskies had won 10 such games before last season's loss. First-Time QB Starters: No matter who starts the season opener vs. Fresno State at quarterback, the Husky signalcaller will be making his first career start under center. While Isaiah Stanback started three games at wide receiver last year, he's never started at QB. Neither have the UW's two other contenders, Casey Paus (who finished fall camp as the front-runner) and Carl Bonnell. In 2001, Cody Pickett became the first opening-day starting quarterback without a previous career start since 1996. Here's a look at the Huskies' new opening day starters and their performance in that first game, as well as other notable UW quarterbacks' first career starts (that didn't come in season openers):
Name Yr. Date Opponent A-C-I-Yds-TD Result Cody Pickett So. 9/8/01 Michigan 22-13-0-199-0 W, 23-18 Shane Fortney Jr. 9/7/96 at Arizona St. 17-8-0-96-1 L, 42-45 Damon Huard So. 9/4/93 Stanford 23-14-0-174-3 W, 31-14 Billy Joe Hobert So. 9/7/91 at Stanford 31-21-1-244-2 W, 42-7 Mark Brunell So. 9/8/90 San Jose St. 27-7-1-66-1 W, 20-17 Cary Conklin Jr. 9/10/88 at Purdue 18-5-3-57-1 W, 20-6 Hugh Millen Jr. 9/8/84 Northwestern 23-11-1-103-0 W, 26-0 Tim Cowan Jr. 9/12/81 Pacific 17-12-2-168-1 W, 34-14 Tom Porras Jr. 9/9/78 UCLA 15-9-2-89-1 L, 7-10 Warren Moon So. 9/13/75 at Arizona St. 23-12-0-121-0 L, 12-35 Other Husky QBs in their first-career starts: Name Yr. Date Opponent A-C-I-Yds-TD Result M. Tuiasosopo Fr. 11/8/97 Oregon 30-15-1-261-1 L, 28-31 Brock Huard RFr. 9/21/96 Arizona 31-20-1-311-3 W, 31-17 Chris Chandler So. 11/16/85 USC 32-19-0-197-2 W, 20-17 Steve Pelluer So. 9/26/81 at Oregon 17-10-0-75-0 W, 17-3 Tom Flick So. 11/25/78 at Wash. St. 6-4-1-65-2 W, 38-8 Sonny Sixkiller So. 9/19/70 Michigan St. 35-16-3-276-3 W, 42-16 Bob Schloredt So. 10/18/58 at UCLA 3-0-1-0-0 L, 0-20 Don Heinrich So. 9/17/49 Utah 7-2-1-25-0 W, 14-7
E.T. Headed Up The Charts: Senior wide receiver Charles "E.T." Frederick has already placed his name on several pages of the UW record book. Most notably, he broke the UW's single-game all-purpose yards record last year at Oregon State, when he compiled 371 to break Hugh McElhenny's 53-year old record. But, he certainly won't stop there. Frederick, who has led the UW in punt returns for three straight season and led the Pac-10 in that category last year, already appears on a number of the UW's single-game, single-season and career top-10 lists and is within striking distance of others. Here's a look at the season and career top-10 lists on which E.T. already appears and others he's likely to crack in 2004:
Category Current Total Current Rank UW Record Season Kickoff Returns 30 (2002) 1st 30 Career Kickoff Returns 58 3rd 64 Season Kickoff Return Yards 601 (2002) 3rd 748 Career 50-Yard Receptions 3 4th 8 Career Kick Return Yards 1,093 4th 1,532 Career Punt Return Yards 688 5th 1,086 Season Receiving Yards 831 (2003) 7th 1,454 Season Punt Return Yards 340 (2003) 7th 593 Career Punt Return Average 11.3 7th 13.6 Career Punt Returns 61 t-7th 112 Season Receptions 59 (2003) 8th 94 Career All-Purpose Yards 3,289 10th 5,832 Career Receptions 104 11th 243 Career Receiving Yards 1,482 13th 3,598
Khalif's Starts: Senior offensive tackle has a chance to perform the rare feat of serving as a true four-year starter if he makes a start in each game this season. Barnes, who originally came to the UW as a defensive lineman and only switched sides at the end of his true-freshman season, has started every game for the Huskies over the last three seasons, 37 in all (counting bowls). If he were to start every game this season, he'd become the first lineman in UW history to start every game of four straight seasons. The closest any Husky offensive lineman has ever come was when Chad Ward started all but three games between 1997 and 2000 (including his last 45 in a row). D.J.'s Picks: Senior cornerback Derrick Johnson has been an everyday starter each of the last two seasons. Along with the three starts he made as a true freshman in 2000 (he redshirted the 2001 season with an injury), Johnson has made 27 career starts and has 11 interceptions to show for it. Two years ago, he had five picks. Last year, he upped that total to six. If that progression continues, he has a shot at the UW's long-standing career interceptions record as he is seven shy of Al Worley's school record of 18, set between 1966 and 1968. Johnson's 11 career picks (he didn't have any in 2000), currently rank as seventh-most in school history. One more will tie him for sixth on the UW season list and only two more will bump him up to a tie for third. His six interceptions last year were eighth-most in Husky history and most since Walter Bailey made eight picks in 1991. Last year, Johnson broke one of Worley's less well-known records by intercepting a pass in four straight games. Worley had streaks of three straight on two occasions in 1968 when he intercepted an NCAA record 14 passes, a mark that still stands. 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. Zach Tuiasosopo, Trenton Tuiasosopo and Kim Taylor are all cousins. Zach's older brother, Marques, was a UW quarterback (1997-2000) and his older sister, Leslie, was a standout Husky volleyball player and now an assistant coach for the UW volleyball team. Redshirt freshman Craig Chambers' older brother, Richie, was a starting linebacker for the Dawgs in the 1990s. Sophomore cornerback Matt Fountaine's older brother, Jamal, was a four-year letterman defensive lineman in the early 1990s at the UW. Kicker Evan Knudson is a half-brother of former Husky punter Channing Wyles. Outside linebacker Evan Benjamin's older sister, Paige, was an All-America volleyball player for the Huskies while sophomore guard Jason Benn's older brother Kyle, a center for the Dawgs from 1998-2001, is now a graduate assistant coach. Finally, redshirt freshman Chris Rohrbach is the son of former UW linebacker Mike Rohrbach, who was a captain on the Huskies' 1977 Pac-10 champion team. Band's 75th Anniversary: This year, the Husky Marching Band celebrates its 75th anniverary. An official weekend of celebration will take place Sept. 17 and 18 and will be centered around that weekend's game vs. UCLA (Sept. 18, 4:00 p.m.). The band is inviting all former band and cheer squad members back to join in the celebration and festivities. The weekend-ong celebration will kick off on Friday, Sept. 17 with a golf tournament at Trilogy Golf Course in Redmond. That evening, alumni will gather at the Gala Celebration Banquet to be held at the Seattle Sheraton Downtown Seattle. Saturday will give all alumni one more chance to take the field as all attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the pregame and halftime show when the Huskies take on UCLA. The day's events will conclude with a post-game reception in the Founder's Club of the Husky Hall of Fame located in the Bank of America Arena. Accomodation, ticket and transporation packages are available by calling (206) 543-7557.