The Game: The Washington football team returns home to Husky Stadium after nearly 18 months away, re-opening the palace on Montlake against Boise State Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. The game will air live to a national audience on the new FOX Sports 1. The Huskies and Broncos, ranked No. 19 in both major preseason polls, will be facing one another for the second straight time as Boise State edged the Dawgs, 28-26, in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas last Dec. 22. The Huskies last played at their home on Nov. 5, 2011. Since then, the 93-year old edifice has undergone a massive renovation with the entire lower bowl, playing field and one of the two upper decks completely rebuilt. The Huskies haven’t played the same opponent in consecutive games since 1927 (when the UW faced the USS Idaho in back-to-back meetings), but they have played a bowl-game opponent in the following season as recently as 2011, when the UW traveled to Nebraska in the third game of the season, having beaten the Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl to end 2010. In 1999, the UW’s second game of the year was vs. Air Force, which had beaten the UW in the 1998 Oahu Bowl. Following the opener, the Dawgs have a week off before traveling to Chicago to face Illinois at Soldier Field. That game airs live on the Big Ten Network and kicks off at 5 p.m. CT/3 p.m. PT.
Season Openers: Washington is 83-34-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .699. Since 1989, Washington has posted an 13-10 record in season openers – 8-1 at home, 5-8 on the road, 0-1 neutral site. Last year, the Huskies beat San Diego State, 21-12, at CenturyLink Field. In 2011, the Huskies beat defending NCAA Division I FCS Champion Eastern Washington, 30-27, for the UW’s first season-opening win since 2007. In the 23-season span dating back to 1989, the Huskies have opened vs. a ranked team 10 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), at No. 21 Oregon in 2008 (L, 44-10) and vs. No. 11 LSU in 2009 (L, 31-23).
Television: The Washington-Boise State game will air live to a national audience on the the new FOX Sports 1 with Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Charles Davis (color) and Kristina Pink (sidelines)providing the commentary. Fans can also watch for time-compressed replays of the game on the Pac-12 Networks in the days afterward (one such replay airs Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.).
Radio: The Washington IMG College Network, with its flagship station KJR 950-AM, will carry the live broadcast of every football game on 18 Northwest radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Damon Huard are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. The UW broadcast of the game will also air on Sirius (110) satellite radio.
Captains: At the Huskies’ annual “Raise the Woof!” preseason celebration, the captains for the 2013 season were unveiled. This season, six captains were selected. On offense, senior quarterback Keith Price (Compton, Calif.), junior tailback Bishop Sankey (Spokane, Wash.) and junior guard Colin Tanigawa (Los Angeles) were honored. On defense, senior safety Sean Parker (Los Angeles), junior linebacker John Timu (Long Beach, Calif.) and junior defensive lineman Hau’oli Kikaha (Laie, Hawai’i) were selected. Price, Parker and Timu were all captains in 2012 as well.