Pac-10 Football Media Day Notes
Aug. 1, 2000
Upcoming Schedule: Washington's newcomers report to the UW campus next Tue., Aug. 8. The freshmen will workout for the first time on Wed., Aug. 9. The UW veterans return to campus officially on Fri., Aug. 11, when the team travels to the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. The next morning, the team begins workouts at Evergreen State. Washington will hold morning and afternoon practices each day (specific times TBA) before concluding the fall camp with a scrimmage on Sat., Aug. 19. The Dawgs will then return to campus, where they will practice at Husky Stadium. The annual Picture Day will take place Aug. 26 at Husky Stadium. Gates open for the general public at noon.The season opener is Sept. 2 at 12:30 p.m. against Idaho at Husky Stadium.
Head Coach Rick Neuheisel: Husky head coach Rick Neuheisel is in his second year at the helm of the Washington program. Last season, Neuheisel led the Huskies to a 7-5 overall mark, a second-place tie (6-2) in the Pac-10 and a trip to the Culligan Holiday Bowl. In doing so, Neuheisel became the first UW football coach to go to a bowl game in his first season in charge. Prior to coming to Washington, he served four seasons as the head coach at Colorado, posting a 33-14 (.702) overall mark with the Buffaloes. His career record, in five total seasons, is 40-19 (.678). Neuheisel worked for six seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, UCLA, before joining Bill McCartney's Colorado staff in 1994 as the quarterbacks coach. Originally a walkon at UCLA, Neuheisel won the starting quarterback position as a senior and led the Bruins to the 1983 Pac-10 championship. He was named the MVP of the 1984 Rose Bowl that saw UCLA defeat Illinois, 45-9. Washington fans remember Neuheisel's tremendous performance in Husky Stadium when he completed 25 of 27 passes to set an NCAA record that was only recently broken by Tennessee's Tee Martin. Neuheisel, a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, still holds the Bruins' single-season (69.3) and career (68.3) completion percentage records.
Coaching Staff: Eight of the nine members of Rick Neuheisel's first assistant coaching staff are back for 2000. The only change was the departure of former offensive coordinator and receivers coach Karl Dorrell, who left the UW to join the Denver Broncos' staff. To make up for the change, Keith Gilbertson was named offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, while Steve Axman added assistant head coach and wide receivers coach to his duties as quarterbacks coach. The new man on the staff is Brent Myers, who will coach the offensive line. The UW coaching staff includes eight coaches that have served as coordinators and two (Gilbertson and Axman) that have been head coaches. Gilbertson served as the head man at Idaho (1986-88) and California (1992-95) while Axman was the coach at Northern Arizona from 1990 to 1997. Axman also once served as offensive coordinator at UCLA. Defensive coordinator Tim Hundley was been a coordinator at Oregon State and Idaho while defensive line coach Randy Hart was the defensive coordinator at UW from 1995-98. Special teams and safeties coach Bobby Hauck headed up the special teams at Colorado before coming to Seattle while Chuck Heater (cornerbacks/recruiting) was the defensive coordinator at Colorado State (1991-92). Myers was offensive coordinator at Northern Arizona under Axman and spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator at Boise State. Tom Williams, who oversees the outside linebackers at Washington, was the defensive coordinator at Hawai'i for one season. Running backs coach Wayne Moses, the only UW alumnus on the staff ('77), has spent the majority of his career as a running backs coach.
New Field: Washington, after spending the last 32 years playing on AstroTurf at Husky Stadium, will play on a brand new surface in 2000. The Husky Stadium AstroTurf has been replaced by FieldTurf, a synthetic sports surface that duplicates the playing conditions of real grass. The field was installed in July, thanks to a gift from the Seattle Seahawks, who will share Husky Stadium for the next two seasons. Over the last few years, FieldTurf has been installed in a number of stadiums, most notably Memorial Stadium at the University of Nebraska, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Tropicana Field. Washington, along with Tennessee, was one of the first two college football programs to install AstroTurf in 1968. Cross-state rival Washington State has also installed FieldTurf during the off-season.
Sharing With the Seahawks: The Seattle Seahawks will play the 2000 and 2001 seasons at Husky Stadium while their new stadium is constructed on the site of the old Kingdome, which was imploded last spring. The Seahawks open their exhibition season this Sat., Aug. 5, against the Indianapolis Colts. In 1996, the Seahawks played two exhibition games and four regular-season games at Husky Stadium while repairs were made to the ceiling of the Kingdome. The Seahawks will play two preseason games and eight regular season games (plus any home playoff action) on the UW campus in each of the next two seasons.
Preseason Pundits: Washington has been fairly highly regarded in the various preseason college football preview magazines, ranging from a national ranking as high as No. 8 (Athlon's) to No. 21 (Preview Publications). Here's a rundown of where the various magazines rated the UW, with national ranking, Pac-10 place, preseason All-Americans and all-conference players:
Magazine Rank Pac-10 Preseason All-America Preseason All-Pac-10 Athlon's # 8 1st Vontoure (2nd), Anderson (3rd) Ward, Vontoure, Anderson Lindy's #14 1st none Tuiasosopo*, Ward, Triplett, Akbar Preview Pub. #21 2nd Ward (2nd) Tuiasosopo, Ward, Vontoure Sporting News #16 2nd Ward (2nd), Akbar (2nd) Tuiasosopo, Ward, Akbar, Arnold (KR) Street/Smith's #19 2nd Akbar (2nd) Tuiasosopo, Ward, Akbar * Lindy's picked Tuiasosopo as preseason offensive player of the year
Decade & Century Honors: Lindy's preseason magazine named a Pac-10 Team of the Decade and of the Century, and former Washington star Steve Emtman figured prominently. Emtman, who won both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award and finished fourth in the 1991 Heisman Trophy ballotting, was named the Defensive Player of the Decade and Century. The other Husky to make the All-Century first team was George Wilson (1923-35), who was listed as a defensive back. Back Hugh McElhenny and lineman Max Starcevich made the Pac-10 All-Century second team. Besides Emtman, three Huskies made the All-Decade first team (tailback Napoleon Kaufman, offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy, free safety Lawyer Milloy) and four made the second (receiver Mario Bailey, center Olin Kreutz, defensive end Jason Chorak and inside linebacker Dave Hoffmann). Emtman was also named to the Walter Camp All-Century first team.
Aussie Rules: Junior receiver Ja'Warren Hooker will probably have to rely on internet access in the Olympic Village this fall to follow his Husky football teammates' successes. Hooker, the 2000 Pac-10 champion in the 100 and 200 meters, was named to the 4x400 relay squad for the United States Olympic Team in July and will join the U.S. squad in Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games. Hooker finished seventh in the 400-meter finals at the Olympic Trials, but was selected to six-man relay team. Hooker sat out the 1999 football season to concentrate on track and it's very unlikely he would play this fall after his return from Sydney, though he may practice. In two football seasons (1997-98), Hooker caught 15 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a total of seven kick returns for 249 yards and a touchdown.
A New Millenium: On Nov. 4, when Washington takes on Arizona at Husky Stadium, the Huskies will play the 1,000th game in the school's history. Only 39 Division I teams will enter the 2000 season having played 1,000 games. Through 992 games so far, Washington has an all-time record of 606-336-50 (.636) and is one of only 18 teams with 600 or more all-time wins.
Squad Breakdown: Washington returns a total of 52 letterwinners (26 offense, 23 defense, 3 kickers/punters) from last season's squad, while 26 letterwinners (16 offense, 10 defense) have departed. Officially, eight offensive and seven defensive starters return in 2000, as well as both the starting kicker (John Anderson) and punter (Ryan Fleming). On offense, the returning starters include QB Marques Tuiasosopo, TB Willie Hurst, SE Chris Juergens, TE Jerramy Stevens and offensive linemen Kyle Benn (C), Rock Nelson (G), Elliot Silvers (T) and Chad Ward (T). Also back on the offense is FB Pat Conniff, who started six games in 1999. The defense sees the return of NT Larry Tripplett, OLB Jeremiah Pharms, OLB Jafar Williams, ILB Derrell Daniels, SS Hakim Akbar, FS Curtis Williams and CB Anthony Vontoure.
Experience by the Numbers: With 52 returning lettermen and 17 returning starters, it's clear that the 2000 Washington squad is experienced. To further illustrate that point, consider: the players that accounted for all but one pass thrown last year return in 2000. Between them, Marques Tuiasosopo and Cody Pickett threw 299 passes, while wideout Dane Looker threw one. Five of Washington's six top rushers are back in 2000 and returning players accounted for 1,636 of the UW's 2,087 rushing yards last year (78.4 percent). The receiving corps is a bit less experienced as returners accounted for 1,245 of the UW's 2,276 receiving yardage last season (54.7 percent). On the defensive side, returning players compiled 543 of Washington's 728 total tackles (74.6 percent) and 11 of 14 interceptions (78.6 percent). Between them, Washington returning players have started a total of 178 career games entering the coming season, not counting "starts" by punter Ryan Fleming (22) and kicker John Anderson (11).
Tuiasosopo: In his first full season as a starter in 1999, Marques Tuiasosopo made a name for himself with his passing, his running and his big-play abilities. Perhaps his most notable moment came in the Huskies' 35-30 win over Stanford on Oct. 30, when he became the first player in NCAA history to rush for more than 200 yards (207) and pass for more than 300 yards (302) in a single game, and all after having suffered a deep bruise to his buttocks on the Huskies' first offensive series of the day. His 509 yards of total offense set a new school record and marked the fourth-best total offense day in Pac-10 history. Tuiasosopo would go on to set a new UW single-season record with 2,762 yards of total offense while his 2,221 passing yards were the fifth-most in Washington history. He was named second-team All-Pac-10 and was named the national player of the week by several different organizations after his performance vs. Stanford.
1999 Honors: A rundown of some of Washington's more notable postseason honors in 1999 (returning players only) -- PK John Anderson was named a first-team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News, and was named to the All-Pac-10 team by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Tacoma News-Tribune and Football News ... SS Hakim Akbar was named second-team All-Pac-10 ... P Ryan Fleming and SE Chris Juergens were both named Region VIII Academic All-America ... TE Jerramy Stevens earned second-team honors on The Sporting News Freshman All-America team ... NT Larry Tripplett was second-team All-Pac-10 ... QB Marques Tuiasosopo earned second-team All-Pac-10 and was a first-teamer, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune and Football News ... the News-Tribune tabbed him as the Pac-10 Offensive MVP ... CB Anthony Vontoure was a Football News All-Pac-10 first-teamer ... OT Chad Ward picked up second-team All-Pac-10 honors.
Position Changes: Several Huskies have made position changes during the off-season. Here are the most notable of those: Chad Ward, a starter at offensive guard each of the last three seasons, is expected to begin the 2000 season as a starting tackle ... starter Larry Tripplett moves from nose tackle to defensive tackle ... Jafar Williams, who started as an outside linebacker last year, moves to the inside in 2000 ... Levi Madarieta, a regular player as a backup at strong safety last season, has moved to outside linebacker this season ... Wondame Davis, who started three games at cornerback in 1998 and was a regular reserve in the defensive backfield last year, has switched sides to play split end in 2000 ... returning starters Hakim Akbar and Curtis Williams have switched spots, Akbar is now a free safety and Williams is the strong safety ... Ben Mahdavi, a reserve fullback last year, has moved to inside linebacker.
Who's Missing: Several UW players have left the team for various reasons since last spring. Here's a rundown of who and why: flanker Manuel Austin (knee injury), offensive lineman Adis Davtyan (transfer to Portland State), defensive tackle Nick Feigner (transfer to Weber State), receiver Quentin Morgan (transfer), inside linebacker Derek Noble (transfer to Western Washington), and tailback Maurice Shaw (back injury).
Team of the 1990s: By almost any gauge, Washington was the Pac-10's team of the decade. Washington's 82-35-1 (.700) during the decade was easily the best among the 10 conference schools, 11 wins and .094 ahead of second-place Arizona. With a 58-21-1 Pac-10 (.731) mark, the Huskies also had 11 more league victories than the next nearest conference opponent, UCLA. Washington's overall record in the decade was the 12th-best in Division I. Washington made eight bowl game appearances in the 1990s and won four Pac-10 titles. With an average home attendance of 71,790 during the decade, the UW easily out-distances every other conference school in that category. Husky players earned first-team All-America honors 17 times in the last 10 years and 43 Huskies were first-team all-conference. In addition, Washington linemen won the Pac-10's prestigious Morris Trophy (given to the top offensive and defensive linemen in the league each season) seven times.
Random Notes: When the Huskies open the 2000 season against Idaho at Husky Stadium, it will mark the first time since 1995 that Washington has opened the season at home ... in each of the last four seasons, the Dawgs travelled to begin the year, going 2-2 in such games (1-1 each at Arizona State and at BYU) ... the Huskies have won six straight opening games at home since falling to Oklahoma State, 31-17, to open the 1985 slate ... Washington has also won 13 of its last 14 home openers (whether the first overall game of the season or not) ... the usual UW schedule calls for two non-conference home games and one non-league road game, this year that road game is at Colorado ... during the '90's, Washington went only 4-5 in such games (there was no non-conference road game in '92), but the list of opponents is a strong one: Purdue (1990 win), Nebraska (1991 win and 1998 loss), Ohio State (1993 loss and 1995 loss), Miami (1994 win)Notre Dame (1996 loss) and Brigham Young (1997 win and 1999 loss).
The Schedule & TV Appearences: Once again in 2000, the Huskies will face a rugged schedule, though they do miss preseason co-favorite USC, a scenario that will surely engender plenty of talk up and down the West Coast about the Rose Bowl tie-breaker procedures. Out of conference, the Huskies will have to contend with home games against Idaho and Miami (Fla.), while travelling to Boulder to face Colorado in what will surely be a highly-anticipated game. In the conference, Washington must travel to face perhaps its two biggest rivals -- Oregon and Washington State. Following is a look at the 2000 Washington football schedule with television coverage. More live television dates can be announced during the season as early as six days before each game (but usually two weeks). All UW games will air on tape on Fox Sports Net, Sundays at 3:00 p.m. with Tod Pickett and Sonny Sixkiller calling the action. Here's the schedule (all times Pacific and subject to change):
Date Opponent Time Stadium Television Sept. 2 IDAHO 12:30 p.m. Husky Stadium Sept. 9 MIAMI (FLA.) 12:30 p.m. Husky Stadium ABC (regional) Sept. 16 at Colorado 12:30 p.m. Folsom Field ABC (regional) Sept. 30 at Oregon 12:30 p.m. Autzen Stadium Oct. 7 OREGON STATE 7:00 p.m. Husky Stadium Fox Sports Net Oct. 14 at Arizona State 6:00 p.m. Sun Devil Stadium Oct. 21 CALIFORNIA 3:30 p.m. Husky Stadium Fox Syndicated Oct. 28 at Stanford 2:00 p.m. Stanford Stadium Nov. 4 ARIZONA 12:30 p.m. Husky Stadium Nov. 11 UCLA 4:00 p.m. Husky Stadium ABC (West Coast) Nov. 18 Washington State 2:00 p.m. Martin Stadium