UW To Head To SEC Country For First Time In 29 Years
Sept. 3, 2012
THE GAME: The Washington football team (1-0) travels to face LSU (1-0) this Saturday, the first time the Huskies have played a road game in the Southeastern Conference since the UW visited Baton Rouge in 1983. The Huskies did, however, open the Steve Sarkisianera vs. the Tigers in Seattle in 2009. LSU enters the week ranked No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' poll while holding down the No. 3 spot in the AP Top 25 (new polls this week won't be released until Tuesday due to games on Sunday and Monday). Washington received votes in both preseason polls, earning the No. 26 spot from the coaches and No. 27 in the AP. Kickoff at Tiger Stadium is set for 6:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. PT, and the game will air live on ESPN television. Washington opened the 2012 season last Saturday night at CenturyLink Field in Seattle by beating San Diego State, 21-12. In Baton Rouge, LSU handled North Texas, 41-14, in its opener last Saturday. Following the trip to LSU, the Huskies return home for their next two games. The Dawgs host Portland State on Sept. 15 (FX television) and then take on Stanford in a Thursday night, ESPN game on Sept. 27.
QUICK SNAPS: Washington had six true freshmen see action in the season-opener last Saturday vs. San Diego State: LS Ryan Masel, WR Jaydon Mickens, WR Kendyl Taylor, S Shaq Thompson, DE Pio Vatuvei and TB Erich Wilson II ... both Mickens and Thompson started the game ... sophomore TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins set a new career-high with nine receptions vs. SDSU, while quarterback Keith Price set a new career-high for completions, with 25 ... at one stretch early in the SDSU game, Price completed 12 straight passes ... he remains the most accurate passer in UW history ... junior CB Tre Watson, a former walkon transfer from Central Washington University, was awarded a scholarship prior to the season opener ... he started the SDSU game and had a 34-yard interception on the first drive of the game ... a total of 16 players made their UW debut vs. San Diego State, including starters Travis Feeney, Watson, Thompson and Mickens.
TELEVISION:The Washington-LSU game will air live to a national audience on ESPN with Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (color) and Holly Rowe (sidelines) providing the commentary. The game will also be available on other ESPN platforms, including (depending on a number of variables particular to each viewer) espn3.com and the Watch ESPN app.
RADIO:The Washington IMG College Network, with its flagship station KJR 950-AM/102.9 FM, 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 game will also air nationally on Dial Global Sports (formerly Westwood One) with Chuck Cooperstein and Tony Boselli on the call. The LSU broadcast of the game will also air on Sirius (94) and XM (199) satellite radio.
VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDELINE: While the Huskies' full-time coaching staff doesn't include any UW graduates, nearly all of them have some tie to the state or to the Northwest and a surprising number have actually played for their alma mater against the Dawgs. Head man Steve Sarkisian's only loss in a 14-1 season as a senior at BYU in 1996 came to the UW at Husky Stadium. New defensive coaches Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon both faced the Huskies during their playing careers at Oregon from 1996 to 1999. Former Washington State linebacker Johnny Nansen, now the Huskies' recruiting coordinator and special teams coach, was on the opposite sideline for several Apple Cups in the early-to-mid 1990s and new defensive backs coach Keith Heyward played in a few barnburners vs. the UW for Oregon State from 1997 to 2000. More recently, defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi squared off with the Huskies during his time as a d-lineman at California at the start of the last decade. And while neither offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto nor running backs coach Joel Thomas ever faced Washington during their careers at Idaho, both grew up in the Evergreen State. Finally, new offensive coordinator Eric Kiesauhas also never played against Washington, but did play his college football just across the border at Portland State.
HUSKIES vs. TIGERS HISTORY: Washington and LSU have played one another just twice in their histories, with LSU winning both. On Sept. 24, 1983, an unranked Tigers squad handed ninth-ranked Washington a 40-14 defeat in front of 82,390 fans (largest in LSU history to that point) in Baton Rouge. The Huskies entered the game 2-0 after a shutout of Northwestern and a thrilling, 25-24, win over Michigan in Seattle. LSU took a 17-3 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back, leading 34-7 before the Huskies' second TD early in the fourth. The Huskies couldn't get the ball moving on the ground with RB Jacque Robinson as they netted just 28 yards rushing for the game. The Huskies did find out though that they could move on the Tigers through the air, but every time the Huskies got a drive going, out came a penalty flag, as they where whistled for nine penalties for 107 yards. LSU's "Dalton-James" gang (Dalton Hilliard and Garry James) combined to rush for 226 yards and sophomore QB Jeff Wickersham added a career-high 259 passing yards and a touchdown . Wickersham also recorded two more touchdowns running the ball, both of them on play-action rollouts. His 259 yards passing were the second most in LSU school history. Washington's two scores came on a two-yard run by Robinson, which made the score 10-7 LSU, and when Steve Pelluer scored on a one-yard QB sneak four minutes into the fourth quarter, cutting the Tigers lead to 34-14 at that point. Pelluer connected on 27-of-42 passes for a career-high 312 yards. In 2009, the Steve Sarkisian era opened when 11th-ranked LSU visited Husky Stadium for the season opener. In what was mostly a tight game, LSU pulled away for a 31-23 win. Jordan Jefferson threw for three TDs, including two to Terrance Toliver, to lead the way for the visitors. Washington's Jake Locker passed for 321 yards and two scores on 25-of-45 passing. Chris Polkrushed for 90 yards in the loss.
HUSKIES vs. SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE:Washington has played only five of the 14 current SEC teams. In a total of 11 meetings, three were in bowl games and three more were vs. Texas A&M prior to the Aggies moving to their new conference. In those 11 games, the Huskies are 2-9. Here's the breakdown: 0-4 vs. Alabama; 1-0 vs. Florida; 0-1 vs. Mississippi State; 0-2 vs. LSU; 1-2 vs. Texas A&M.
WASHINGTON-LSU TIES: Unsurprisingly for two teams so far apart, there isn't much crossover between the UW and LSU football rosters and coaching staffs. However, UW athletic director Scott Woodward is a Baton Rouge native, LSU graduate and former administrator at LSU while Cheryl Taplin, UW coach Steve Sarkisian's assistant, was a three-time NCAA champion and 16-time All-America sprinter at LSU. None of the members of the two coaching staffs have ever served on a staff together, though several LSU coaches were at Tennessee in the years just prior to the arrival of current UW defensive coaches Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon, who spent the last two years at UT. As far as players go, there are none from Louisiana on the UW roster, but there is one Washingtonian on the LSU squad: RS-Fr. FB Devante Meullion, who went to Chief Sealth. He is, in fact, the only player from anywhere west of Texas on the LSU roster. The Huskies' roster is, no surprise, dominated by players from the west coast. The only player from anywhere near LSU is Georgia native Antavius Sims.