Huskies To Take On UCLA At The Rose Bowl
Oct. 8, 2001
The Washington football team, 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-10, takes on similarly unbeaten UCLA (4-0, 1-0) in a big conference clash of two top-10 teams at the Rose Bowl. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Rose Bowl. The Huskies are ranked No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll and No. 8 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' ranking while the Bruins are the No. 7 pick in both polls. Washington has won its last 12 games, the third-longest current winning streak in Division I-A. The Huskies' streak is their longest since a 22-game streak was broken in week nine of the 1992 season.
Washington's game at Miami, originally scheduled for September 15, was postponed due to the incidents in New York, Boston and Pennsylvania. The game has been rescheduled for November 24, though no game time has yet been determined.
UCLA enjoys a small edge in the series, with 30 wins, 28 losses and two ties in 60 all-time games against Washington. Last season, with a 35-28 win, Washington broke the Bruins' three-game winning streak in the series. UCLA had won games in 1997, 1998 and 1999 to take the series advantage, which, prior to the '97 meeting was tied at 27-27-2. Over the last nine meetings between Washington and UCLA, one or both of the teams has been ranked. Going by ranking alone, the Bruins have managed to upset the Huskies in three of those games -- most notably the 1990 loss at Husky Stadium that knocked aside the UW's national title hopes. In that '90 game, the unranked Bruins handed No. 2 Washington a 25-22 loss. In the next meeting in 1993, 22nd-ranked UCLA beat the 12th-ranked Dawgs, 39-25. The most recent 'upset' was in 1999, when an unranked UCLA team beat No. 22 Washington, 33-20. The only time that Washington and UCLA played each other with both teams ranked in the top 10 (prior to this week's upcoming game) was in 1981, when the Huskies edged the Bruins, 10-7, in Los Angeles. The UW-UCLA series first got underway in 1932, when the Huskies posted the first of four straight shutouts against the Bruins. UCLA got its first win in the series in 1938 with a 13-0 win in L.A.
Washington, as noted earlier, enters the UCLA game on an 12-game win streak, the third longest win streak in the nation. Entering this weekend's games, Oklahoma holds the longest streak with 18 straight wins while Miami (Fla.) has won 13 in a row since losing to Washington last season. Toledo, with five wins this season, has joined the Huskies with an 12-game streak. Washington's 11 wins in a row are the most since the 1990-91-92 Huskies won 22 straight before falling at Arizona in week nine of the 1992 season. The 1984 Huskies won nine straight and the 1981-82 Dawgs won 10 in a row. In 1960, Jim Owens' Huskies won their last eight in a row before opening the '61 season with a loss. Coach Enoch Bagshaw put together two eight-game streaks (1923 and 1926-27) in his tenure. Washington's longest-ever winning streak was under Gilmore Dobie, who never lost in nine seasons as head coach. Dobie (who went 58-0-3 as the UW head man) accounted for 61 of the Sundodgers' games in what is still the NCAA's longest ever unbeaten streak, 63 games. During that stretch, Washington had winning streaks (no ties) of 39 and 12 games.
The Washington-UCLA game will air to a regional audience on ABC television. Keith Jackson (play-by-play), Tim Brant (color) and Todd Harris (sidelines) will provide the call. The game will also air Sunday on Fox Sports Northwest at 3:00 p.m. All Husky games are shown on tape delay the Sunday after the game, with all remaining replays scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
KOMO AM-1000 broadcasts all of the Husky games, serving as the flagship of the 21-station Husky Football Radio Network, which covers nearly all of Washington and parts of Alaska, Oregon and Nevada. Bob Rondeau (play-by-play), Chuck Nelson (color) and Bill Swartz (sidelines) provide the call. Pacific West Sports will also air the game to a national audience with Larry Kahn calling the play-by-play.
Husky head coach Rick Neuheisel is in his third year at the helm of the Washington program. In two-plus seasons, Neuheisel has led the Huskies to an 22-6 overall mark and a 15-3 record in Pac-10 play. Last season, Washington posted an 11-1 overall record, a 7-1 conference mark and shared the Pac-10 Championship. After beating Purdue, 34-24, in the Rose Bowl, the Huskies finished with a No. 3 ranking in the final national polls. In his first season at Washington (1999), 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. Neuheisel became the first Husky coach in history to lead the UW to a bowl game in his first season as head coach. Prior to coming to Washington, Neuheisel served four seasons as the head coach at Colorado, posting a 33-14 (.702) overall mark with the Buffaloes. His career record, in six-plus seasons, is 55-20 (.733). 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 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.
Eight of the nine members of Washington's 2000 coaching staff return for 2001. Seven of the nine have been on the UW staff since Neuheisel's arrival prior to the 1999 season. The only change from last year was the departure of former running backs coach Wayne Moses, who left the UW to join the USC staff. Tony Alford, who spent the last four seasons as running backs coach at Iowa State, was hired to replace Moses. Another loss to the staff was that of graduate assistant coach Tarn Sublett, who largely oversaw the wide receivers last season. Sublett moved to take a full-time job at Idaho. The UW coaching staff includes eight coaches that have served as coordinators and two (Keith Gilbertson and Steve 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 has 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 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.
John Pettas has been named the Huskies' offensive graduate assistant coach and will coach the wide receivers. Pettas replaces Tarn Sublett, who took a full-time job to coach the receivers at Idaho during the offseason. Pettas, a 1974 graduate of Cal Poly-SLO, was the offensive coordinator at Arizona State last year. Prior to the 2000 season, he spent three years as ASU's quarterbacks coach. He has also been an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers (1992-93) and has over 25 years of coaching experience. He also provides the Huskies' coaching staff with yet another coach with coordinator experience. The defensive graduate assistant, in his second season at Washington, is Steve Fex. Fex most recently worked as an assistant at Houston's North Shore High School. In his five and a half years at North Shore, 52 players earned college scholarships, including 30 to Division I schools.
An Impressive Record:
Keith Gilbertson ran his impressive record as Washington's offensive coordinator to 27-1 with the USC win. Prior to last year, when the UW posted an 11-1 record, Gilbertson served as the Huskies' offensive coordinator during the 12-0 1992 season. Under Gilbertson, Washington has averaged 36.3 points per game, including nine games in both 1991 and 2000 with at least 30 points, a feat accomplished only one other time in Husky history (1997). Gilbertson's UW teams have been two of the most prolific in school history, eaching ranking among Washington's top 10 in scoring and total offense per game. The 1991 team tallied 461 points and 471.0 yards per game to rank first in school history in both categories while the 2000 team amassed 353 points and 407.9 yards per game, the seventh and sixth-highest totals, respectively. Gilbertson's 26-1 record as coordinator at Washington includes a 15-0 record in home games and a 2-0 mark in Rose Bowls.
Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel is a graduate of UCLA, spending five seasons with the Bruins including the 1983 season, when he led UCLA to the Rose Bowl, where Neuheisel picked up MVP honors after beating Illinois. Neuheisel also spent one season (1986) as a volunteer assistant at UCLA before becoming a full-time assistant from 1988-93. Several other Husky coaches have also coached at UCLA. Tim Hundley was a linebackers coach for the Bruins for six seasons (1990-95), Steve Axman was the offensive coordinator for two years (1987-88), and Bobby Hauck was a grad assistant in Westwood in 1990-91 before serving as assistant recruiting coordinator in 1992. UCLA head coach Bob Toledo was an assistant at UCLA in 1994 and 1995, which but him on the same staff as Hundley those two years. Bruins assistant Mark Weber and Hundley were also members of the same coaching staff at Oregon State from 1987 to 1990. First-year UCLA defensive coordiantor Phil Snow held the same position at Arizona State last season, where the offensive coordinator was current Husky G.A. John Pettas. Washington's roster includes 32 Californians, mostly from the southern part of the state. Included among those L.A.-area Huskies are many notable players, including starters NT Larry Tripplett (Los Angeles), DT Marcus Roberson (Compton), ILB Jamaun Willis (Compton), TB Willie Hurst (Compton), OLB Anthony Kelley (Altadena), and DE Jerome Stevens (Oxnard). Husky freshman quarterback Casey Paus is the younger brother of Bruins starting QB Cory Paus. The Bruins' roster includes only one Washingtonian: junior fullback Chris Jackson (Kentridge HS).
Washington continued its fourth-quarter magic against the Trojans, and this time without the starting quarterback. Taylor Barton came on for injured starter Cody Pickett and led the Huskies a 27-24 win, thanks to John Anderson's last-second, 32-yard field goal. Pickett left the game in the second quarter with a separated shoulder and played only three plays in the second half. Barton finished the day 11-for-20 for 197 yards and two TDs. His first scoring toss, a 13-yard strike to Reggie Williams, tied the game at 14-14 in the third quarter. His second, a 14-yard screen pass to Willie Hurst, gave the Huskies a 24-17 lead. The Huskies entered the fourth quarter trailing 17-14, but an Anderson field goal tied the game and Hurst's TD put Washington ahead. However, Carson Palmer broke a string of six straight incompletions by hitting Kareem Kelly with a 58-yard pass to tie the game at 24-24 with 3:47 left. The Huskies marched down the field on the closing drive, using 10 plays to cover 49 yards before Anderson hit the field goal with no time left on the clock. Hurst, whose TD came on a pass, became the first Husky of the season to rush for 100 yards, gaining 102 on 19 carries. Williams had his second 100-yard receiving day, catching five balls for 101 yards. USC's Sultan McCullough led the Trojan attack with 132 yards on 32 carries.
No Rush To Score:
Through four games this season, Washington has yet to allow a rushing touchdown. Michigan's only two touchdowns were passes from John Navarre to Marquise Walker, Idaho didn't score any TDs, all four Cal touchdowns came on Kyle Boller passes, and both of USC's scores came via the air. The last time the Huskies gave up a rushing touchdown was to Sedrick Brown of Purdue (42 yards in the fourth quarter) in the Rose Bowl. The last time the UW gave up a rushing TD in the regular season was to DeShaun Foster (twice) in last year's UCLA game. The last time that Washington went four straight games without allowing a rush TD came during the 1993 season when the Huskies had five such games in a row. Starting with a 35-0 win over East Carolina, the Huskies didn't allow a rushing score against San Jose State (W, 52-17), Cal (W, 24-23), UCLA (L, 39-25) and Oregon (W, 21-6).
Washington's 4-0 start marks its longest unbeaten string to begin a season since the 1992 team started the year 8-0 before falling to Arizona in week nine. Since then, the Huskies have managed to go 3-0 only once (last season) and 2-0 on two occasions (1997 and 1998). The Huskies have started the year 4-0 or better 10 times since the end of World War II, and have managed 5-0 or better on seven of those occasions: 1950 (4-0), 1955 (4-0), 1959 (4-0), 1971 (4-0), 1972 (5-0), 1979 (6-0), 1982 (7-0), 1984 (9-0), 1991 (12-0) and 1992 (8-0).
Turnovers No Problem:
Washington has only turned the ball over four in four games this season. The Huskies had no turnovers in either the Michigan or Cal games and turned it over twice in both the Idaho and USC games. However, Idaho was unable to convert either of the two turnovers into scored and USC scored a TD on an interception return and punted after a fumle recovery, meaning that Washington has allowed only seven points after turnovers this season. On the flip side, Washington has seven takeaways this year that have resulted in four touchdowns and a field goal for a total of 31 points.
Let Me Count The Ways:
Through only four games this season, Washington has already managed to find six different ways to score a touchdown. The only ways they haven't scored are a fumble recovery or return, a punt block return and a kickoff recovery in the endzone. Here's a look: Interception return (Lowe vs. Michigan)
Blocked FG return (Alexander vs. Michigan, Massey vs. Idaho)
Kickoff return (Alexander vs. Idaho)
Punt return (Frederick vs. Idaho)
Rush (five times)
Pass (three times)
Aside from the Huskies' 12-game win streak, the Huskies also have a couple of other notable streaks going. With 12 straight wins, Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel has the second-longest acting winning streak by a Division I-A head coach right now. The Huskies also have the longest current win streak in conference games (nine) in the conference and have won 11 consecutive home games dating back to a loss to Arizona State in 1999.
Husky running backs have yet to lose a fumble so far this season, a stat that may very well have to be attributed (at least in part) to first-year running backs coach Tony Alford. Last year at Iowa State, where Alford coached the running backs, the Cyclones did not have a running back lose a fumble all season.
Last Year vs. UCLA:
Washington had its top rushing effort of the season -- 349 yards -- and controlled the clock for 38:39 of the game to hand the Bruins a 35-28 loss last Nov. 11 at Husky Stadium. Washington went in front 14-0 on a TD pass to Jerramy Stevens and a run by Willie Hurst before UCLA responded with one touchdown from Ed Ieremia-Stansbury and two from DeShaun Foster to move out to a 21-14 lead. Washington tied the game on a Pat Conniff four-year run and then went ahead, 28-21, when Conniff scored again, this time from five yards out. Washington added insurance on a two-yard completion from Marques Tuiasosopo to Todd Elstrom before Brian Poli-Dixon scored late in the fourth quarter to close the gap. Rich Alexis led the UW ground attack with 127 yards on 21 carries while Hurst added 99 yards. Foster ran for 93 yards to lead the Bruins while Cory Paus completed 22-of-38 for 298 yards.
Ranked-Wins Streak Grows:
Washington's upset of 11th-ranked Michigan last week, marked the 13th straight year the Huskies have defeated an opponent ranked in the Associated Press poll. In fact, Washington has defeated an AP-ranked team in 24 of its last 25 seasons. The only break in the streak came in 1988 when the Huskies played only two games against nationally-ranked foes -- UCLA (No. 2) and USC (No. 3), losing both of those games.
Decade After Decade:
Washington has won a conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl in each of the last nine decades, dating back to the 1920s when Washington won the berth in 1923 and 1925. In the 1930s, the Dawgs won the '36 title. In the '40s, Washington earned the trip in 1943 and then barely slipped in under the wire in the 1950s, winning the 1959 crown. The Huskies won two Rose Bowl berths in the 1960s -- 1960 and 1963 -- and one in the 1970s (1977). Titles in 1980 and 1982 did it for that decade and three straight trips to Pasadena to begin the 1990s covered that 10-year span. Now in the 2000s, UW has become the first and only team to earn Rose Bowl berths in nine straight decades. USC has the chance, over the next nine years, to equal the Huskies if it wins the title sometime this decade.
Ducks Not in Season:
For the first time since 1944, the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks will not meet on the football field this year, breaking a string of 56 annual meetings. Only World Wars I and II have kept the two Northwest rivals from playing one another each season since the 1903 season. The Huskies and Ducks first met in 1900, then picked up the annual series in 1903. Due to the wars, the UW-UO game did not take place in 1917, 1943 or 1944. In 1945, they played twice, once in Seattle and once in Portland. This year, the two foes won't meet due to the Pac-10's scheduling system, which calls for each Pac-10 team to play eight league games, thus 'missing' one of the nine possible opponents. The only games exempt from this are the natural rivalry games played on the last weekend of the season (e.g., UW-Washington State, Oregon-Oregon State, etc.). In 2002, the Huskies will miss Stanford. The past two seasons, it was USC.
.500 or Better Seasons:
Last season's 11-1 overall record marked the Huskies' 24th consecutive season with at least a .500 record. The last time that Washington finished below .500 was 1976, when the Dawgs went 5-6. Since then, the Huskies are 202-77-3 (.722) overall. The Huskies' 24-season streak of non-losing seasons is the 14th longest in NCAA history (tied with Florida State's current streak) and the fourth longest current streak.
Beating the Ranked Teams:
Washington is 7-8 against top-10 teams since 1990, most recently beating No. 4-ranked Miami (Fla.) last season (Michigan was not a top-10 team by the AP, but was No. 10 in the coaches' poll last week). Also since 1990, the Huskies have gone 25-22-1 against top 25 teams.
Winning the Close Ones:
In 28 games under coach Rick Neuheisel, the winning margin (for either side) has been seven points or fewer 17 times. In those 17 games decided by a touchdown or less, Washington is 13-4 and has won nine straight.
Time of Possession Is Key:
After leading the Pac-10 in time of possession in 1999 (32:57 per game), the Huskies finished a narrow second in the league last season, averging 31:47 per game, eight fewer seconds per game than Oregon. As far as wins and losses have gone in Rick Neuheisel's tenure, there seems to be no more key statistic. In '99, Washington won all six games in which it held the time of possession advantage and lost five of the six games in which it did not. In 2000, the Huskies won the TOP battle in nine of 12 games, and won all nine. Oregon won the TOP and the game while the Huskies bucked the trend vs. Stanford and Arizona, losing the TOP but winning the games. Saturday's win over Michigan was a rare one for the Huskies as far as time of possession is concerned as Washington beat the Wolverines despite not winning the TOP. To break it down, UW is 15-0 under Neuheisel when it has won the time of possession stat, and 4-6 when it hasn't.
Under Rick Neuheisel, Washington has had to come from behind in 16 of its 21 wins. That total includes eight such wins last year (all but Miami, WSU and Purdue). Of those 16 come-from-behind wins, Washington has trailed in the fourth quarter and won 11 times. In last year's Arizona win, the Huskies took the lead in the fourth, then gave it up again before taking it back for good on their last drive.
In recent years, Washington has made a habit of toughening up in the second half. It's not much different this year as the Huskies' defense has played, statistically, better in the second half than in the first half. Here's a game-by-game breakdown of the Huskies' defensive effort in the second half, in terms of total offense and points allowed:
The 100-Yard Factor:
Since the 1947 season, Washington is 151-34-3 (.811) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. Last year, the Huskies had four games with a 100-yard rusher. Saturday vs. USC, the Huskies had their first 100-yard rusher when Willie Hurst ran for 102 yards in Washington's 27-24 victory.
Successfully rushing the football and winning go hand-in-hand for the Huskies. Since 1990, Washington has rushed for 200 yards in a game 56 times. The Huskies' record stands at 51-4-1 (.920) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 26-1-1 (.946) when rushing for 200 yards.
Having won a share of the Pac-10 Conference championship last season (splitting the crown with Oregon and Oregon State with 7-1 conference records), the Huskies (and the Beavers and Ducks, for that matter) have a chance to become the first team in nearly a decade to repeat as conference champion. Not since 1992, when the Huskies shared the title with Stanford, has a team repeated, even by tying for the top spot. In 1992, the Huskies' championship was their third in a row after having earned sole possession of the title in both 1990 and 1991. USC, incidentally, won outright championships in both 1988 and 1989 after having shared it with UCLA in 1987. In terms of going to the Rose Bowl (or this year, perhaps the Fiesta Bowl) two seasons in a row, no Pac-10 team has accomplished that since Washington went to three straight from 1991-93. USC went to the Rose Bowl the three consecutive years prior. Washington has also repeated as conference champion in 1980-81 and 1959-60. In Pac-10 history (including the Pacific Coast Conference, Athletic Association of Western Universities and the Pacific-8), California, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington have won back-to-back championships during their history, while Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Washington State have not.
Playing at Home:
The Huskies finished the home slate with a spotless 6-0 record in 2000, marking the12th time ever and the fifth time in the last 10 seasons that the Dawgs have played perfect at home (1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000). Washington has won 59 of its last 71 (.838) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (59-11-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 107-23-2 (.818) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 38-7-1 (.837) at Husky Stadium vs. Pac-10 opponents.
Historic Husky Stadium:
The 2001 season marks the 82nd 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. That makes Husky Stadium the 24th-largest college football venue in the nation. It is the 20th-largest on-campus facility in the country. UW's all-time record in Husky Stadium currently stands at 324-133-21.
Playing the True Freshmen:
During Washington's first six seasons of the decade of the '90s, the Huskies had only six freshmen see playing time. This year, five true freshman played in the season opener -- Reggie Williams, Sam Cunningham, Joseph Lobendahn, Derek McLaughlin and Charles Frederick. Two more -- Chris Singleton and Tui Alailefaleula -- have joined the list since. Since the 1996 season a total of 40 freshmen have played, including 10 in 1997, eight in 1998 and six in 1999. Last year, UW played a total of nine true freshmen, including cornerbacks Derrick Johnson and Roc Alexander, wide receiver Justin Robbins, safeties Jimmy Newell and Greg Carothers, defensive end Jerome Stevens, tailbacks Rich Alexis and Sean Sweat and outside linebacker Marquis Cooper. In the win over California, the Huskies started three true freshmen (Johnson, Alexis and Robbins), only the second time since freshman eligibility was restored in 1972 that the Huskies have had three true freshmen start a game. Against Arizona, three true freshmen started again (Alexis, Robbins, Carothers). The only previous time that happened was in the