Huskies Host Stanford In Key Pac-10 Battle
Oct. 29, 2001
The Game: The Washington football team (6-1 overall, 4-1 in the Pac-10), ranked No. 11 in this week's Associated Press rankings and No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, plays host to Stanford (5-1, 4-1), in a key Pac-10 game this Saturday, Nov. 3, at Husky Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. The Cardinal, who upset UCLA last week, are ranked No. 10 in the AP poll and No. 13 by the coaches. The game will help to break a four-way tie for first place in the conference as four teams enter the week with 4-1 records. UCLA is close behind at 3-1. The Huskies' last four victories have come by three or fewer points and Washington has continued its pattern of winning games in the fourth quarter. The winning points in the last three of the Huskies' four Pac-10 victories have come on the UW's final offensive play.
Rescheduling: Washington's game at Miami, originally scheduled for September 15, was postponed due to the Sept. 11 incidents. The game has been rescheduled for November 24 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time (5:00 p.m. Pacific).
The Series: Washington holds a 37-32-4 advantage in the series against Stanford, but have been the dominant team lately. After winning eight straight vs. Stanford from 1959 to 1966, the Huskies lost 10 in a row from 1967 to 1976. Since that 1976 loss, Washington has gone 18-2 against the Cardinal. One of those two losses was a big upset in 1982 when the No. 2 Huskies fell to the Cardinal, 43-31, in Palo Alto. The only other UW loss during that stretch came at Stanford in 1994, when the Cardinal upset 12th-ranked Washington, 46-28. The Huskies have not lost to the Cardinal at home since 1975, a 24-21 Stanford victory. That home win streak in the series has run to nine games following a 35-30 Washington victory at Husky Stadium in 1999. One or both of the two teams have been ranked in the AP Top 25 in each of the last nine meetings and in 17 of the last 19. Washington and Stanford first played one another in 1893 in a game that marked the first major college opponent for Washington. That game, played in West Seattle, resulted in a 40-0 Stanford victory. There wouldn't be another matchup between the two schools until 1920, when the Cardinal nipped Washington, 3-0, in the last UW home game played somewhere other than Husky Stadium. Three weeks after that game, the UW would open what would eventually come to be known as Husky Stadium with a game vs. Dartmouth. After a 0-0 tie in 1921, the Huskies' first victory in the series came in 1922, 12-8 at Palo Alto. As Husky head coach, Rick Neuheisel has a 2-0 record against the Cardinal with wins in 1999 and 2000. Stanford head man Tyrone Willingham is winless in four games vs. Washington. The two teams didn't play one another in 1997 and 1998.
Last-Second Magic: All four of Washington's Pac-10 victories this season have come down to the wire. The Huskies have beaten California by three points (31-28), USC by three (27-24), Arizona by three (31-28) and Arizona State by two (33-31). Washingtontrailed in the fourth quarter in each of those games but came back to win. In both the USC and the Arizona State games, Washington got a field goal from John Anderson with no time left on the clock to get the victory. The Huskies hadn't previously won a game on the final play since Chuck Nelson kicked a field goal to beat Stanford, 27-24, in 1980. In the win over Arizona, quarterback Cody Pickett closed out a record-setting passing day by scoring on a three-yard run with only 13 seconds remaining. Against ASU, the Huskies took the ball on their own 10-yard line and used up the final 7:12 of the game, driving for the winning field goal in 18 plays. The Cal win wasn't nearly so close, by comparison. The Huskies entered the fourth quarter trailing 21-17, but scored two touchdowns to take a 31-21 lead before Cal scored to close the gap with 3:23 remaining.
Television: The Washington-Stanford game will not have any live television coverage. The game will, however, be aired on tape-delay Sunday on Fox Sports Northwest at 3:00 p.m. with Tod Pickett and Husky Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Sixkiller calling the action. All Husky games are shown on tape delay the Sunday after the game, with all remaining replays scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
Radio: 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.
The Coach: 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 24-7 overall mark and a 17-4 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 57-21 (.731). 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.An Impressive Record: Keith Gilbertson record as the Huskies' offensive coordinator is an impressive 29-2. 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 35.3 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 29-2 record as coordinator at Washington includes a 16-0 record in home games and a 2-0 mark in Rose Bowls.
UW-Stanford Ties: Seemingly, half of the Stanford coaching staff has worked with half of the Washington coaching staff at some point. Stanford offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill Diedrick was the Huskies' quarterbacks coach for four seasons during the 1990s, serving as offensive coordinator in 1996 and 1997. He was also offensive coordinator at Idaho (1986-88) in the three seasons that current UW coordinator Keith Gilbertson was the Vandals' head coach. Stanford secondary coach Denny Schuler was Gilbertson's defensive coordinator at California from 1993 to 1995. Cardinal receivers coach Trent Miles spent the 1996 season on the same Hawaii coaching staff as Husky linebackers coach Tom Williams. Dave Tipton, long-time defensive line coach at Stanford, was on the same defensive staff as Husky defensive coordinator Tim Hundley at Oregon State in 1988. Stanford defensive coordinator Kent Baer held the same post at Arizona State in 1993 and 1994, during which Husky receivers coach John Pettas was quarterbacks coach at ASU. Buzz Preston, the Stanford running backs coach, served as a graduate assistant at Washington in 1983. Last but not least among the coaches, Williams earned four letters as a linebacker at Stanford from 1989 to 1992. Stanford has two players that graduated from Washington high schools: sophomore quarterback Ryan Eklund (Federal Way/Decatur) and junior tight end Brett Pierce (Vancouver/Columbia River). Also, sophmores Amon Gordon and Teyo Johnson both went to Mariner High in Mukilteo through their junior years. Washington's roster includes only four players from the Bay Area: Jafar Williams (Oakland/St. Mary's), Domynic Shaw (Oakland/Skyline), Marty Dorcich (San Jose/Archbishop Mitty) and Robin Meadow (San Francisco/De La Salle). Additionally, Manase Hopoi is from Sacramento.
UW-Arizona State Redux: John Anderson booted a 30-yard field goal with no time left in the fourth quarter as the Huskies pulled out another fourth-quarter victory, beating Arizona State, 33-31. The Huskies got the ball at their own 10-yard line with 7:12 remaining in the final period and used all 7:12 over an 18-play drive. The Huskies looked as though they might finally get an easy win in the early-going, jumping to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter. Cody Pickett tossed TD passes to Todd Elstrom and Reggie Williams, and Anderson kicked a 31-yarder, to account for that 17-0 margin. After an ASU touchdown, Pickett ran in from two yards out to give Washington a 24-7 lead. The Sun Devils, however, stormed back, kicking a field goal before halftime and opening the third quarter with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a three-yard TD run from Tom Pace. After a blocked punt for a safety,the Devils got six more on a 33-yard pass from Jeff Krohn to Shaun McDonald. Washington responded with a 23-yard run by Willie Hurst to go back in front, 30-25, but Delvon Flowers capped another 80-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Hurst had a career-high 185 rushing yards to lead the Huskies while McDonald caught nine passes for 194 yards.
Turnovers No Problem: Washington has turned the ball over 13 times in six games this season. However, opponents have managed to convert only four of those 13 turnovers into points, scoring four touchdowns and no field goals for a total of 28 points off of turnovers. After getting a touchdown and a field goal off of two turnovers at Arizona State, the Huskies have done only slightly better than their opposition, converting 14 turnovers into five TDs and two field goals, good for 41 points.
One Remaining Streak: Washington had its 12-game winning streak broken in its loss at UCLA. That streak was, going into that game, the third longest in the nation. Coach Rick Neuheisel's 12-game win streak was also the second-longest among Division I-A coaches and the Huskies' nine straight wins in conference had marked the longest in the conference. The Huskies still have one winning streak alive: the Huskies have won 12 consecutive home games, dating back to a loss to Arizona State in 1999. With Oregon's loss to Stanford , the Huskies' home win streak is the Pac-10 longest.
vs. Bay Area Schools: Washington has a combined record of 92-65-8 vs. opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area. Washington is 46-32-4 against California, 37-32-4 vs. Stanford, 7-0 vs. San Jose State, 1-1 vs. St. Mary's and 1-0 vs. Santa Clara. The Huskies haven't played Santa Clara since 1935 and haven't faced St. Mary's since 1947. Since 1977, Washington is 44-2-0 vs. Bay Area teams: 19-0 vs. Cal, 19-2 vs. Stanford and 6-0 vs. San Jose State.
Fumble Free: 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. Stanford: In the most emotional of games, Washington drove 80 yards on three plays in 36 seconds to beat Stanford, 31-28. The Huskies held a 24-6 lead after scoring early in the fourth quarter, but the Cardinal came back to take a 28-24 lead. The Huskies' defensive lapse could certainly be attributed to the fact that the Huskies lost starting senior safety Curtis Williams to a severe spinal cord injury late in the third quarter. After Willie Hurst ran in from 22 yards out with 5:57 to go in the fourth, the Huskies had increased their lead to 24-6. However, in less than five minutes, the Cardinal struck for three touchdowns, thanks in part to recovering two straight onside kicks. The Huskies got the ball back with 53 seconds left before Marques Tuiasosopo used only 36 seconds to drive 80 yards. The winning score came on a 22-yard pass from Tuiasosopo to freshman receiver Justin Robbins.
Winning the Close Ones: In 31 games under coach Rick Neuheisel, the winning margin (for either side) has been seven points or fewer 19 times. In those 19 games decided by a touchdown or less, Washington is 15-4 and has won 11 straight.
The Shutout Streak: Washington's win at Arizona State marked the 235th consecutive game in which Washington has not been shut out. That's the best streak among Pac-10 schools. BYU has the nation's longest streak at 330 games (NCAA record), while Texas is second with 245 games. The last opponent to hold the Huskies scoreless was UCLA (31-0) on Nov. 7, 1981. Washington has played 157 Pac-10 games since then without a shutout -- the second best current streak among Pac-10 schools.
.500 or Better Seasons: With six wins already, the Huskies have guaranteed themselves a 25th consecutive non-losing season. The last time that Washington finished below .500 was 1976, when the Dawgs went 5-6. Since then, the Huskies are 205-78-3 (.722) overall. The Huskies' 25-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.
Time of Possession Is Key: In the Oct. 13,Washington broke an unusual string. Prior to that loss, the Huskies had won all 18 games under coach Rick Neuheisel in which they had led in time of possession. The Huskies led the Pac-10 in time of possession in 1999 (32:57) and finished a narrow second in 2000, averging 31:47 per game, eight fewer seconds per game than Oregon. As far as wins and losses have gone in 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. The 2001 season-opening 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. Against Idaho, Cal, USC, Arizona and ASU, the Huskies won the TOP and the game. To break it down, UW is 20-1 under Neuheisel when it has won the time of possession stat, and 4-6 when it hasn't.
Fourth-Quarter Comebacks: Under Rick Neuheisel, Washington has had to come from behind in 18 of its 24 wins. That total includes eight such wins last year (all but Miami, WSU and Purdue). Of those 18 come-from-behind wins, Washington has trailed in the fourth quarter and won 13 times, including five of six wins this year. 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.
'Special' Indeed: Washington's special teams appear in the NCAA Division I-A rankings in a number of places. The Huskies are eighth in the nation in punt returns with their 14.38-yard average and are 15th in kickoff returns (24.44). Individually, the Huskies have the No. 3 punt return man (Charles Frederick) and the No. 9 kick returner (Roc Alexander). Also, Husky placekicker John Anderson rates No. 11 (tied) in Division I-A with 1.57 field goals per game.
Top 15 Streak: The Huskies, who opened the 2000 season ranked No. 14 in the nation, haven't been ranked out of the Associated Press' top 15 since the end of the 1999 season. This week's game vs. Stanford will mark the 19th straight game that the Huskies have entered ranked in the top 15. Washington has been ranked in the top 10 heading into nine of those games, including eight during the 2000 season.
The 100-Yard Factor: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 152-34-3 (.812) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. Last year, the Huskies had four games with a 100-yard rusher. This season, Willie Hurst has passed the century mark twice in Husky wins over USC and Arizona State.
History Lesson: 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.
Playing at Home: The Huskies finished the home slate with a spotless 6-0 record in 2000, marking the 12th 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 60 of its last 72 (.840) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (60-11-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 108-23-2 (.820) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 39-7-1 (.840) 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 325-133-21.
Dialing Long Distance: Washington has shown a penchant for big plays in 2001, with 14 pass completions of 30 yards or more through the first seven games of the season. By comparison, the Huskies only had 11 such plays in all of the 2000 season in a total of 12 games. Six of the Huskies' long passes have come on the arm of quarterback Taylor Barton while eight have been from Cody Pickett. Freshman wide receiver Reggie Williams has been on the receiving end of five such passes, including a 74-yarder against Michigan. Paul Arnold has caught four long passes, while Patrick Reddick has three and Willie Hurst and Todd Elstrom one each. Ironically, only five of Washington's 14 30-plus-yard completions this season have gone for touchdowns, including three long scores by Arnold.