No. 13 Huskies Travel Cross-Country To Face No.1 Miami

Sept. 10, 2001

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The Game: The Washington Huskies, 1-0 after a win over No. 11 Michigan last week, travel cross-country to face No. 1 Miami (2-0) in Washington's first game vs. a No. 1 team since the 1972 season. The Huskies are ranked lucky No. 13 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches' polls while Miami took over the top spot by the writers this week after moving to No. 1 in the coaches' poll last week. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. PDT (3:30 p.m. EDT). Washington is a winner of its last nine 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. Miami has an 11-game win streak, second longest in the nation and dating back to a loss at Washington last season.

The Series: Washington has played Miami only twice, winning both. The series between the two teams was begun after they split the 1991 national championship. That off-season, a deal was struck to play four games, though the 1998 game at Husky Stadium was changed. In the first meeting (1994), one of the UW's most historic wins, the Huskies went to the Orange Bowl and broke Miami's NCAA-record 58-game home win streak with a 38-20 victory. Miami took a 14-3 lead in the game before UW fullback Richard Thomas took a screen pass 75 yards for a TD. Shortly thereafter, Russell Hairston returned a Frank Costa interception 34 yards for a score and Bob Sapp recovered a Miami fumble in the endzone to put the Dawgs ahead, 25-15. In that game, Napoleon Kaufman surpassed Joe Steele as the UW's top career rusher. Last year, the 15th-ranked Huskies took on No. 4 Miami in the second game of the season for both teams. The Dawgs jumped to a 21-3 half-time lead, thanks to TD runs by Braxton Cleman and Marques Tuiasosopo and a 23-yard scoring pass from Tuiasosopo to tight end Jerramy Stevens. In the second half, Reggie Wayne opened the second half with a TD catch from Ken Dorsey, but UW freshman Rich Alexis broke a 50-yard run for a score, the first of his career. Two UM scores closed the gap to 27-22 before Pat Conniff scored for Washington. However, Tuiasosopo threw two late interceptions to keep the game in doubt. The first led to a one-yard James Jackson run, but after the second, Dorsey was unable to complete any of his last -gasp attempts as the UW hung on for a 34-29 victory.

Streaking: Washington, as noted earlier, enters the Miami game riding a nine-game win streak, the third longest win streak in the nation. Entering this weekend's games, Oklahoma holds the longest streak with 15 straight wins while Miami (Fla.) has won 11 in a row since losing to Washington last season. Toledo, with two wins this season, has joined the Huskies with a nine-game streak. Washington's nine 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 also 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.

Television: ABC will televise the Washington-Miami game to a nationwide audience. Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Bob Griese (color) and Lynn Swann (sidelines) will call the action. The game will also be shown on tape delay Sunday, beginning at 4:30 p.m., on Fox Sports Net Northwest with Tod Pickett (play-by-play) and former UW quarterback Sonny Sixkiller (color) calling the action. All 11 Husky games this season will air the following Sunday, mostly at 3:00 p.m. The next three games will air at 4:30 p.m. (Miami), 4:00 p.m. (Idaho) and 5:30 p.m. (Cal) due to conflicts with Mariners games.

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. Pacific West Radio -- withLarry Kahn, Lee Jamison and former Arizona State and California coach Bruce Synder -- will broadcast the game to a nationwide audience.

The Coach: Husky head coach Rick Neuheisel is in his third year at the helm of the Washington program. In two seasons, Neuheisel has led the Huskies to an 19-6 overall mark and a 13-3 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 52-20 (.722). 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.

Best of the Best: Washington's Rose Bowl win moved Husky head coach Rick Neuheisel's career record to 52-20. That's the second best mark for coaches who became head coaches in 1995. Neuheisel currently ranks eighth among all active Division I coaches in terms of winning pct.

Coaching Staff: 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.

The GAs: 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 Educated Staff: The Washington coaching staff has an impressive list of post-graduate degrees, led by head man Rick Neuheisel, who earned a law degree from USC. Here's a look:

An Impressive Record: Keith Gilbertson ran his impressive record as Washington's offensive coordinator to 24-1 with the Michigan 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 36.2 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 24-1 record as coordinator at Washington includes a 13-0 record in home games and a 2-0 mark in Rose Bowls.

Huskies vs. Big East: Washington is 4-5 against current members of the Big East Conference -- 2-0 vs. Miami, 1-1 vs. Syracuse and 1-4 vs. Pittsburgh, with no games against any of the other five members. Prior to the 1994 game vs. Miami, the Huskies hadn't faced a Big East team since a 1979 game vs. Pittsburgh. The UW's first-ever Rose Bowl appearance came in the 1937 Rose Bowl when the third-ranked Panthers handed Washington a 21-0 loss. The Huskies' only win over Pitt came in 1961 at Husky Stadium. Washington beat Syracuse at Husky Stadium in 1973 (21-7) before the Orangemen won the return game in 1977 (22-20). Washington is 1-2 on the road vs. Big East teams.

Washington-Miami Ties: Seeing as Washington and Miami are farther apart from one another than any two Division I-A schools in the continental United States (officially 3,303 miles), it's no surprise that there aren't many ties between the two teams and their coaching staffs. The Huskies, of course, have Floridians on their roster, all from Pope John Paul II High School, located about an hour's drive north of Miami in Boca Raton, Fla. The Miami roster doesn't include any Washingtonians, but LB D.J. Williams went to powerful De La Salle High in Concord, Calif., same as Husky freshman tackle Robin Meadow. UM freshman Robert Bergman attended the same high school (Bakersfield, Calif.) as UW junior Elliott Zajac. As far as the coaching staffs go, Miami WR coach Curtis Johnson, a former player at Idaho, coached receivers under UW offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson in 1987-88, when Gilbertson was the UI head coach and also coached one year under Gilbertson at California (1995). Also, longtime UW head coach Don James played quarterback for the 'Canes (1952-53), setting five school passing records (all since broken) before graduating in 1954. James is a member of the Miami Hall of Fame.

UW-Michigan Redux: The Huskies' fourth-quarter magic continued from last season as the Dawgs scored two late TDs -- on a blocked field goal and an interception return -- to beat No. 11 Michigan, 23-18. The Huskies struggled offensively with four new offensive linemen and new quarterback Cody Pickett, who performed admirably with 199 yards and no interceptions. Down 12-6 in the fourth, the Wolverines were set to try a 33-yard field goal. Omare Lowe blocked the kick and Roc Alexander took it 77 yards for a score. The PAT gave the Huskies their first lead since being ahead, 6-2. On the second play of Michigan's ensuing drive, Lowe picked off a John Navarre pass and ran it back 21 yards for a TD, increasing the edge to 20-12. John Anderson's third field goal of the day iced it. The game marked the first time since 1992 that the Huskies were held without an offensive touchdown and the first time since 1984 that they hadn't scored an offensive TD at home.

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.

UW Against No. 1: Washington has played seven games against No. 1 teams, as ranked by the Associated Press. The Huskies have posted only a 1-5-1 record in such games, with the lone victory coming over top-ranked Minnesota in the 1961 Rose Bowl. The Huskies' first-ever game against a No. 1 team had to have been considered an upset as an unranked UW team travelled to Berkeley and held top-ranked California to a 0-0 tie. Of the seven No. 1 teams the Huskies have played, only the '60 Michigan team, the '67 USC team and the '72 USC team went on to win the AP national title, though the '37 Cal, '39 USC, and '69 Ohio State each won minor poll championships. Here are Washington's seven all-time games against No. 1-ranked (AP only) teams:

Last Time vs. No. 1: No surprise that the last time that Washington played a No. 1 team, none of the currently Husky players had been born. In fact, Husky head coach Rick Neuheisel was only 11 years old on Oct. 21, 1972, when the UW fell to powerhouse No. 1 USC, 34-7. On the day of that UW-USC game, Richard Nixon was nearing the end of his first term as President and the Oakland A's won their first World Series championship. 'The Man of La Mancha' closed on Broadway while 'Pippin' opened. Rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up and the NBA's Atlanta Hawks opened the Omni with a win over the Knicks. Chuck Berry's 'My Ding-a-ling' was the nation's No. 1 song, gasoline was 39 cents a gallon and minimum wage was $1.60 an hour.

Other UW Teams vs. No. 1: Two weeks ago, the Washington men's soccer team notched a major upset by beating No. 1-ranked Connecticut, 1-0, in both teams' second match of the season. Playing at a tournament at UConn's home field, the UW posted an upset of the other Huskies, who won the 2001 national title. In both 1999 and 1997, the Husky men beat a No. 1 UCLA team -- 2-1 in 1999 in the conference championship and 2-0 in a 1997 regular season match. The UW men's basketball team has beaten a No. 1 only once in its history, beating top-ranked UCLA, 69-68, in 1979. In 1994, the Washington baseball team beat Wichita State, Clemson and Georgia Tech, all of who were ranked No. 1 at some point in the season, but not at the time of their games. In 1998, the Husky baseballers swept No. 1 Stanford, two games to none, to win the Pac-10 championship.

What Gives?: While the Huskies have made a habit of fourth-quarter comebacks, with nine such wins under Rick Neuheisel, Miami has won 141 of the last 143 games in which it has enter the fourth with the lead.

Huskies as No. 1: Washington has played in 15 games as the No. 1 team and has gone 13-2 in those. In 1982, the Huskies beat Texas Tech 10-3, but dropped to No. 2 before losing to Stanford the next week. In 1991, the year that Washington shared the national title with Miami, the Huskies were never ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press. Here are the Huskies' all-time results as the No. 1 team in the land:

Huskies vs. Ranked 'Canes: The Hurricanes have been ranked in the Associated Press top five prior to each of its games against Washington. In fact, the Huskies' two wins over Miami are their only two wins against top-five teams since winning a share of the 1991 national championship with a win over No. 4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Miami was ranked No. 5 when the Huskies beat them 38-20 in 1994. Last season, the Hurricanes came to Husky Stadium ranked fourth before falling, 34-29, to the UW. Since sharing the national title with Miami in 1991, the Huskies have played four games against top-five teams, winning both vs. Miami and losing to No. 2 Nebraska (1998), and No. 3 UCLA (also 1998). Since 1991, the Huskies have played a top-10 team 10 times and are 3-7 in such games.

Road Tripping: About 4,000 Washington fans are expected to make the cross-country trip to Miami this Saturday. Included in that number are a couple of different large groups going on Husky-related cruises. One cruise, which was to include 1,500 fans (plus former UW coach Don James) was to depart Sunday. The 3,303-mile trip from Seattle to Miami marks the longest college football road trip that a Division I-A team can make within the continental U.S.

Don't Forget the Orange Bowl: Washington has actually had two big wins in the Orange Bowl Stadium. Aside from the streak-breaking win in 1994, the Huskies also handed Oklahoma a 28-17 loss in the 1985 Orange Bowl. That game featured the infamous 'Sooner Schooner' incident when Oklahoma was called for a 15-yard penalty when its mascot took the field to early after a field goal (on which another penalty had been called). The 20 yards in penalties pushed the field goal try back and Tim Peoples blocked it to keep the score tied at 14-14. After a successful field goal, the Huskies trailed 17-14 before Hugh Millen hit Mike Pattison with a 12-yard TD pass and Rick Fenney ran for a six-yard score, both in the fourth quarter, to secure the win.

Breaking the Streak: Washington's 1994 win at Miami (38-20) broke the Hurricane's 58-game home winning streak, still the longest in the history of Division I-A. A game prior, the 'Canes had broken the old record of 57, set by Alabama between 1963 and 1982. Miami had gone nine season (since 1985) since losing in the Orange Bowl before the Dawgs pulled out a win. Washington had a 44-game home winning streak (once the NCAA record) from 1908-16.

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. Here are the longest streaks current running:

The 100-Yard Factor: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 150-34-3 (.810) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. Last year, the Huskies have had four games with a 100-yard rusher. The UW had its first 100-yard rusher (two of them, actually) against Oregon State as Rich Alexis (107 yards) and Paul Arnold (102) each eclipsed the century mark. Against Arizona State, Alexis went for 127 in another UW victory. Willie Hurst posted his first 100-yard game of the season in the win over Arizona, going for 116 yards. Alexis had 127 again against UCLA. In the season finale at Washington State, Braxton Cleman joined in, passing the century mark for the first time that season with 105 yards. Alexis also went over 100 yards in that game with 134.

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 55 times. The Huskies' record stands at 50-4-1 (.918) in those contests. Since the 1995 season, Washington is 25-1-1 (.944) when rushing for 200 yards.

Defending Champs: 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 57 of its last 69 (.833) games at Husky Stadium with one tie (57-11-1). Since 1980, the Huskies stand 105-23-2 (.815) at home. Since 1990, the Huskies are 37-7-1 (.833) 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 322-133-21.

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. Last Saturday vs. Michigan, five true freshman played in the season opener -- Reggie Williams, Sam Cunningham, Joseph Lobendahn, Derek McLaughlin and Charles Frederick. Since the 1996 season a total of 38 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 1998 WSU game, when Chris Juergens, Hakim Akbar and Willie Hurst all started.

Pac-10 Prediction: In the annual preseason media poll conducted by the Pacific-10 Conference office, Washington was tabbed as the fourth-place finisher in this year's Pac-10 race. Oregon took the top honor with 20 of 33 first-place votes while Oregon State and UCLA finished second and third, respectively. The preseason poll has successfully predicted the eventual league champion 18 of 40 times and three times in the last eight years. Here's the entire poll, with first-place votes in parentheses:

Team of the 1990s: By almost any gauge, Washington was the Pac-10's team of the last 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 al

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