Husky Football Returns Home To Face No. 5 USC

Oct. 20, 2003

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The Game: The Washington football team (2-1 in the Pac-10, 4-3 overall) will try to ride the momentum of a crucial 38-17 win last Saturday at No. 22 Oregon State as the UW returns to Husky Stadium this Saturday to face USC. The Trojans (6-1 overall, 2-1 in the Pac-10) are ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press rankings and No. 4 in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and the game will air on ABC television. After the USC game, the Huskies remain at home to face Oregon the following Saturday, Nov. 1, before hitting the road for games at Arizona and California.

Huskies vs. Trojans History: Washington and USC have played one another 73 times since the series began in 1923. The Trojans hold a commanding 43-26-4 series advantage, although the Huskies have gone 7-3-1 over the last 11. Washington won its first-ever meeting against the Trojans, beating USC, 22-0, in Seattle in 1923. When the series re-started in 1927, USC handed the Huskies six straight defeats before Washington reeled off five in a row. The longest streak either way in the series began in 1965, when the Trojans beat Washington for the first time of 11 straight wins. The UW holds a 16-15-4 record against USC in games played at Husky Stadium and have gone 4-1-1 against the Trojans in the last six meetings played in Seattle. The last time that a USC team has managed a win in Husky Stadium was in 1993 (22-17). The 1995 game ended in a 21-21 tie, the last time that the Huskies finished in a deadlock prior to the installation of the overtime system. The last time the Huskies and Trojans met in Husky Stadium was 2001, when Washington pulled out a 27-24 win when John Anderson connected on a 32-yard field goal with no time remaining. That was the game in which Husky quarterback Cody Pickett suffered a separated right shoulder and Taylor Barton came off the bench for the final two-plus quarters. Trojan coach Pete Carroll is 1-1 as USC head coach vs. Washington following last season's win over the UW in L.A.. Before taking over at USC prior to the 2001 season, Carroll had never faced Washington as a coach, but did come to Husky Stadium in 1972 as a player for the University of the Pacific as the No. 9 Huskies narrowly beat the Tigers, 13-6. Carroll, a starting safety, made eight tackles that day. Husky head coach Keith Gilbertson went 0-for-4 against USC in his four seasons as head coach at California, including a heartbreaker in 1992 when USC came back from a 24-13 deficit with six minutes remaining to win, 27-24.

E.T., Meet The King: Junior receiver/returner Charles Frederick turned in a game for the ages last Saturday in the Huskies' 38-17 win at then-No. 22 Oregon State. Frederick, long known by the nickname 'E.T.', set new career highs with nine receptions for 216 yards, good for two touchdowns. One of those two scores went for 87 yards, the second-longest receiving play in Husky history. Frederick also dazzled the national TV audience with an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter, sixth-longest in Husky lore. He finished with 216 receiving yards, 101 punt return yards and 54 kickoff return yards, good for a grand total of 371 all-purpose yards. That number broke a 53-year old school record held by 'The King,' Hugh McElhenny, who compiled 362 in a game vs. Washington State in 1950. McElhenny, considered by many the greatest offensive player in school history, went on to an NFL Hall of Fame career. Frederick's 371 yards were only eight short of the Pac-10 record of 379, set by Stanford's Glyn Milburn in 1990.

Television: The Washington-USC game will air live on ABC television with Keith Jackson, Dan Fouts and Todd Harris providing the call. It will also air on tape delay the Sunday at 4:00 p.m. on Fox Sports in the Northwest with Jim Watson and Sonny Sixkiller calling the action. All remaining replays will be shown Sundays at 4:00 p.m. Additionally, 'Husky Football Experience' airs each Thursday during the season on Fox Sports. The second-year, Emmy-winning program is an up-close look at each Husky game, with one-on-one interviews and sideline video.

Radio: The Husky Sports Network, with its flagship station KJR 950-AM, will carry the live broadcast of every football game to four different states on 23 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Steve Sandmeyer.

Washington-USC Ties: For a couple of Pac-10 teams, there's very little past relationship between the members of the coaching staffs at Washington and USC. Trojan running backs coach Kennedy Pola worked along with Husky assistants Chuck Heater and Tim Hundley at Colorado, with Hundley earlier at UCLA, and was initially announced as a member of Rick Neuheisel's first coaching staff at UW before going to USC instead. 'SC secondary coach Greg Burns saw plenty of the Huskies as a four-year letterman (1991-93, 1995) at Washington State, but that's pretty much it as far as crossover between the two staffs. USC's media guide roster lists only two players from the state of Washington: senior punter Tommy Huff (Bellevue) and Sophomore fullback David Kirtman (Mercer Island). USC also has a number of players from Long Beach Poly High, alma mater of Husky cornerback Kim Taylor. Trojan safety Chris Bocage attended St. Louis High in Hawaii, same as Washington's Wilson Afoa and Joe Lobendahn. Washington's roster lists 28 players from the state of California, most of which come from the southern part of the state. Among the regular contributors from the greater Los Angeles area are: Sr. C Todd Bachert (Mission Viejo), Fr. TE Ben Bandel (Murrietta), Jr. CB Sam Cunningham (Los Angeles), Fr. WR Quintin Daniels (Los Angeles), Jr. CB Derrick Johnson (Riverside), Sr. CB Chris Massey (Moreno Valley), Fr. WR Sonny Shackelford (Beverly Hills), Fr. CB Clarence Simpson (Sylmar) and Sr. DT Jerome Stevens (Oxnard).

Last Year vs. USC: Last October 19, eventual Heisman winner Carson Palmer took a big step towards earning that honor in USC's 41-21 win over Washington at the Coliseum in Los Angeles. Palmer completed 21 of his 34 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns and one interception, which came on the game's first play. Freshman receiver Mike Williams was Palmer's primary target as he caught nine balls for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Keary Colbert wasn't far behind with seven receptions for 146 yards and one score. Washington tied the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter on a five-yard pass from Cody Pickett to Paul Arnold, but the Trojans came back with 27 straight points to put the game away. After a 60-yard TD pass to Colbert and a Ryan Killeen field goal, Palmer hit Williams with scoring passes of 14 and 11 yards. Another Killeen field goal gave USC a 34-7 lead. Pickett connected with tight end Kevin Ware on a two-yard pass and with Reggie Williams on a 27-yarder to cut the gap to 34-21, but any doubt was erased when Justin Fargas scored on a 13-yard run. Pickett fell one pass short of the UW record by attempting 61 passes in the game, completing 34 for 350 yards, three TDs and two interceptions. He also broke the UW single-season passing yards record in the process. Tailback Braxton Cleman set a new Husky record by catching 15 passes, but only notched 69 yards. Reggie Williams had seven catches for 134 yards.

vs. Los Angeles Schools: Washington has a combined record of 54-79-6 (.410) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 28-33-2 vs. UCLA and 26-43-4 against USC. While that combined record may not sound that successful, it's worth noting that no team in the Pac-10 has a winning record against either one of the two L.A. schools. In fact, Washington has more wins against the Trojans and Bruins (combined) than every conference school except California (56-103-6 (.358) combined record), and has a better winning percentage against the two than every team in the league. The next closest is Arizona State, which has totalled a combined mark of 15-23-1 (.397) against the Bruins and Trojans.

Oregon State Redux: Washington travelled to Oregon State's Reser Stadium last Saturday in the midst of a two-game losing streak desparately in need of a win. The Huskies got just that, upsetting the 22nd-ranked Beavers, 38-17, in front of a sold-out stadium and a national TV audience. Junior receiver/returner Charles Frederick was the star of the night, compiling a school-record 371 all-purpose yards, besting Hugh McElhenny's 53-year old school record. Frederick provided the game's first points when he took a punt on the 14-yard line in the first quarter and returned it 86 yards for a score, the sixth-longest punt return in UW history. The UW next took advantage of an interception and made it 14-0 on a two-yard run from Kenny James, the first TD of his career. After OSU cut the halftime gap to 14-10 on a Derek Anderson five-yard run and a 39-yard Kirk Yliniemi field goal, Washington put the game away with 24 straight points in the second half. Frederick scored the first on a 35-yard pass from Cody Pickett and, after an interception return from Marquis Cooper put the Huskies on the one-yard line, Pickett hit tight end Ben Bandel with a one-yard pass for Bandel's first career score. After a 43-yard field goal from Evan Knudson, Pickett connected with Frederick for an 87-yard touchdown, the second-longest pass-and-catch ever at the UW. Anderson hit George Gillett with a 29-yard TD pass late in the fourth to account for the final score. Frederick finished the game with career highs for receptions and yards, catching nine passes for 216 yards and two TDs. He also had 101 punt return yards and 54 on kickoff returns. Pickett completed 19-of-40 passes for 285 yards, one interception and three touchdowns. Anderson, the Beaver quarterback, went 21-for-48 for 344 yards and a score, but threw three interceptions. The Husky defense, which compiled a season-high 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks, held OSU star tailback Steven Jackson to only 49 yards on 22 carries, marking the first time this season he'd been held under 100.

Spreading It Around: Through seven games, Washington has had a remarkable 17 players already record a pass reception during the 2003 season. A scan of the records indicates that the UW has never had as many as 17 receivers make a catch in a single season (records go back to 1972; before that only leaders are listed in final stats). Washington has used 16 receivers in two somewhat recent seasons: 1992 and 2001, when the 16 receivers included Omare Lowe (on a shovel pass on a fake punt) and quarterback Cody Pickett (thrown to himself on a batted pass). Of the 17 Huskies to catch a pass this year, 11 were making their first career reception: Kenny James, Quintin Daniels, Shelton Sampson, Ben Bandel, Adam Seery, Ty Eriks, Corey Williams, Isaiah Stanback, Sonny Shackelford, Clayton Ramsey and Jon Lyon. The Oregon State game last week was truly an anomoly as the Huskies completed passes to only four receivers.

Ranked-Wins Streak: With a win at No. 22 Oregon State last season, the Huskies extended a streak that has now lasted 16 years. As of this week, the Huskies have beaten at least one team ranked in the Associated Press poll in each of the last 16 seasons. This Saturday's game at Oregon State represents the Huskies' second chance this season to extend that streak after falling to then-No. 2 Ohio State in the season opener. In fact, Washington has defeated an AP-ranked team in 26 of its last 27 seasons prior to 2002. 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.

.500 or Better Seasons: Last year's Apple Cup win over Washington State ensured the Huskies' of their 26th consecutive season with a .500 or better record. Washington finished the year 7-6. The last time that Washington finished below .500 was 1976, when the Dawgs went 5-6. Since then, the Huskies are 218-90-3 (.706) overall. The Huskies' 26-season streak of non-losing seasons is the 14th longest in NCAA history (tied with Florida State's current streak) and the third (tied) longest current streak (BYU's 27-season streak was snapped last year). Here are the longest streaks currently running:

 41 seasons   Nebraska        1962-2002 35 seasons   Michigan        1968-2002 26 seasons   Washington      1977-2002 26 seasons   Florida State   1977-2002

Streaking in the Pac-10: While Washington's string of 26 straight non-losing seasons is easily the best in the Pac-10, their stretch of .500-or-better marks in Pac-10 play is even more dominant compared to the rest of the league. The Huskies last finished under .500 in Pac-10 play in 1988 (3-5), a streak of 14 straight non-losing league seasons. By contrast, every other team in the Pac-10 has had a losing league season at least once in the last three seasons (2000-2002). Only WSU, USC and UCLA have two-year streaks currenting running.

D.J. Picks Up The Pace: Junior cornerback Derrick Johnson has long been a key part of the Husky defensive secondary, having started 21 games in his UW career. After having registered only one interception over the first 21 games of his career, he's emerged as a top pickoff artist. Over the last 10 regular season games, Johnson has compiled eight interceptions to raise his career total to nine. That's just one interception short of making the top-10 on the UW career chart (four Huskies are tied for eighth with 10 career picks). Johnson has four interceptions this season -- one in each of the last four games. His four picks in seven games (0.57 per game) is tied for first in the Pac-10 Conference and eighth in Division I-A.

Biddle The Bullet: Senior safety Owen Biddle has emerged this season as one of the top special teams players in the Pac-10 Conference. Biddle, a former walkon who earned a scholarship three seasons ago, has compiled a total of 19 tackles this year on special teams alone. By comparison, last season, Arizona linebacker Ray Wells was named the Pac-10's first-team all-conference special teams player (non-kickers), and Wells compiled 11 special teams tackles all season according to current UW and former Arizona special teams coach Scott Pelluer.

Walkons For Kicks: Despite the arrival of two scholarship freshmen, it was a pair walkons that have handled the lion's share of the kicking duties this season. Both of them -- senior punter Garth Erickson and junior kicker Evan Knudson -- have been, to say the least, solid thusfar. Erickson, who like Knudson had never appeared in a game before this year, is averaging 41.7 yards per punt this season and has had 10 of his 37 punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He's a big reason that the Huskies currently rank fourth in the Pac-10 in net punting (37.8). Knudson is 8-for-13 thusfar on field goal attempts. All but one of his five misses has been due to blocks. Knudson booted three field goals in the loss at UCLA and hit a 46-yarder in his first career attempt at Ohio State, still his season and career long. Knudson is also a perfect 22-for-22 on PAT tries and leads the Huskies in scoring with 46 points, good for sixth in the Pac-10 at 6.6 points per game.

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