Dawgs Face Tough Challenge At No. 1 USC

Oct. 18, 2004

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The Game: The Washington football team (1-5 overall, 0-3 in the Pac-10 Conference) faces its biggest challenge of the season this Saturday, Oct. 23, when the Dawgs travel to Los Angeles to take on No. 1 USC (6-0, 3-0) in a 3:30 p.m. (PDT) game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Trojans, co-winners of the 2003 national championship, have sat atop the rankings all season and have taken out two top-15 ranked teams the last two weeks, beating then-No. 7 California and then-No. 15 Arizona State. Washington will be playing its ninth game ever against a team ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll. The Huskies' lone win in their previous eight tries against a top team came in the 1961 Rose Bowl, a 17-7 win over Minnesota (the UW also tied a top-ranked California team in 1937). After the USC game, the UW remains on the road for a game at Oregon on Oct. 30 before coming back to Husky Stadium for two straight vs. Arizona and California.

Huskies vs. Trojans History: Washington and USC have played one another 74 times since the series began in 1923. The Trojans hold a commanding 44-26-4 series advantage, although the Huskies have gone 7-4-1 over the last 12. 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 10 straight wins. The Huskies are 10-27 all-time in games played against the Trojans at USC, with all 37 of those contests taking place in the Coliseum. Washington, which has lost two straight to the USC in L.A., last won at the Coliseum in 1996. That day, the UW held the Trojans to minus-14 rushing yards and 124 yards of total offense in a 21-10 win. USC had minus-six yards of total offense in the second half that day as Corey Dillon led the Huskies with 128 yards and two touchdowns on 37 rushes. The Huskies sacked USC quarterback Brad Otton seven times. In the Huskies' most recent trip to USC, in 2002, Carson Palmer led his team to a 41-21 win, throwing for four touchdowns and 348 yards. Fourth-year USC coach Pete Carroll is 2-1 as the Trojan's head man vs. Washington following last season's win over the UW in Seattle. 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, now 0-5 against the Trojans, 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.

vs. Los Angeles Schools: Washington has a combined record of 54-81-6 (.404) against the two Pac-10 schools from Los Angeles: 28-34-2 vs. UCLA and 26-44-4 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 (56-104-6 (.355) 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 15-24-1 (.387) against the Bruins and Trojans.

Television: Fox Sports Net will air the Washington-USC game live to a national audience with Barry Tompkins and Petros Papadakis calling the action. The game will also air on tape delay Sunday, Oct. 24 at 3:00 p.m.on Fox Sports Northwest. During the season, all Husky games will air on tape delay Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Additionally, 'Husky Football Experience' airs each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. during the season on Fox Sports. The third-year, two-time Emmy-winning program is an up-close look at each Husky game.

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 25 different radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Chuck Nelson are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. The broadcast will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio on Pac-10 Channel 184, with pregame starting at 2:30 a.m. PDT.

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. Trojans first-year quarterbacks coach Carl Smith was a graduate assistant at Cal Poly-SLO in 1971, when Husky offensive coordinator John Pettas was the Mustangs' quarterback. '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: RS-freshman fullback Sean Kelly (Gig Harbor/Bellarmine) and junior 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 current roster lists 36 players from the state of California, most of which come from the southern part of the state. The Huskies roster includes 20 players from the greater Los Angeles area: TE Ben Bandel (Murrieta), TE Dash Crutchley (Temecula), CB Sam Cunningham (Los Angeles), WR Quintin Daniels (Los Angeles), CB Mesphin Forrester (Los Angeles), S Chris Hemphill (Gardena), DT Jasper Henry (Los Angeles), ILB Dan Howell (Newhall), CB Derrick Johnson (Riverside), TE Robert Lewis (Van Nuys), CB Roy Lewis (Los Angeles), DT Erick Lobos (Los Angeles), SS Durrell Moss (Orange), OL Jovon O'Connor (Los Angeles), CB Josh Okeobor (Colton), S Chet Sanders (Carson), WR Sonny Shackelford (Beverly Hills), CB Clarence Simpson (Sylmar), TB Chris Singleton (Etiwanda) and CB Kim Taylor (Long Beach).

UW Against No. 1: Washington has played eight games against No. 1 teams, as ranked by the Associated Press. The Huskies have posted only a 1-6-1 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 eight No. 1 teams the Huskies have played, the '60 Michigan team, the '67 USC team, the '72 USC team the 2001 Miami Hurricanes 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 (note, at the time of last year's game at Ohio State, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 2 by the AP):

Nov. 6, 1937    at California              T, 0-0Dec. 2, 1939    at USC                     L, 7-9Jan. 2, 1961    vs. Minnesota (Rose Bowl)  W, 17-7Oct. 21, 1967   vs. USC                    L, 6-23Oct. 19, 1968   at USC                     L, 7-14Sept. 27, 1969  vs. Ohio State             L, 14-41Oct. 21, 1972   at USC                     L, 7-34Nov. 24, 2001   at Miami (Fla.)            L, 7-65

Last Year vs. USC: Matt Leinart threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns as No. 5 USC beat Washington, 43-23 for its first victory at Husky Stadium in 10 years. Leinart completed 19-fo-29 passes without an interception as the Trojans compiled 565 total yards. The two teams were tied at 7-7 after a Kenny James TD run for Washington and a 20-yard pass from Leinart to Keary Colbert from USC, before Ronald Nunn intercepted a Cody Pickett pass and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown to give the Trojans a lead they'd never relinquish. In the second quarter, the teams traded TDs wtih LenDale White running for a 20-yard score and Reggie Williams catching a 10-yard touchdown pass from Pickett. In the third, Reggie Bush caught a Leinart pass at midfield and ran in untouched for a 60-yard score. After an exchange of field goals to close the third, the Trojans put the game away with two straight touchdown drive in the final quarter. First, Leinart hit Brandon Hancock on a 52-yard pass before connecting with Bush for a second time in the game, this time for a 37-yard score. Pickett, who finished 22-for-42 for 274 yards, one TD and one interception, ran in from two yards out for the final score of the game. Hershel Dennis led all rushers with 98 yards on 14 carries. Reggie Williams caught nine passes for 115 yards and a TD, but was shut out in the second half, while USC's Mike Williams caught six passes for only 43 yards. Bush, however, finished the game with 132 receiving yards on five catches plus 81 rushing yards on 12 tries.

Last Time At The Coliseum: October 19, 2003, in Washington's most recent trip to the L.A. Coliseum, eventual Heisman winner Carson Palmer took a big step towards earning that honor in USC's 41-21 win over the UW. Palmer completed 21 of his 34 passes for 348 yards and four TDs and one interception, which came on the game's first play. 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.

Playing The Freshmen: Washington's true freshmen have been called in to action a fair amount so far. Three true freshmen have seen action in all six games: inside linebacker Dan Howell (mostly on special teams), defensive end Greyson Gunheim (started twice) and defensive tackle Jordan White-Frisbee (started three games). Additionally, safety Darin Harris and outside linebacker Trenton Tuiasosopo have seen action in five and two games respectively (again, mostly on special teams) and defensive tackle Erick Lobos saw extensive playing time in the last four games. True freshman Caesar Rayford was the latest youngster to see action, playing for the first time vs. Oregon State. Additionally, numerous redshirt freshmen have seen significant playing time: DT Wilson Afoa, QB Carl Bonnell, PK Michael Braunstein, CB Cody Ellis, S Chris Hemphill, FB Durrell Moss, TB Louis Rankin, WR Anthony Russo, OLB Kyle Trew and WR Bobby Whithorne.

Upcoming promotions: Here is a list of this season's promotions for each Husky home game:

Arizona (Homecoming)
• UW Faculty/Staff Day: UW Faculty Staff can purchase a ticket for $25 through the Husky Ticket Office, in person or by phone.
• Hall of Fame Inductees at halftime.
• Blanket drive
• 15,000 team poster giveaway (postgame)

• Food drive
• 10,000 trading cards sets distributed pregame.

Now on Pac-12 Network
2:00 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network