Washington Opens Season Tonight

Aug. 31, 2007

The Game: The 2007 Husky football season gets underway this Friday, August 31, when the Huskies travel across the country to face Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Kickoff for the nationally-televised game (ESPN) is set for 8:00 p.m. EDT/5:00 p.m. PDT. The Husky team will fly to Syracuse on Wednesday and return to Seattle early Saturday morning. The game kicks off a schedule that many national pundits are calling the nation's toughest. After the Syracuse game, the Huskies return home to face a pair of BCS bowl teams from last season - Boise State and Ohio State - before traveling to face UCLA. Then another BCS team, USC, comes to Husky Stadium to close out a challenging first month of the season.

Huskies vs. Orange History: Not surprisingly for two teams on the other sides of the country from one another, Washington's history vs. Syracuse is relatively brief. However, the two teams have played two games back in the 1970s, one at each team's home field. On Sept. 29, 1973, Syracuse traveled to Husky Stadium, where the UW picked up a 21-7 win. After a scoreless first quarter, the Huskies got on the board in the second when Steve Lipe blocked a punt and scored after a three-yard runback. In the third quarter, Husky QB Denny Fitzpatrick ran in from three yards out and, in the fourth, a 63-yard run from backup quarterback James Anderson made it 21-0. Syracuse QB Robert Sutton scored on a one-yard run about midway through the final periord to account for the visitors' only points. Despite notching 22 first downs to the Huskies' nine, Syracuse was out-gained, 283 yards to 214, in total offense. Four years later, on Sept. 24, 1977, Syracuse evened the series with a 22-20 win at Archbold Stadium. The game was won on a 31-yard field goal by Dave Jacobs with only 23 seconds remaining. The Orange took the early lead with a first-quarter TD run from Jim Sessler and a second-quarter field goal from Jacobs. However, Washington took the lead by halftime as Warren Moon connected with receiver Spider Gaines on a pair of scoring passes (25 and 51 yards) in the second quarter. In the third, Jacobs kicked a second field goal and the Orange went back on top when a Husky punt was blocked and recovered in the endzone. After a two-point attempt failed, Syracuse led, 19-14. Moon put the Huskies back on top with a four-yard run with 3:38 remaining in the game (a two-point attempt also failed), but Bill Hurley led a drive that ended in Jacobs' third field goal of the day to win it. Hurley finished with 113 yards while Art Monk added 83 for the home team. Moon completed 16-of-25 pases for 257 yards and two TDs for the UW while Gaines caught seven passes for 169 yards. UW head coach Tyrone Willingham has faced Syracuse once before as a head coach. His Notre Dame squad lost, 38-12, at the Carrier Dome on Dec. 6, 2003. While Syracuse head man Greg Robinson has faced Washington as an assistant coach, he's never squared off with the UW, or Willingham, has a head coach ...

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