At Long Last, Huskies Set For 2020 Season Opener
THE GAME: The Washington football team opens the 2020 season – FINALLY – this Saturday, Nov. 14, vs. Oregon State at Husky Stadium. Kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. PT and the game will air on FS1. The long-awaited start to the Pac-12 season is also the first game for new head coach Jimmy Lake, who was named to the role in Dec. of 2019. Lake has spent the last six seasons on the UW defensive staff, with two years each as defensive backs coach, co-defensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. Washington was slated to begin the season last Saturday at California, but the game was cancelled after a Cal player's positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing and quarantine left the Bears unable to field a proper team.
QUICK HITTERS: Washington will have gone 329 days since their last game when they take the field, the time-span from Dec. 21 (Las Vegas Bowl vs. Boise State) and Nov. 14 (UW vs. Oregon State) ... UW lists just four returning starters on offense and just five on defense ... however, that doesn't accurately depict the returning experience ... 13 different players have started at least one game on offense and 11 on defense, with those 13 offensive players accounting for 115 career starts and the 11 defensive players for 93 ... of the 110 active players on the current UW football roster, just under half (54) are freshmen or redshirt freshmen, and an additional 33 are sophomores, meaning that 85 players have two or more years of eligibility remaining (not even taking into account this season's paused eligibility) ... the UW roster includes 11 juniors, 11 seniors and one graduate student ... UW has earned a bowl berth 10 years in a row, the longest such streak in the Pac-12, with the Huskies playing in nine different bowl games over that span ... the UW has gone 71 games in a row without allowing an opponent to score more than 35 points, the longest such streak in the nation.
TELEVISION: The UW-Oregon State game will air on FS1, with Alex Faust (play by play) and Petros Papadakis (analyst) calling the action.. Fans can also watch via various FOX platforms, including foxsports.com/live.
RADIO: Radio coverage of the 2020 Husky Football team along the Washington Sports Network from Learfield IMG College is already underway. The Jimmy Lake Show is a one-hour weekly show featuring the Huskies' head coach, airing live on Wednesday nights from 6-7 p.m. PT. On game day, live coverage begins four hours before kickoff with Husky Gameday hosted by Dave 'Softy' Mahler, Dick Baird and others. Castricone, Huard and Elise Woodward will call the play-by-play of the games.
All shows are available live on flagship station SportsRadio 950 KJR, the Washington Sports Network, and the Huskies Gameday mobile app, as well as available on demand on the GoHuskies Podcast.The UW broadcast of the game will also air on Sirius (206) and XM (206) satellite radio.
HUSKIES vs. BEAVERS HISTORY: Washington holds a 66-34-4 record in the all-time series against Oregon State, having won eight in a row, 24 of the last 32 meetings and 34 of the last 43, dating back to 1975. The series against the Beavers is the second-longest (to Stanford) active series in Washington football history in terms of years and third-longest in terms of total meetings (to Oregon and Washington State).
The teams first met on Dec. 4, 1897, with Oregon State earning a 16-0 home win. That game was Washington's second-ever against a major college. The next OSU-UW game didn't come until 1902, a 16-6 UW win.
Last year, Washington won a low-scoring game, 16-7, behind two field goals from Petyon Henry and two touchdown runs from Salvon Ahmed. Two years ago in Seattle, the Huskies built a 28-3 halftime lead and won, 42-23. The year before in Corvallis, Dante Pettis caught three TD passes from Jake Browning in a 42-7 UW win. In 2016 in Seattle, Washington opened a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and won, 41-17. Myles Gaskin rushed for 128 yards and a TD while both John Ross and Pettis topped 100 yards receiving. Browning was 14-for-28 for 291 yards and four scores. In 2015 in Corvallis, the Huskies won 52-7 as Browning also threw four TD passes and Gaskin rushed for 127 yards.
In 2014, Cyler Miles led UW to a 37-13 win, completing 18-of-23 passes for 253 yards and two TDs. In 2013 in Corvallis, Washington rushed for 537 yards and seven TDs en route to a 69-27 win. Three Husky backs ran for more than 100 yards (Bishop Sankey, 179; Deontae Cooper, 166; Dwayne Washington, 141). In 2012 in Seattle, Washington handed a 6-0 OSU squad its first loss in a 20-17 victory at CenturyLink Field. The winning score came on a 30-yard field goal from Travis Coons with 1:20 remaining. In 2011 at OSU, the Beavers upset the UW with a 38-21 victory. In 2010 in Seattle, UW won 35-34 in two OTs, denying a two-point conversion for the win. Jake Locker tied a then-school record with five TD passes, four to Jermaine Kearse.
In 2009 at OSU, the Beavers got 159 rushing yards from Jacquizz Rodgers to roll to a 48-21 win over the Huskies. In 2008 in Seattle, James Rodgers rushed for 110 yards on only three carries and Lyle Moevao was 18-for-22 for 191 yards to lead OSU past the UW, 34-13. The 2007 game in Corvallis was memorable for an injury to Locker, controversial calls from referees and five Alexis Serna field goals in a 29-23 Beavers win. In 2006 in Seattle, QB Isaiah Stanback's college career came to an end with a devastating foot injury and the Huskies' lost, 27-17. In 2005, the Beavers got six field goals from Serna in an 18-10 win over Washington. In 2004 at Husky Stadium, OSU picked up its second win in four seasons against the UW with a 29-14 win, the Beavers first at Husky Stadium since 1985. Serna kicked a then-school-record five field goals to provide the winning margin. In 2003 in Corvallis, Charles Frederick piled up a school-record 371 all-purpose yards, scoring three touchdowns, as the Huskies cruised to a 38-17 win.
The Beavers' next-most recent win (prior to 2004) in the series came in Corvallis on Nov. 10, 2001, when the Beavers broke a 13-game losing streak to the Huskies. That day, an unranked OSU team trounced No. 8 Washington, 49-24, the first Beaver win (home or away) since the 1985 Husky Stadium game. Several other recent meetings have come down to the wire. In 2000, Ryan Cesca missed a game-tying field goal in the closing seconds as the Huskies held on for a 33-30 win. In 1998, the Beavers went for a two-point conversion with no time left. The pass attempt was batted down by Husky safety Nigel Burton and the Huskies won, 35-34.
DAWGS AND THE NORTHWEST: Washington's most-played rivalries are against the other three other northwest Pac-12 schools. The Huskies have faced Washington State 112 times, Oregon in 112 games and Oregon State on 104 occasions. Washington owns the advantage in all three series. The Huskies lead the Ducks 60-47-5, Washington State 74-32-6 and Oregon State 66-34-4. Combined, Washington has a 200-113-15 (.633) record against its northwest rivals. Washington has played all three of the Northwest teams in a season on 91 prior occasions. Over those 91 seasons in which Oregon, OSU and WSU were all on the UW schedule, the Dawgs have swept all three 30 times. In the meantime, the Huskies have lost to all three in the same season on only seven occasions.
OPPONENTS 35-AND-UNDER: Washington hasn't allowed an opponent to score more than 35 points in a game since a 44-30 loss at UCLA in 2014 – one of only three games in the last six years that an opponent has scored more than 35 points. That's a streak of 71 games in a row that the Huskies' opponent has failed to score more than 35. In that 71-game stretch, Husky foes have scored 30 or more just 11 times (of those 11, five were exactly 30 points) and have been held to 14 or fewer points 31 times. In that same span of 71 games, the UW has scored more than 35 points on 29 occasions. No other team in the FBS has a current streak longer than 50 games.
RETURNING STARTERS: While the official number of "returning starters" this year for Washington includes just five defensive and two offensive players, a deeper look at the numbers reveals a lot more experience. In fact, not counting specialists (UW returns its starting placekicker and holder), Washington has 13 current players who have started at least one game on offense, and 11 who have started on defense – though obviously most of those were not the primary starter at any one position last season. Those 24 individuals have started 208 career games, collectively.
YOUTH: Washington's roster remains on the young side. Of the 110 current active players, one less than half – 54 – are freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Washington's roster includes one graduate student, 11 seniors, 11 juniors, 33 sophomores, 21 redshirt freshmen and 33 true freshmen.
SEASON OPENERS: Washington is 88-36-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .700. Since 1989, Washington has posted an 18-12 record in season openers – 11-1 at home, 7-9 on the road, 0-2 neutral site. Last year, Washington beat Eastern Washington, 47-14. In 2018 in Atlanta, the Huskies fell to Auburn, 21-16. In 2017, the Huskies opened with a 30-14 win at Rutgers, who they also beat in Seattle to begin the 2016 season. The year before, the Huskies fell, 16-13, at Boise State. In 2014, the UW beat Hawai'i, 17-16, in Honolulu, while in 2013, Washington beat Boise State, 38-6, in the UW's return to newly renovated Husky Stadium. In 2012, the Huskies beat San Diego State, 21-12, at CenturyLink Field, and in 2011, the Huskies beat defending NCAA Division I FCS Champion Eastern Washington, 30-27, for the UW's first season-opening win since 2007. In the 29-season span dating back to 1989, the Huskies have opened vs. a ranked team 13 times (5-8): vs. No. 15 Stanford in 1993 (W, 31-14), at No. 17 USC in 1994 (L, 24-17), at No. 20 Arizona State in 1996 (L, 45-42), vs. No. 19 BYU in 1997 (W, 42-20) at No. 8 Arizona State in 1998 (W, 42-38), vs. No. 11 Michigan in 2001 (W, 23-18), at No. 12 Michigan in 2002 (L, 31-29), at No. 2 Ohio State in 2003 (L, 28-9), at No. 21 Oregon in 2008 (L, 44-10), vs. No. 11 LSU in 2009 (L, 31-23), vs. No. 19 Boise State in 2013 (W, 38-6), at No. 23 Boise State in 2015 (L, 16-13), neutral vs. No. 9 Auburn in 2018 (L, 21-16).
HOME OPENERS: The Huskies are 95-28-5 in home openers (whether the first game of the season or not), a percentage of .762. (Washington did not play any home games in the 1890 or 1893 seasons.) That mark includes a 28-game streak of home-opener wins that ran from 1908 to 1935. Before falling to Air Force in the 1999 home opener, Washington had won 13 straight such games since having fallen to Oklahoma State on Sept. 7, 1985. The Huskies have won their last 10 home openers in a row, dating back to a loss to No. 11 LSU in the 2009 home opener.
DEFENSE vs. BIG PLAYS: The UW allowed just seven scrimmage plays of 40 or more yards all of last season, the eighth-lowest total (tied) in the nation. The median for 40-plus yard plays was 14. The Huskies allowed just two plays over 50 yards, the third-lowest (tied) total (the median was seven). The year before, the Huskies gave up just ONE scrimmage play of 40 or more yards all season. No other FBS team allowed fewer than four and 102 teams allowed 10 or more that year. In 2017, the UW also led the nation with fewest 40-yard scrimmage plays allowed (3) and were second in fewest 30-yard plays (14). They were tied for 5th and 2nd, respectively, in 2016.
HUSKY STADIUM RENOVATION: Husky Stadium underwent a major renovation over from Nov., 2011, through Aug., 2013, as the entire lower bowl and south upper deck were demolished and replaced. The new facility features a new, state-of-the-art football operations center (weight room, training room, locker room, meeting rooms, coaches' offices) in the west end, much more premium seating options and a new playing surface. Husky Stadium had featured a track up until 2011, so seats that were once far from the field, particularly in the west end, are much closer to the action. UW is 38-11 at home since the re-opening of Husky Stadium.
ALASKA AIRLINES FIELD AT HUSKY STADIUM: The Oregon game on Nov. 5, 2011, marked the final game in Husky Stadium prior to major renovations that were completed in summer, 2013. The Huskies re-opened their home field with a 38-6 win over then-No. 19 Boise State on Aug. 31, 2013. The 2018 season marks the 99th 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. UW's all-time record in Husky Stadium stands at 394-180-21 (.680).