Huskies Open Pac-12 Play With 100th Game Vs. California
THE GAME: The Washington football team (1-2) opens conference play vs. California (1-2) this Saturday at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. PT and the game will air on Pac-12 Network. It will be the 100th UW-Cal game, as the Golden Bears will join Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State as opponents the Huskies have faced 100 times. Washington and Cal are the only two programs that have been members of what is now the Pac-12 Conference every year since it was created on Dec. 2, 1915. Following the Cal game, the Huskies play at Oregon State on Oct. 2 before their bye week.
QUICK HITTERS: Washington enters the week leading the Pac-12 in scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, first down defense and third-down efficiency defense ... Dylan Morris leads the Pac-12 in completions per game, passing yards and passing yards per game ... eight players made their first career UW start in the Montana game, and one more did vs. both Michigan and Arkansas State, which means that 39 members of the current roster have started at least one game for the Huskies ... 108 of the 125 players on the UW roster are freshmen or sophomores ... 77 are freshmen ... just two true freshmen have seen action for the Huskies in all three games: DLs Kuao Peihopa and Voi Tunuufi ... three more – QB Sam Huard, WR Jabez Tinae, and DB Davon Banks – played vs. Arkansas State ... UW tight end Cade Otton currently ranks No. 6 in school history in career receptions by a tight end (76) and seventh in career receiving yards by a TE (914) ... UW has gone 78 games in a row without allowing an opponent to score more than 35 points, easily the longest such streak in the nation ... Race Porter is currently second in the Pac-12 (15th in NCAA) with his 47.0-yard punt average, which is more than one and a half yards ahead of pace for the single-season school record (45.6) ... freshman Jalen McMillan had 152 receiving yards in the first half of the Arkansas State game, the first time a Pac-12 player had 150-plus receiving yards in a first half since Husky John Ross had 164 vs. Cal in 2016.
TELEVISION: The Washington-California game will air on Pac-12 Network, with Guy Haberman (play by play) and Shane Vereen (analyst) calling the action. The TV broadcast can also be viewed at on various online/digital services. Visit Pac-12.com for more.
RADIO: All Washington football games will air on the Washington Sports Network from Learfield, with Tony Castricone (play by play), former Husky tight end Cameron Cleeland (analyst) and former UW basketball player Elise Woodward (sidelines) on the call. Radio coverage begins four hours before kickoff on the network's flagship station: Seattle's SportsRadio 950 KJR with "Husky Gameday" live from The Zone for Husky home games. Statewide coverage on the 15-station Washington Sports Network begins two hours before kickoff. The entire broadcast is available worldwide on the Huskies Gameday mobile app and on GoHuskies.com. The UW broadcast of the game will also air on Sirius channel 146 and XM channel 198. Additionally, the Jimmy Lake Show airs each Wednesday during the season, at 6:00 p.m. PT.
HUSKIES vs. GOLDEN BEARS HISTORY: Washington and California are the only two teams that have played in what is now the Pac-12 Conference in every season since the league was founded in 1916. As that would indicate, they've played one another quite often. The Huskies hold a 54-41-4 record in the 99-game, all-time series, which began in 1904. Washington has won nine of the last 13 after Cal had won five in a row (2002-2006).
The Bears have won the last two, though. In 2019, in a game that featured a two-hour, 39-minute lightning delay and ended at 1:23 a.m., Cal won, 20-19. UW's Peyton Henry hit a 49-yard field goal with 2:05 to go, but the Bears countered with a 17-yarder with just eight seconds left for the win. Three years ago, the Huskies fell in 12-10, in a defensive struggle in Berkeley. The game featured just 27 first downs and 492 yards of total offense between the two teams, combined. Cal's only TD came on an interception return. In 2017 in Seattle, UW held Cal to 93 yards of total offense in a 33-7 win. In 2016 in Berkeley, Jake Browning threw for six TDs and 378 yards on 19-for-28 passing to lead UW to a 66-27 win. John Ross totaled 208 receiving yards and Dante Pettis added 104 more, while each scored three TDs. In 2015 in Seattle, Cal built a 27-7 lead over the UW and then held the Huskies off for a 30-24 win. In 2014 in Berkeley, a 100-yard fumble return from Shaq Thompson and an 86-yard pass to Ross were the key plays in a 31-7 Husky win.
In 2013 in Seattle, UW earned a 41-17 victory behind 241 rushing yards from Bishop Sankey and 376 passing from Keith Price. In 2012, the UW earned a 21-13 win thanks largely to second-half TDs from Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Sankey. In 2011 in Seattle, the Huskies held on a late goalline stand to preserve a 31-23 victory as Price threw for three TDs in the Pac-12 opener. In 2010 in Berkeley, the Huskies beat the Bears, 16-13, on the final play of the game, a one-yard run from Chris Polk. In 2009, the Huskies closed out their season with a 42-10 win over the Bears in Seattle. Jake Locker passed for 248 yards and three TDs and rushed for 77 and two more scores. In 2008, Cal won in Berkeley, in another season finale as Jahvid Best ran for 311 yards and four TDs in a 48-7 Bears win. In 2007, the 37-23 Husky victory broke a streak of five straight Cal wins in the series.
Prior to that five-game losing streak, the Huskies had won 19 consecutive games in the series, a streak that began with a 50-31 win in 1977. Before 2002, the last Cal win had come in 1976. Cal and UW first met in 1904, battling to a 6-6 tie in a game played in Seattle. In both 1915 and 1916, they played one another twice each year, with unbeaten Gil Dobie's Washington team sweeping the four games. In 1917, Cal broke the UW's 63-game unbeaten streak (still an NCAA record) with a 27-0 win in Berkeley. Other big games in the series include the 1937 game, when the unranked Huskies held No. 1 Cal to a 0-0 tie in Seattle. In 1991, the Bears probably came as close as anyone to beating Washington that national championship season, as Mike Pawlawski's last-gasp pass into the endzone was batted down in a 24-17 UW win. Washington has also posted four of its nine biggest comebacks in history against California. The biggest ever was in 1988, when the Dawgs trailed 27-3 before rallying to win, 28-27. In 1981, Washington was down 21-0 in the third quarter before coming back for a 27-26 victory. A 20-point comeback in 1993 (24-23) and a 14-point rally in 1999 (31-27) also rank on the list. In 2001, the Huskies trailed 21-7 in the first quarter, but came back to earn a 31-28 victory in Berkeley.
HUSKIES vs. BAY AREA SCHOOLS: Washington has a combined, all-time record of 110-86-8 vs. opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area. Washington is 55-41-4 against Cal, 43-44-4 vs. Stanford, 10-0 vs. San Jose State, 1-1 vs. St. Mary's and 1-0 vs. Santa Clara. The Huskies haven't played Santa Clara since 1935 and St. Mary's since 1947. Since 1977, UW is 60-21-0 vs. Bay Area teams: 28-7 vs. Cal, 24-14 vs. Stanford and 8-0 vs. San Jose State.
EXPERIENCE AND YOUTH: Thanks in part to the extended eligibility that resulted from the pandemic, Washington's 2021 roster is remarkable for both its youth and its experience, all at once. Washington returns 10 starters on offense and eight on defense, along with returning "starters" at kicker (both FG/PAT and kickoff), punter, holder and long snapper. Those numbers are all higher than average. What's more, the roster includes 17 individuals who have started at least one game on offense, and 13 on defense. All totaled, those 29 players (one of them, Alex Cook, has started on offense and defense) have started 212 games (129 on offense, 83 on defense).
All that said, the UW roster includes just six players in their final year of available eligibility: P Race Porter, OLB Ryan Bowman, QB Patrick O'Brien, C Luke Wattenberg, and TBs Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant. Of the 125 players on the current roster, 77 are listed as freshmen (55) or redshirt freshmen (22), while 31 more are sophomores. That means that 108 of 125 players (86 percent) have three or more years of eligibility remaining, entering the 2021 season. The roster includes just 11 juniors, five seniors and one grad transfer.
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. That's a streak of 78 games in a row that the Huskies' opponent has failed to score more than 35. In that 78-game stretch, Husky foes have scored 30 or more just 13 times (of those 13, five were exactly 30 points) and have been held to 14 or fewer points 32 times. In that same span of 78 games, the UW has scored more than 35 points on 31 occasions. No other team in the FBS has a current streak longer than 37 games (San Diego State).
DEFENSE vs. BIG PLAYS: Last year (albeit in only four games), Washington's defense allowed just one play from scrimmage for more than 40 yards, tied for fewest in the nation. In 2019, the Huskies gave up just seven such plays of 40 or more yards, the eighth-lowest total (tied) in FBS. The median for 40-plus yard plays allowed in 2019 was 14. Also in 2019, 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. Washington has allowed one player longer than 40 yards in three games during the 2021 season.
THE PAC-12: Prior to the 2011 season, the Pac-10 Conference added Utah and Colorado to expand to the Pac-12. Washington, which along with California is one of two schools who have been in the conference since its founding in 1915, plays in the Pac-12 North, along with the other three Northwest schools (Oregon, OSU, WSU) and Stanford and Cal. Under the current system, each school plays all five division rivals, plus four of six teams in the other division each season. The first two seasons, the Huskies did not face UCLA or Arizona State. In 2013 and 14, the Huskies didn't play Utah or USC. In 2015 in 2016, neither UCLA nor Colorado were on the UW schedule, while the Huskies didn't face USC and Arizona in 2017 or 2018. The 2019 season marked the start of a new cycle, moving the rotation back to where it started. Therefore, the Huskies 2019 and 2020 scheduled did not include UCLA and Arizona State. In 2021 and 2002, Washington will not play USC and Utah.
THE 100-YARD FACTOR: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 221-69-3 (.759) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies are 22-3 in such games dating back to the 2016 season.
HISTORY LESSON: Successfully rushing the football and winning go hand-in-hand for the Huskies. Since 1990, UW has rushed for 200 yards in a game 123 times. The Huskies' record stands at 106-16-1 (.801) in those contests.
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 42-13 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 398-182-21 (.680).