Huskies Face Another Road Test With Trip To Stanford
THE GAME: The Washington football team (3-4 overall, 2-2 Pac-12) returns to the road for the second week in a row as the Huskies travel to face Stanford (3-4, 2-3) Saturday night in Palo Alto. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m., and the game will air on FS1 television. The Huskies picked up a come-from-behind road win last week at Arizona, overcoming a 13-0, halftime deficit to win, 21-16. The Cardinal were idle last week, following a win over Oregon and losses at Arizona State and Washington State. After these back-to-back road games, the Huskies return to Seattle for their next two: Nov. 6 vs. Oregon and Nov. 13 vs. Arizona State.
QUICK HITTERS: Along with LSU and TCU, Washington is one of just three teams in the FBS that has scored in every red-zone opportunity this season ... the Huskies have scored 14 touchdowns and five field goals in 19 trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line this season ... UW is one of just nine teams that has allowed two or fewer scrimmage plays of 40 or more yards this season ... just one team (Arizona State, 0) has allowed fewer ... Race Porter is currently No. 3 the Pac-12 (9th in NCAA-FBS) with his 48.1-yard punt average, which is 2.5 yards ahead of pace for the UW single-season school record (45.6) ... eight players made their first career UW start in the season opener, and one more each did the same vs. Michigan, Arkansas State and Cal ... two more did at Arizona ... that means that 42 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 ... 78 are freshmen ... just five true (first-year) freshmen have played this season for the Huskies: DLs Kuao Peihopa and Voi Tunuufi, QB Sam Huard, WR Jabez Tinae, and DB Davon Banks ... UW has gone 81 games in a row without allowing an opponent to score more than 35 points, easily the longest such streak in the nation.
TELEVISION: The Washington-Stanford game will air on FS1 television, with Alex Faust (play by play) and Petros Papadakis (analyst) calling the action.
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 137 and XM channel 197. Additionally, the Jimmy Lake Show airs each Wednesday during the season, at 6:00 p.m. PT.
HUSKIES vs. CARDINAL HISTORY: Over 91 all-time meetings, Washington and Stanford have arrived at a nearly even record, with 44 wins for Stanford, 43 for UW, along with four ties (43-44-4). After winning eight straight vs. Stanford from 1959 to 1966, the Huskies lost 10 in a row from 1967 to 1976. Since that 1976 loss, Washington has gone 24-13 against the Cardinal. One of those 13 losses was a big upset in 1982 when the No. 2 Huskies fell to the Cardinal, 43-31, in Palo Alto. The second UW loss during that stretch came at Stanford in 1994, when the Cardinal upset 12th-ranked Washington, 46-28.
More recently, the Cardinal beat the Huskies, 27-13, at Palo Alto in 2004. After no game in 2005, Stanford won its second straight over the UW in a 20-3 victory in 2006 at Husky Stadium. The Cardinal also won 13 seasons ago in Seattle, 35-28, and in 2009 in Palo Alto (34-14). In 2010, Stanford blanked the UW, 41-0, at Husky Stadium; and in 2011, the Cardinal won, 65-21, at Stanford.
Prior to that, the most recent UW victory had come in 2007, when the Huskies rushed for a total of 388 yards in a 27-9 win over the Cardinal. Louis Rankin led the way with 255 yards on 36 carries. Last year, the Cardinal dealt UW its only loss, 31-26, in what proved to be the Huskies' last game of the season. In 2019 at Stanford, the Husky offense struggled in a 23-13 loss to the Cardinal. In 2018, the UW built a 21-0 lead and held on to win, 27-23. Four seasons ago in Palo Alto, Stanford won, 30-22, despite three rushing TDs from Myles Gaskin.
In 2016 in Seattle, on a highly-charged Friday night at Husky Stadium, the 10th-ranked Dawgs beat the No. 7 Cardinal, 44-8. In 2015, the Cardinal earned a 31-14 victory in Palo Alto, while in 2014, the Cardinal won a defensive battle in Seattle, 20-13, as Kevin Hogan's five-yard run with 4:29 broke a 13-13 tie. In 2013, the Cardinal edged the Dawgs in a close game in Palo Alto, 31-28, with Washington's attempt to drive or a tie or the lead stalled at midifeld with 1:16 left on the clock.
In 2012 on a Thursday night in Seattle, the Huskies edged the No. 8 Cardinal, 17-13, thanks to a 61-yard run from Bishop Sankey and a 35-yard TD catch from Kasen Williams.
Washington and Stanford first played one another in 1893 in a game that marked the first major college opponent for UW. That game, played in West Seattle, resulted in a 40-0 Stanford victory. There wouldn't be another matchup between the two schools until 1920, when the Cardinal nipped Washington, 3-0, in the last UW home game prior to the opening of Husky Stadium. After a 0-0 tie in 1921, the Huskies' first victory in the series came in 1922, 12-8 at Palo Alto.
STANFORD – UW'S OLDEST RIVAL: In the fifth and final game of the 1893 season, Dec. 29, 1893, Washington took on Stanford, marking the Huskies' first-ever game against another college. Prior to that, all of the UW's eight all-time games (since 1889) had come vs. club or alumni teams (notably, the UW did play a team called "Washington College (Tacoma)" in 1890, but that short-lived boarding school, despite its name, was not what would be called a "college" in modern terms, as it enrolled students as young as 10 years old.). The UW-Stanford game was played in West Seattle in front of a reported 900 fans, most of whom arrived by ferry boat from Seattle proper, and the Cardinal easily handled the home team, 40-0. Stanford's team wasn't much more experienced, having started play in 1891, but it had been coached the season before (and again in 1894 and 1895) by Walter Camp, one of the pioneers of the game. Stanford fullback Martin Kennedy led his team with four touchdowns. While the Huskies have played several other modern-day opponents more times, no rivaly dates back earlier than the one vs. Stanford. Aside from games vs. Whitman (a Division III school that dropped football in 1977) and Vashon College (which closed entirely in 1912), the UW didn't face another college foe until 1900, when Washington played Idaho, Washington State and Oregon for the first time.
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 126 players on the current roster, 78 are listed as freshmen (56) or redshirt freshmen (22), while 31 more are sophomores. That means that 109 of 126 players (86.5 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 82 games in a row that the Huskies' opponent has failed to score more than 35. In that 82-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 82 games, the UW has scored more than 35 points on 31 occasions. No other team in the FBS has a current streak longer than 41 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 two plays longer than 40 yards in seven games during the 2021 season. Only one FBS team has allowed fewer (Arizona State, 0).