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UW Set For Season Opener Saturday Night Vs. Kent State

Aug 29, 2022

THE GAME: The Washington football team opens the 2022 season this Saturday, Sept. 3, with the program's first-ever game vs. Kent State. The game also marks the beginning of the Kalen DeBoer era at UW, as the 30th Husky head coach makes his Montlake debut. Kickoff for the season opener at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium  is 7:30 p.m. PT. The game will air on FS1 television. The Huskies open the 2022 season with four straight home games, as this Saturday's game is followed by visits from Portland State on Sept. 10 and Michigan State on Sept.17, before the Pac-12 opener on Sept. 24.
 
QUICK HITTERS: Washington's next home-game victory will mark the program's 400th win at the 102-year old Husky Stadium ... other than the pandemic-shortened 2020 season – when due to cancellations, the entire UW schedule consisted of just four games, all at home – the last time the Huskies opened a season with four consecutive home games was in 1976, when the Dawgs opened vs. Virgina, Colorado, Indiana and Minnesota ... the current UW rosters includes players who list hometowns from 16 different states ... the Husky roster includes 31 newcomers in 2022; here's a breakdown: 20 freshmen, two junior college transfers, and nine four-year college transfers ... of the 114 players on the roster, 55 are listed as freshmen (17) or redshirt freshmen (38), with an additional 27 sophomores ... that means that 82 of 114 players (72 percent) have three or more years of remaining eligibility entering the 2022 season ... Washington has 12 players who have just one remaining year of eligibility.
 
HOME OPENERS:  The Huskies are 96-29-5 in home openers (whether the first game of the season or not), a percentage of .758. 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 had won their last 11 home openers, dating back to a loss to No. 11 LSU in 2009, prior to a loss to Montana in last season's debut.
 
TELEVISION: The Washington-Kent State game will air on FS1, with Alex Faust and Petros Papadakis calling the action. Fans with the proper subscription can also watch at FoxSports.com.
 
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 KJR 93.3 FM – with "Husky Gameday" live from The Zone for Husky home games. Statewide coverage on the 12-station Washington Sports Network begins two hours before kickoff. The entire broadcast is available worldwide on the Huskies Gameday mobile app and the Varsity app. The UW broadcast of this game will also air on Sirius channel 83 and XM channel 83. Additionally, the Husky Football Coaches Show airs each Wednesday during the season (starting Aug. 24), at 6:00 p.m. PT.
 
HUSKIES vs. THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE:  Washington has never faced Kent State in the two programs' long history. In fact, the Huskies have very little experience vs. teams from the Mid-American Conference. The UW has won all three of its games against the current members of the MAC (all three were members at the time of their games against UW as well). All three UW games vs. MAC teams came during a nine-year stretch between 1984 and 1991, and all were comfortable Husky home-game victories. The Huskies beat Miami (Ohio), 55-7, in 1984; Bowling Green, 48-0, in 1986; and Toledo, 48-0, in 1991.
 
Washington does have one very strong connection with the Kent State football program in that Don James had spent four seasons as the Golden Eagles' head coach (1971-74) before beginning his legendary, 16-year career as Washington's head coach (1977-1992). Longtime former UW athletic director Mike Lude was AD at Kent State when James was coach, and eventually followed the Dawgfather to Montlake, serving as AD for 14 yards (1976-1991).
 
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. The roster includes 18 individuals who have started at least one game on offense, and another 18 on defense. All totaled, those 35 players (one of them, Alex Cook, has started on offense and defense) have started 248 games (147 on offense, 101 on defense). And, that doesn account for the handful of veteran transfers who were mulit-year starters at their previous school, and also doesn't account for specialists, who are also seasoned starters at their positions.
 
All that said, the UW roster includes just 12 players in their final year of available eligibility: CB Jordan Perryman, LB Cam Bright, EDGE Jeremiah Martin, S Alex Cook, WR Brennan Holmes, PK Peyton Henry, OL Jaxson Kirkland, OL Henry Bainivalu, OL Corey Luciano, P Kevin Ryan, LB Kristopher Moll and RB Wayne Taulapapa. Of the 114 players on the current roster, 55 are listed as freshmen (17) or redshirt freshmen (38), while 27 more are sophomores. That means that 82 of 114 players (72 percent) have three or more years of eligibility remaining, entering the 2022 season.
 
Season Openers: Washington is 89-37-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .697. Since 1989, Washington has posted an 19-13 record in season openers – 12-2 at home, 7-9 on the road, 0-2 neutral site. In the 31-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 vs. NON-CONFERENCE:  Washington has been very tough to beat in home, non-conference games over the last several decades. Going back to (and including) the 1981 season, the Huskies have posted a 72-14 record against non-Pac-10/Pac-12 foes in Husky Stadium. Those 14 losses have come to Montana (2021), Nebraska (2010), LSU (2009), BYU (2008), Oklahoma (2008), Ohio State (2007), Notre Dame (2005), Fresno State (2004), Nevada (2003), Air Force (1999), Nebraska (1997), Notre Dame (1995), Colorado (1989) and Oklahoma State (1985). Notable wins wins during that stretch include victories over No. 19 Boise State in 2013, No. 22 Boise State in 2007, No. 11 Michigan in 2001, No. 4 Miami in 2000, and No. 12 Nebraska in 1992. Prior to the 2004 loss to Nevada, Washington hadn't lost a home game to a non-league opponent since falling to Air Force, 31-21, on September 18, 1999. The Huskies had won 10 such games before that Nevada loss. UW had a 20-game home, non-conference win streak broken last year.
 
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 are not scheduled to play USC and Utah.
 
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 43-16 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 2021 season marks the 101st 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 399-185-21 (.677).