Huskies continue Pac-12 play against Cal - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Huskies continue Pac-12 play against Cal

No. 6 Huskies look to move to 6-0. Photo: UW Athletics No. 6 Huskies look to move to 6-0. Photo: UW Athletics

By Washington Athletics

THE GAME: The Washington football team (5-0 overall, 2-0 Pac-12) hosts its first Pac-12 home game this season as former UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox brings the Cal Golden Bears (3-2 overall, 0-2 Pac-12) to Husky Stadium for a 7:45 p.m. game Saturday. The game will air on ESPN. The Huskies enter the game ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and No. 5 in the latest coaches poll. Following the Cal game, the Huskies travel to Arizona State Oct. 14 before a bye week Oct. 21. Five of Washignton's seven remaining regular-season games are at Husky Stadium.
QUICK SLANTS: The Huskies are off to a 5-0 start for the second year in a row, the first time they've started 5-0 in consecutive years since 1991 and 1992 ... the UW is 20-2 over its last 22 games ... the UW hasn't allowed 30 points in a game since the 2015 Heart of Dallas Bowl (a 44-31 win over Southern Miss), a span of 19 games ... Washington's Dante Pettis opened the season with a punt return for a touchdown in each of the UW's three games: 61 yards at Rutgers, 67 yards vs. Montana and 77 yards vs. Fresno State ... with 8 career TDs on punt returns, he has tied the NCAA record, shared by Wes Welker (Texas Tech) and Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma) while also tying the NCAA mark for consecutive games with a punt return TD (David Allen, Kansas State, 1998; Ryan Switzer, North Carolina, 2013) ... Pettis currently leads the nation in punt returns (38.8 ypr) and is No. 3 in total TDs (nine) ... five games into his junior season, Jake Browning currently sits fourth on the UW career passing yards (7,636) and career completions (571) charts ... his 71 career TD passes remain second on the list, behind Keith Price's 75 ... seven true freshmen have seen action for the UW so far this year: TE Hunter Bryant, TE Jacob Kizer, WR Ty Jones, TB Salvon Ahmed and DBs Keith Taylor, Brandon McKinney and Elijah Molden ... UW entered the year with 32 players on the roster who had started at least one game ... four more (LB Ben Burr-Kirven and DBs Jordan Miller, Myles Bryant and Byron Murphy) earned their first starts at Rutgers, two more (WR Jordan Chin and TE Hunter Bryant) started vs. Fresno State and Austin Joyner started at Colorado, meaning that 39 different Huskies have started a game ... Washington ranks No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense (10.8 points per game) and No. 10 in scoring offense (44.0), as well as No. 11 in turnover margin (+1.5 per game).
TELEVISION: The Washington-California game will air live to a national audience on EPSN television with Mark Jones (play-by-play), Rod Gilmore (color) and Quint Kessenich (sidelines) providing the commentary.
RADIO: The Washington IMG College Network, with its flagship station KOMO AM-1000 and FM-97.7, will carry the live broadcast of every football game on 17 Northwest radio stations. Longtime play-by-play man Bob Rondeau and color analyst Damon Huard are joined by sideline reporter Elise Woodward. The home broadcast of the game will also air on Sirius (132) and XM (199) satellite radio.
RETURNS ON FIRE:  Since the arrival of coach Chris Petersen and his staff prior to the 2014 season, Washington has had five kickoff returns for touchdowns (four by John Ross and one by Keishawn Bierria) and eight punt returns for TDs (all by Dante Pettis, good for a share of the NCAA record). Ross actually had five career TDs, but his first came in the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl, the last game before the start of the Petersen era. Even if you include that Ross TD, you have to back 16 seasons before you count the previous five Husky kick return TDs, and 23 seasons to count the last eight punt returns. Ja'Warren Hooker returned a kick for a score in 1997. Then, from 1998 to 2033, the Huskies had five: Ross in 2013, Louis Rankin in 2007, Roc Alexander in 2001, Paul Arnold in 1999 and Touré Butler in 1998. As for punt returns, Beno Bryant had three punt return TDs in 1990, and another in 1991. Since then, over 23 seasons (1991-2013), the Huskies had just six more: Jesse Callier in 2011, Chris Stevens in 2006, Charles Frederick in 2003 and (2001), Joe Jarzynka in 1998), and Dave Janoski in 1996 – and two of those (Callier & Stevens) were on blocked punts, so not "traditional" punt returns. What's more? Since Petersen's arrival, the Huskies haven't allowed a single punt or kick return for a score.
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 53-39-4 record in the all-time series, which began in 1904. Last Nov. 5 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, a late interception on the Huskies' final drive sealing the victory. 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. Both accounted for two TDs. 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 on only 19 carries 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 108-81-8 vs. opponents from the San Francisco Bay Area. Washington is 54-39-4 against Cal, 42-41-4 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 58-16-0 vs. Bay Area teams: 27-5 vs. Cal, 23-11 vs. Stanford and 8-0 vs. San Jose State.
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 23-8 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 have now been completed. The Huskies re-opened their home field with a 38-6 win over then-No. 19 Boise State on Aug. 31, 2013. The 2017 season marks the 97th 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 379-177-21 (.675).

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