Huskies to host UCLA after Bye Week - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Huskies to host UCLA after Bye Week

Photo: Washington Athletics Photo: Washington Athletics

By Washington Athletics

THE GAME: The Washington football team (6-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-12) returns to action after a week off as UCLA (4-3, 2-2) visits Husky Stadium for a 12:30 p.m. game this Saturday. The homecoming contest will air live on ABC television. The Huskies enter the week ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and No. 12 in the coaches' poll. The UW plays four of its final five regular season games at home, starting this week. The only remaining road game is Fri., Nov. 10, at Stanford, sandwiched by UCLA this week, Oregon (Nov. 4), Utah (Nov. 18) and WSU (Nov. 25).
 
QUICK SLANTS: The UW is 21-3 over its last 24 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 21 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 (24.4 ypr) ... seven games into his junior season, Jake Browning currently sits third on the UW career passing yards (7,990) and fourth in career completions (615) charts ... his 73 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. 2 in the nation in total defense (236.9 ypg), No. 2 in rushing defense (73.0 ypg), No. 3 in scoring defense (10.2 ppg), No. 6 in passing yards allowed (163.9  ypg), No. 7 in first down defense (101), No. 12 in team sacks (3.13 pg) and No. 15 in turnover margin (+1.00 per game) ... UW held Cal to 93 total yards and -40 rushing yards, the fifth and third-fewest, respectively, in Husky history.
 
TELEVISION: The UW-UCLA game will air live to a national audience on ABC television (or, in some locations, ESPN2) with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), former Husky QB Brock Huard (color) and Allison Williams (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 (83) and XM (83) satellite radio. 
 
THE YOUNG AND THE OLD: Washington has been a notably and demonstrably young team the last couple of years and, while the Huskies have gotten distinctly more experienced across the board, the roster still skews towards youth. The 2017 roster includes 40 freshmen and 26 sophomores, compared to just 16 seniors and 27 juniors, meaning just under 61 percent of the players have three or more years of eligibility left. At the same time, Washington has 53 returning lettermen and, not counting specialists, 32 different Huskies have started at least one game during their career, entering the 2017 season.
 
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. BRUINS HISTORY:  UCLA enjoys a 10-game edge in the series, with 40 wins, 30 losses and two ties in 72 all-time games against Washington. The Bruins have taken that lead relatively recently, having  won 13 of the last 16, with many recent games having been comebacks. The last UW-UCLA game was in 2014, when racked up 476 yards in a 44-30 win. The year prior in Pasadena, UCLA held on for a 41-31 win despite the Huskies out-gaining the Bruins in total offense. Cyler Miles came off the bench for injured starter Keith Price and threw for 149 yards and two scores while UCLA's Myles Jack rushed for four touchdowns. Prior to that, the Huskies and Bruins hadn't played one another since 2010 (UW didn't face UCLA or ASU in 2011 and 2012). That previous meeting was a rare Thursday night contest in Seattle, with the Huskies beating the Bruins, 24-7, as UCLA was held off the scoreboard after the first quarter. Chris Polk rushed for 138 yards and Jesse Callier added 107 in what was mostly a defensive game (UW out-gained UCLA 321 to 163 yards). In 2009 in Pasadena, the Bruins held off the Huskies' comeback attempt for a 24-23 victory. In 2008, UCLA pulled away late for a 27-7 win. But in 2007 in Pasadena, the Bruins beat the Huskies, 44-31, in a game that featured 41 combined points scored in the fourth quarter after a 10-10 tie at the half. The Huskies got the win in 2006 in Seattle, coming back from 16-0 behind to win, 29-19. In 2005, the Bruins needed a fourth-quarter comeback to secure a 21-17 win as the Huskies led 10-0 at half and 17-7 after three quarters. In 2004 in Seattle, Maurice Drew ran for 322 yards and five touchdowns as the Bruins came back from a 24-7 deficit to win, 37-31. In 2003 at the Rose Bowl, 18th-ranked Washington built a 16-7 halftime lead, but the Bruins stormed back to win going away, 46-16. UCLA's 39 second-half points were the most ever against a Husky team in a second half. In 2002, the Bruins parlayed a 24-14 halftime lead into a 34-24 win. In 2001, the Bruins won, 35-13, as tailback DeShaun Foster rushed for 301 yards in a game the Huskies played without injured starting quarterback Cody Pickett (the only game Pickett missed after separating his right shoulder the previous week vs. USC). In 2000, with a 35-28 win, Washington broke the Bruins' three-game winning streak in the series. UCLA had won games in 1997, 1998 and 1999 to take the series advantage, which, prior to the '97 meeting was tied at 27-27-2. In 12 of the last 17 meetings (all but 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007) between Washington and UCLA, one or both of the teams has been ranked. Going by ranking alone, the Bruins managed to upset the Huskies in four of those games – most notably the 1990 loss at Husky Stadium that knocked aside the UW's national title hopes. In that '90 game, the unranked Bruins handed No. 2 Washington a 25-22 loss. In the next meeting in 1993, 22nd-ranked UCLA beat the 12th-ranked Dawgs, 39-25. Prior to 2004, the most recent "upset" was in 1999, when an unranked UCLA team beat No. 22 Washington, 33-20. The UW-UCLA series first got underway in 1932, when the Huskies posted the first of four straight shutouts against the Bruins. UCLA got its first win in the series in 1938 with a 13-0 win in Los Angeles.
 
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 California. Under current plans, each school will play 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 face Utah or USC. In 2015 in 2016, neither UCLA nor Colorado are on the UW schedule, while the Huskies don't face USC and Arizona this year and next.
 
THE 100-YARD FACTOR: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 209-65-3 (.760) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies were 8-0 in such games last year, and are 2-0 in 2017.
 
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 111 times. The Huskies' record stands at 94-16-1 (.851) in those contests. Since 1995, UW is 69-13-1 (.837) when rushing for 200 yards.
 
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 24-8 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 380-177-21 (.676).

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