Huskies prepare for clash with Ducks on Saturday - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Huskies prepare for clash with Ducks on Saturday

Photo: UW Athletics Photo: UW Athletics

By Washington Athletics

THE GAME: The Washington football team (7-1 overall, 4-1 Pac-12) opens up a tough November schedule vs. old rival Oregon (5-4, 2-4) in the 110th meeting between the two Northwest foes. The game will kick off at 7:00 p.m. PT and air on FOX Sports 1 television. The Huskies enter the week ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and No. 11 in the coaches' poll. The UW plays four of its final five regular season games at home, starting last week vs. UCLA. The only remaining road game is Fri., Nov. 10, at Stanford, followed by home games vs. Utah (Nov. 18) and WSU (Nov. 25).
 
QUICK SLANTS: The UW is 22-3 over its last 25 games ... the UW hasn't allowed more than 28 points in a game since the 2015 Heart of Dallas Bowl (a 44-31 win over Southern Miss), a span of 22 games ... according to the NCAA, UW's remaining schedule is 25th-toughest in the nation (out of 131 FBS teams) ... 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 is currently No. 2 in the nation in punt returns (20.5 ypr) ... eight games into his junior season, Jake Browning currently sits third on the UW career passing yards (8,088) and third in career completions (623) 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 (236.3 ypg), No. 2 in rushing defense (71.6 ypg), No. 4 in scoring defense (12.1 ppg), No. 7 in first down defense (116), No. 8 in passing yards allowed (164.6  ypg), No. 8 in team sacks (3.25 pg) and No. 19 in turnover margin (+0.75 per game) ... UW's defense has allowed just 8 TDs in 8 games (3 rush, 5 pass).
 
TELEVISION: The UW-Oregon game will air live to a national audience on FOX Sports 1 with Aaron Goldsmith (play-by-play), A.J. Hawk (analyst) and Danny Kanell (analyst) on the call.
 
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 (119) and XM (197) satellite radio. ESPN Radio will also air a nationally broadcast. 
 
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. DUCKS HISTORY:  Washington leads the all-time series against the Ducks with 59 wins, 45 losses and five ties. In games played in Eugene has the Ducks enjoy a 17-13 edge all-time (Oregon's home games vs. the UW were played in Portland for many years), while the Huskies are 31-21-4 against their cross-border rivals in games played in Seattle. The Ducks have had the edge of late, winning 17 of the last 22 against the Dawgs. Last year, the Dawgs broke the Ducks' long win streak in the series with a 70-21 win in Eugene. Jake Browning was 22-for-28 for 304 yards and a school-record six TD passes (plus two rushing TDs) while Myles Gaskin rushed for 197 yards on just 16 carries. Two years ago in Seattle, Oregon won, 26-20, as a third-quarter, 72-yard run from Myles Gaskin and a three-yard pass from Jake Browning to Jaydon Mickens in the fourth brought the UW to within six points. The Ducks, however, intercepted a last-minute pass to preserve the win. In 2014 in Eugene, a 21-point output from Oregon in the second quarter was the major difference in a 45-20 Ducks win.  In 2013 at Husky Stadium, the Ducks stretched a seven-point lead heading into the fourth quarter into a 45-24 victory. Marcus Mariota passed for 366 yards and three TDs rushed for 88 and one while the Huskies got 167 rushing yards from Bishop Sankey. In 2012 in Eugene, second-ranked Oregon beat No. 23 Washington, 52-21. In 2011, in the final game at the old Husky Stadium, the Ducks beat the UW, 34-17. In 2010 in Eugene, UW QB Keith Price made his first college start in a 53-16 Husky loss. Oregon led 18-16 in the third quarter before pulling away. In 2009 at Husky Stadium, Oregon won, 43-19. In 2008 in Eugene in the season-opener for both teams, Jeremiah Masoli came off the bench and led the Ducks to a 44-10 win. In 2007 in Seattle, the Huskies and Ducks were tied at 31-31 after three quarters before Oregon pulled away in the final period for a 55-34 win. The Huskies' last win over Oregon prior to 2016 was in 2003, when Shelton Sampson and Kenny James both rushed for over 100 yards in a 42-10 Husky victory. Washington and Oregon first met on the football field in 1900, a 43-0 Oregon win in Eugene. The Huskies got their first win in the series in the next meeting, a 6-5 victory in 1903. From 1974 to 1993, Washington won 17 of 20 meetings. The series also features one of the biggest year-to-year turnarounds in college football history as the Ducks beat the Huskies, 58-0, in 1973 and then lost at the UW, 66-0, the following year.
 
DAWGS AND THE NORTHWEST:  Washington's most-played rivalries are against the other three other northwest Pac-12 schools. The Huskies have faced Washington State 109 times, Oregon in 109 games and Oregon State on 102 occasions. Washington owns the advantage in all three series. The Huskies lead the Ducks 59-45-5, Washington State 71-32-6 and Oregon State 64-34-4. Combined, Washington has a 194-111-15 (.630) record against its northwest rivals. Washington has played all three of the Northwest teams in a season on 88 prior occasions. Over those 88 seasons in which Oregon, OSU and WSU were all on the UW schedule, the Dawgs have swept all three 29 times (including 2016). In the meantime, the Huskies have lost to all three in the same season on only seven occasions.
 
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 210-65-3 (.761) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies were 8-0 in such games last year, and are 3-0 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 112 times. The Huskies' record stands at 95-16-1 (.853) in those contests. Since 1995, UW is 70-13-1 (.839) 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 25-8 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 381-177-21 (.676).

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