THE GAME Washington (2-0) will continue its season-opening four-game homestand as Michigan State (2-2) visits Seattle for the first time since 1970. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PST and the game will be broadcast on ABC television. The Huskies are opening the season in convincing wins over Kent State, Portland State and under new head coach. Kalen DeBoerIt was his first year as the head coach. After the match against the Spartans the Huskies will conclude their month-long homestand at Stanford with the Pac-12 opener.
QUICK HITTERS This Saturday’s UW-Michigan State match will be the fourth ever. It will also mark the second UW-Michigan State match in Seattle. The first, which took place on Sept. 19, 1970 was the debut of the legendary UW quarterback. Sonny SixkillerIn one of the era’s most memorable home matches (more on page3), the Pac-12’s new QB Michael Penix, Jr. leads in passing yards and touchdowns. Through two games, the Huskies are leading the league in total offense, passing offense and third-down conversions. While the defense leads in pass efficiency defense, total defense, and total defense, four true freshmen have played this season for the UW: DL Jayvon Parker, CB Jayvion Green, PK Grady Green & WR Denzel Boston … UW’s 21 first-quarter points vs. Kent State marked the Huskies’ highest total in a single quarter since they scored 24 in the fourth quarter vs. Arizona on Oct. 12, 2019, a stretch of 22 games … UW scored on its first six possessions vs. Kent State (five touchdowns, one field goal) and on their first four vs. Portland State (all TDs) … UW has scored on 15 of 21 drives this year, including 10 out of 11 in the first half … 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 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.
TELEVISION: The Washington-Michigan State football game will air on ABC. Quint Kessenich, Robert Griffin III and Mark Jones will call the action. WatchESPN.com can be accessed by subscribers who have the appropriate subscription.
RADIO: All Washington football games will air on the Washington Sports Network from Learfield, with Tony Castricone (play-by-play), Cameron Cleeland, a former Husky tight end (analyst), and Elise Woodward, formerly a UW basketball player (sidelines) will be 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. Two hours prior to kickoff, coverage of the entire state on the 12-station Washington Sports Network starts. The broadcast can be viewed worldwide on both the Huskies Gameday mobile and Varsity apps. SiriusXM channel 99 and 197 will broadcast the UW broadcast. This game will also be broadcast on a syndicated national basis on Learfield Sports. Sloane Martin (play to play) and Mike Golic Jr., Jr. (analyst), will host the call. Each Wednesday, at 6 p.m. PT, the Husky Football Coaching Show will air.
HUSKIES vs. MICHIGAN STRATE: Washington and Michigan State have played one another only three times – once each in Seattle and East Lansing, and once in Honolulu. UW leads the series 2-1. These three meetings are arranged in reverse chronological order.
Washington 51, Michigan State 23 • Aloha Bowl, Aloha Stadium • Dec. 25, 1997
The 1997 season was concluded by the Huskies beating the Nick Saban-coached Spartans. This victory was aided by many big plays, 193 rushing yards, and two touchdowns from Rashaan Shehee, tailback. The Huskies ended their regular season losing streak with this win. The Huskies also got Brock Huard’s 179 passing yards and two touchdowns. Tony Parrish (56 yard) and Lester Towns (66.6 yards) both returned interceptions for touchdowns. (Towns would later go on to work with Saban at Alabama. Fullback Mike Reed also scored with a 64-yard run during the third quarter.
Washington 42, Michigan State 16 • Husky Stadium • Sept. 19, 1970
Husky fans still remember the 1970 season opener as it was the debut of quarterback. Sonny SixkillerAfter a terrible 1969 season (1-9), he had made a huge impact at the 1970 spring games. Sixkiller finished 16 of 35 passes, gaining 276 yards and three interceptions. He also scored three touchdowns against the Spartans. This was just three quarters before the second string assumed control. Sixkiller connected to Ira Hammon, completing a 59 yard touchdown pass. Sixkiller threw a pick-6 intercept that was returned for a touchdown. Sixkiller then connected with Bo Cornell for a five yard TD pass in the second quarter. UW was able to make it 21-7 in the third quarter thanks to a 37 yard connection with Hammon. Another highlight was halfback Mark Wheeler, who ran for a 48 yard score. Sixkiller would go to be a UW fan favorite and featured on the Oct. 4, 1971 issue of Sports Illustrated.
GoHuskies.com/1970s for more information about the UW-MSU 1970 landmark game. For stats & recaps from all three games, go to GoHuskies.com/FBArchive.
Michigan State 27, Washington 11 • Spartan Stadium • Sept. 20, 1969
The 1969 season opened with Washington facing a three-game non-conference schedule that included games at Michigan State, Michigan, and Ohio State. The ’69 season was turbulent for the Huskies who would win the Apple Cup to finish 1-9. The year opened in East Lansing before 63 022 fans. They saw the Spartans win 27-11 after coming back from a 9-7 lead through three quarters. This was thanks to a 20 percent fourth quarter. Quarterback William Triplett ran for two touchdowns (one on the first play in the final quarter to give MSU the lead). Running backs Eric Allen (113), and Donald Highsmith (143), each exceeded 100 yards. Donald Law had a 70 yard interception return, while Thomas Love, halfback, threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Franklin Foreman. Luther Sligh’s 20-yard, second-quarter touchdown was the only one for UW. Ron Volbrecht also made a field goal for the Huskies, and they scored two points on a safety in the last quarter.
HUSKIES vs. THE BIG TEN Washington holds a 48-47-2 record all-time vs. current Big Ten opponents, a record that includes an 0-3 mark against Penn State (though the Nittany Lions were not members of the Big Ten at the time of two of those games against the UW) and 4-5-1 vs. Nebraska, also not a Big Ten member at the time of any of those games. Washington has faced all 12 Big Ten teams, but only nine times have they faced one Big Ten opponent since 2003. The UW had played Indiana in ’03, Ohio State and Illinois in ’07, Illinois, 2013-14, Rutgers, 2016-17, Penn State in 2017 Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State at the 2019 Rose Bowl, and Michigan in 2021). The Huskies have played Big Ten teams nine times in bowl games since 1990 (not counting Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl in 2010): Iowa in the 1990 Rose Bowl, Michigan in the 1992 and 1993 Rose Bowls, Iowa in the 1995 Sun Bowl, Michigan State in the 1997 Aloha Bowl, Purdue in the 2001 Rose Bowl, Purdue in the 2002 Sun Bowl, Penn State in the 2017 Festa Bowl and OSU the 2019 Rose Bowl. In those games, the Huskies were 4-5. Here’s the UW record against current Big Ten team: 7-4 vs. Illinois, 1-2 vs. Indiana and 3-3 vs. Iowa. 7-10-vs. Minnesota. 2-1 vs. Michigan State. 3-0. Northwestern. 3-9-vs. Ohio State. 0-3. Purdue. 7-2-1. Vs. Rutgers. 4-1. Wisconsin.
EXPERIENCES AND YOUTH Washington’s 2021 roster, thanks in part to its extended eligibility due to the pandemic is both young and experienced. The roster features 18 players who have appeared in at least one offense and 18 defense game. The total of those 35 players includes one. Alex Cook, have played on both offense and defense in 248 games (147 for offense, 101 for defense). This doesn’t include veteran transfers who were multi-year starters at the school they attended before, nor does it account for specialist starters who are also experienced at their positions.
Despite this, only 12 UW players are eligible for the final year of eligibility. Jordan Perryman, LB Cam BrightEDGE Jeremiah MartinS Alex CookWR Brennan HolmesPK Peyton HenryOL Jaxson KirklandOL Henry BainivaluOL Corey LucianoP Kevin Ryan, LB Kristopher Moll RB Wayne Taulapapa. The current roster has 114 players. 55 of them are freshmen (17), redshirt freshmen (38) and 27 are sophomores. This means that 72 per cent of the current roster’s 114 players still have three or more years eligibility and can play in the 2022 season.
HOME vs. Non-CONFERENCE Over the past several decades, Washington has been very difficult to beat in non-conference home games. The Huskies’ record against non-Pac-10/Pac-12 opponents in Husky Stadium is 74-14. This includes the 1981 season. Those 14 losses came to Montana (2021), Nebraska (2010) LSU (2009) and BYU (2008). They also lost to Oklahoma (2008), Oklahoma (2003), Notre Dame (2005). Fresno State (2004). Nevada (2003). Air Force (1999), Nebraska (1997), Notre Dame (1995), Colorado (1989), Oklahoma State (1985). There have been notable victories against No. 19 Boise State, No. 22 Boise State, No. 11 Michigan, 2001, No. 4 Miami in 2000, and no. 12 Nebraska in 1992. Washington had never lost a home contest to a nonleague opponent since the September 18, 1999 defeat to Air Force (31-21). Prior to the Nevada loss, 10 Huskies won such games. UW’s 20-game non-conference home win streak was broken last year.
THE PAC-12 The Pac-10 Conference had added Utah and Colorado before the 2011 season to make it the Pac-12. Washington is, along with California, one of the two schools that have been part of the conference since its inception in 1915. The Pac-12 North includes the three Northwest schools (Oregon State University, Oregon State University, WSU and Cal). The current system allows each school to play each of the five division rivals as well as four of six other teams in each division. In the first two seasons, Arizona State and UCLA were not faced by the Huskies. The Huskies did not play Utah or USC in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, neither UCLA nor Colorado appeared on the UW schedule. However, the Huskies were not scheduled to face Arizona or USC in 2017 and 2018. The 2019 season was the start of a brand new cycle. This brought the rotation back where it began. The 2020 and 2019 Huskies seasons did not include Arizona State and UCLA. Washington is not set to play Utah or USC in 2021, as they did not do so in 2002.
HUSKY STADIUM RENOVATION: Husky Stadium was renovated from Nov. 2011 to Aug. 2013. The entire lower bowl and upper deck of the stadium were removed and replaced. New facilities include a state-of the-art football operations centre (weight room and locker room, weight room, training rooms, meeting rooms, coaches’ office, etc.) in the west end. There are also premium seating options, as well as a new playing surface. Husky Stadium used to have a track, so that seats in the west end are closer to the action. Since the reopening of Husky Stadium, UW has been 45-16 at home.
ALASKA AIRLINES FIELD AT HUSKY STADIUM: The Oregon game, Nov. 5, 2011, was the last game at Husky Stadium before major renovations were completed in 2013. The Huskies won 38-6 against then-No. 19 Boise State on August 31, 2013. The Husky Stadium will host its 101st season in 2021. Washington was the first to play in the new campus facility after its construction began in 1920. UW holds the record for Husky Stadium at 401-185-21 (1.678).