Now, the post-Jake Locker Huskies, ranked 22nd nationally, visit Stanford, sporting a sparkling 5-1 record and led by QB Keith Price. While LSJU is synonymous with legendary quarterbacks, including the incumbent and all-worldly Andrew Luck, UW has turned out some decent QBs over the years – Sonny Sixkiller, Warren Moon, Chris Chandler, Mark Brunell, Marques Tuiasosopo, the brothers Huard, and most recently, Jake Locker.
Keith Price is a 6-1 sophomore from Compton, Calif. whose eye-popping early-season play (69% completion percentage, 21 TDs and only 4 INTs, nearly 9 YPA) has evoked memories of his famous predecessors at UW. One of Price's predecessors, Tuiasosopo, played an unforgettable role in the 2000 contest, one of the most memorable UW at Stanford games in recent history. Let's briefly revisit four prior UW at Stanford games, all of which featured ranked Washington teams.
1982: UW rolled into Stanford ranked No. 1 in the nation and raced out to an early 17-7 lead. LSJU roared back, as senior QB John Elway played one of his finest games as a collegian, completing 16 of his last 17 passes with a pair of TD tosses.
Add a Mike Dotterer TD run and a Vincent White punt return that would make Devin Hester proud, and Stanford posted an historic 43-31 upset, perhaps its greatest victory under coach Paul Wiggin. Elway's performance earned him the cover of the following week's Sports Illustrated.
Years later, in the early days of the online Bootleg, we published this entertaining recap of that wondrous afternoon.
1994: The 12th-ranked Huskies set foot on The Farm as heavy favorites over an underachieving 2-5-1 Stanford team that would ultimately mark the end of the Walsh II era on the Farm.
LSJU's heroic QB that rainy afternoon was current Oregon assistant coach Scott Frost (better known to Booties as the brother of our beloved stadium announcer, "snapper61"). Frost, a marvelous athlete in the Tim Tebow mold, had one of his best games as a Stanford QB, stepping in after starter Steve "Super Swede" Stenstrom broke his finger in the second quarter, and leading LSJU to a 29-25 upset.
While Frost completed only two passes for 31 yards, he ran the offense flawlessly, rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and guided LSJU to three second-half scores. Anthony Bookman added 119 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns, and LSJU ran away from the shell-shocked Dawgs in the second half.
2000: Stanford, fresh off its appearance in the 2000 Rose Bowl, its first in almost 30 years, faced No. 9 UW, coached by "Slick Rick" Neuheisel.
Unfortunately, disaster befell both teams on another rainy October afternoon. Most sadly, UW defensive back Curtis Williams suffered a paralyzing injury in the third quarter on a collision with LSJU's Kerry Carter. Williams never recovered from the injury and passed away in 2002.
In matters of lesser importance, the sluggish Cardinal trailed 24-6 late in the fourth quarter, but mounted a seemingly miraculous comeback. In a short span of just a few minutes of game clock, LSJU scored three times, aided by two successful Mike Biselli onsides kicks, with quarterback Randy Fasani rushing for two touchdowns and connecting with DeRonnie Pitts for another (as well as a two-point conversion to DRP). The scoring flurry gave Stanford a 28-24 lead with just 53 seconds remaining.
Alas, UW's ever-clutch Marques Tuiasosopo stunned the rain-soaked LSJU home crowd by engineering an Elway-esque, three-play, 80-yard, game-winning touchdown drive in those last 53 seconds. Final score: UW 31, LSJU 28.
2009: UW's most recent visit resulted in a 34-14 upset win for LSJU. The Huskies, in Coach Steve Sarkisian's debut season, had surprised USC the week before and came in nationally ranked for the first time since 2003. LSJU, in the second season of bowing to no program, proceeded to dismantle the Dawgs decisively.
Before many fans (including your correspondent) had even entered the stadium, sophomore Chris Owusu electrified those inside the building by taking the opening kickoff to the house for a TD. Toby Gerhart exploded for a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage after a UW score, and, in a sign of some very big things to come later that season, totaled 200 yards on 27 carries. Stanford's young QB, a redshirt freshman from Texas named Andrew Luck, completed a modest seven passes for 103 yards.
Meanwhile, the Stanford defense harassed the heralded Husky QB Jake Locker all game long, intercepting him twice, forcing a fumble and limiting him to 16 completions and a mere 21 rushing yards. Stanford led 24-14 at halftime and held UW to only five first downs after that, pulling away to a 34-14 win. The game ended with Stanford knocking on the door yet again, on the Washington one-yard line.
As in 2009, the Huskies are again enjoying their first national ranking of the season. Keith Price certainly has been a revelation, and Washington is averaging nearly 37 ppg. Saturday's game could be the 2011 Cardinal's toughest test thus far, and might be the latest among many memorable UW at Stanford games. See you at the game on Saturday!
Peter Chen ‘80 (aka "nobadeer") is one of the original Booties, dating back to the weekly faxes of the pre-Internet early 1990s.
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