Washington Facts and Factors

If you think UCLA football is going through hard times, you should have sympathy for your Washington counterparts, while the UCLA/Washington series has recently seen some dramatic finishes...

-- The UCLA Bruins travel to Seattle to take on the Huskies Thursday, with the game being televised nationwide on ESPN at 5:00 p.m. PST. Rece Davis, Craig James and Jesse Palmer will be in the booth.

-- Washington is 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the Pac-10, while UCLA is 4-6 and 2-4.

-- Washington has had a pretty extreme up-and-down season. For instance, they were blown out by Nebraska, came back the next week and beat USC, and then lost to Arizona State the next week. They are now on a three-game blow-out streak, having dropped consecutive games to Arizona (44-14), Stanford (41-0) and Oregon (53-16). Facing UCLA this week, the first unranked opponent Washington has faced since October 9th, must seem like a relief.

-- UCLA leads the all-time series with Washington, 38-29-2, which dates back to 1932. The Bruins have won 11 of the last 13 games, and are 4-2 in the last six games in Seattle.

-- No matter who has won in recent games, many of them featured pretty dramatic second-half action. Last year, UCLA barely held off a Husky comeback to preserve a win, 24-23. In 2007, UCLA won 44-31, in a game that featured 41 combined fourth-quarter points. In 2006, the Huskies in Seattle came from 16-0 down to win, 29-19. In 2005, the Bruins needed a fourth-quarter comeback to win, 21-17. In 2004, Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 322 yards and five touchdowns as the Bruins came back from a 24-7 deficit to win, 37-31. In 2003, 18th-ranked Washington had a 16-7 halftime lead but UCLA came back with a vengeance to win, 46-16 (UCLA's 39 second-half points were the most ever against a Husky team in the second half).

-- Washington is coached by 36-year-old Steve Sarkisian, who is in his second year in Seattle, with a record of 8-13. Last year, his first, he took the Huskies to a 5-7 season and what was viewed as a step forward for the program, after it had gone a combined 18-53 under his two predecessors, Tyrone Willingham and Keith Gilbertson, from 2003 to 2008. Sarkisian, of course, is the former USC offensive coordinator, who went from Trojan quarterback coach to offensive coordinator when then-OC Lane Kiffin left USC. Sarkisian was USC's OC for two seasons before taking his first head coaching job at Washington.

-- Going into the 2010 season, the Washington faithful had heightened expectations, especially with the return of quarterback Jake Locker, and the possibility of building on the promise of Sarkisian's first season. But the current record of 3-6 has drawn criticism of Sarkisian in Seattle, especially after the particularly demoralizing three-game blow-out streak. It doesn't help that Sarkisian made some pretty brash claims that Husky fans remember. When he took over the program, Sarkisian said he didn't think it would take long to turn around the program. Then, at the beginning of this season, he actually said the Huskies would go undefeated at home, and they've already lost three games in Husky Stadium.

-- The last head coach to have a winning record at Washington is Rick Neuheisel, when he went 33-16 from 1999 to 2002.

-- Many Washington fans, though, blame the current demise of the program on Neuheisel. Before Neuheisel arrived, Washington hadn't had a losing season in 22 years, but since his departure they've had six in a row (seven if you count this season).

-- Neuheisel has said this week that it won't be particularly significant to return to Washington to play Thursday, since he had already made his initial return trip with the Bruins in 2008.

-- If you think UCLA is going through the worst era in its football history, it's absolutely certain that the Washington program is experiencing its worst football since the 1950s. While UCLA fans are bemoaning UCLA's most recent record, it doesn't come close to the futility of Washington. In the last 8 years (including 2010 so far), UCLA is 50-46. Mediocre, yes. Washington isn't mediocre but horrendous, going 26-66 during the same stretch. It has recorded seasons of 0-12 (the worst in its history), 1-10 and 2-9 in that time.

-- Washington hasn't played a home football game on a weekday in the post-World-War-II era.

-- It's the final home game for Washington's 17 seniors.

-- Washington has already set a school record for playing the most true freshmen in a season, 14. In fact, the previous record had been 12 in a season, and Washington broke that record in its first game of this season against BYU when it played 13 true freshmen.

-- It's the 90th season to be played in Husky Stadium, which seats 72,500. Because of its design and location, with 70% of the seats located between the end zones and covered by canti-levered metal roofs, it is considered potentially to be the loudest stadium in college football. During a 1992 night game against Nebraska, ESPN recorded the noise level to be at 135 decibels, which was the highest decibel level ever recorded for a college football stadium and well above the threshold of pain. The stadium's last renovation was in 1987, and there are plans on the table for another update to begin in the fall of 2011. The $250 million remodel will be the most expensive renovation of a sports facility in NCAA history.

-- The Huskies will go all-black on Thursday, wearing all black jersey and pants, in an effort to pull off a "black-out." The end zone will be painted black and black t-shirts will be handed out to the Washington student section in an effort to black out the stadium. "We are just trying to do something special for our student body to keep them involved and excited about coming to watch us play," Sarkisian said. "I think our kids (players) are excited about it and it adds a unique feel to a night game."

-- Thursday's weather in Seattle calls for a pretty typical day this time of year – a high of 42 degrees and low of 38 degrees, and showers.

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