• UCLA will host the Washington Huskies at the Rose Bowl on Friday at 6:01 p.m. PST. The game will be telecast by ESPN2, with commentators Carter Blackburn, Danny Kanell and Allison Williams calling the action.
• UCLA is 7-2 (4-2 in the Pac-12) and ranked 13th in the country.
• Washington is 6-3 (3-3 in the Pac-12) and is currently unranked.
• UCLA leads the all-time series 38-30-2. The two teams haven't met since UCLA plays in Seattle in 2010, when the Huskies won 24-7.
• UCLA has won the last seven meetings between the two at the Rose Bowl. The last time Washington won at the Rose Bowl was 1995, when current UCLA linebacker Myles Jack was two months old.
• UCLA running backs have set two of their most impressive records against Washington. In 2001, Deshaun Foster rushed for 301 yards against the Huskies, which set a then-UCLA record. In 2004, Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 322 against the Huskies, which broke the record and still stands.
• This week, UCLA has several injured or dinged up running backs, including Jordon James, Damien Thigpen, and Steven Manfro, but unveiled a formation last week that put linebacker Myles Jack in at running back. Jack exploded for 120 yards on six carries, and it's an open question how much time he'll see in the offensive backfield on Saturday.
• Jack is from Bellevue, Washington, which is just a short distance away from Seattle. Washington was one of the main schools recruiting him, aside from UCLA.
• Washington is led by head coach Steve Sarkisian, in his fifth year in Seattle, with a record at Washington of 32-28. Sarkisian, who took over a program that had gone 0-12 in 2008, immediately pushed the Huskies back to some sort of respectability, earning a 5-7 record in his first year. Since then, though, Sarkisian's Huskies' teams have been mired in a familiar place for UCLA fans, consistently churning out 7-6 records in each of the last three years. This year, with high hopes to being the year, Washington lost three straight, to Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona State, which knocked them out of the Top 25. There is speculation that Sarkisian, who as recently as a month ago was talked about as a potential candidate for the USC job, could find himself on the hotseat if Washington is unable to finish strong.
• Washington is eliminated in the Pac-12 North at this point, having lost to both Stanford and Oregon, who are the two current leaders in the North. Even if Washington were to win out, Stanford holds the tiebreaker, and only has two conference games remaining.
• UCLA, on the other hand, still controls its own destiny in the South. If the Bruins win out, they'll be the South champions for the third year in a row. If UCLA does lose to Washington, though, the road gets a little muddier, with the Bruins needing Arizona State to lose at least one more game to either Arizona or Oregon State.
• After beating Colorado last week, Washington made itself bowl eligible, but the Huskies may still have some work to do. Currently, eight teams are bowl eligible from the Pac-12, and depending how many teams gets BCS bowls, a six-win Pac-12 team could find itself out of luck when bowls select teams. The Pac-12 only has seven contracted bowl agreements, meaning that if the Pac-12 does not place a team in a non-Rose Bowl BCS game, at least one team would need to hope for a non-affiliated bowl.
• A week after facing off against Ka'Deem Carey, who some believe is the best running back in the Pac-12, the Bruins will face the guy everyone else considers the best running back in the Pac-12, Bishop Sankey. Sankey is third in the country in rushing yardage per game, and his 2,931 yards rank him fourth on the all-time Huskies rushing list. With 189 more yards, he'll eclipse Joe Steele on the all-time list and find himself behind only Chris Polk (3,999) and Napoleon Kaufman (4,041).
• Obviously, there are many connections between the Huskies and UCLA, none more prominent than the connection between UCLA head coach Jim Mora and the school. Mora graduated from Washington, and played defensive back under Husky legend Don James. In 2006, while still the head coach for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL, Mora joked on radio that he take the Huskies job even if the Falcons were in the middle of a playoff run. Mora drew a great deal of criticism from the Atlanta fan base, and the joke may have played a role in his ultimately being let go by the Falcons. Since then, there's been speculation, founded or unfounded, that the Washington job would be his dream job.
• Under Mora, UCLA has done particularly well against the Pac-12 South, with an 8-0 record through the past two seasons, but has struggled against the Pac-12 North. Currently, the Bruins have a 2-6 mark against the North, having lost to Stanford three times, Oregon State once, Oregon once, and California once. Washington, obviously, is in the North.
• Jim Mora is 9-2 at the Rose Bowl in his two years at UCLA, and 5-2 in conference home games.
• Jack's one game of running was good enough to place him 10th on the all-time freshman rushing list at UCLA.
• Friday's game will mark the first time that UCLA has played a home game on a Friday night since 1978, when the Bruins hosted Arizona at the Coliseum. With a 6:00 P.M. start time, there's an expectation that many fans will need to miss work to get to the game on time.
• UCLA will debut its all-black "L.A. Midnight" jerseys on Friday. The blue and black have become, in a certain sense, the de facto football colors of the Mora era, with Spaulding Field now decked out in black and blue, the equipment truck painted black and blue, and many of the coaches donning black and blue clothing during practice and games.
• Despite pleas from Mora and the players for fans to wear black, UCLA has not called for an official blackout.
• It's the first time UCLA has opened a season ranked and remained ranked through the first 11 rankings since the 2001 season.
• The Bruins are favored by 2.5.
• The weather in Pasadena on Friday calls for a high of 72 degrees, and it should be in the mid-to-low 60s at the 6:00 p.m. kickoff.
Washington Facts and Factors
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