Game Week: Washington Facts and Factors

NOV. 4 -- UCLA has done well against the Huskies recently, and there is plenty of off-the-field drama...

UCLA travels to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies Saturday, in a game set to kick off at 4:00 and be televised on Fox Sports 1.

• Washington is 6-3 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12 North. They had an unfortunately tough conference schedule, with its three losses coming at the hands of Stanford (20-13), Oregon (45-20) and Arizona State (24-10). Their conference victories were at Cal (31-7) and at Colorado just last week, 38-23.

• UCLA is ranked #18 in the country, coming off a victory over then-#12-ranked Arizona last week. The Bruins are 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-12 South.

• The series between UCLA and Washington dates back to 1932, with the Bruins holding a 39-30-2 edge. Last year, in the Rose Bowl, UCLA won 41-31. UCLA has won 9 of the last 11, and 12 of the last 15, going back to 1997.

• In Seattle against the Huskies, UCLA is 14-20-1, and 4-5 in the last 20 years. The 2000s were actually pretty good for UCLA in Husky Stadium, going 3-2 there during that decade.

• UCLA and Washington have had four common opponents so far this season. Both teams beat Cal and Colorado on the road, with Washington’s victories coming a little easier (even though Washington was trailing Colorado last week through halftime). Both teams lost pretty handily to Oregon, while UW lost at home to ASU, which UCLA trounced on the road.

• UCLA, as a ranked team, hasn’t lost in Seattle in 29 years, not since 1985.

• In 12 of the last 17 meetings between Washington and UCLA, one or both of the teams has been ranked. In four of those games in which UCLA was the underdog, the Bruins managed to upset the Huskies -- most notably the 1990 loss at Husky Stadium that knocked UW out of national championship contention.

• Washington is in its first season under the helm of Head Coach Chris Petersen. Petersen (50) took over the UW job after eight successful seasons at Boise State, where he went 92-12 and led the Broncos to eight straight bowl games, punctuated by an undefeated season (14-0) in 2009 in which Boise State finished the season ranked #4 nationally. With what was considered a mid-major program, Petersen finished four seasons ranked in the top ten, and vaulted Boise State into national attention. He was known for taking lesser-ranked recruits and developing them into high-level college players. He turned down many job offers while at Boise State, including overtures from USC in 2010 and UCLA in 2012. It’s well known that Petersen is more of a Pacific Northwest kind of guy, and felt more comfortable in Washington, thus finally opting to leave Boise State. He’s known as an offensive coach, being a good quarterbacks coach himself, and fielding fundamentally sound, well-coached and well-disciplined teams. The NCAA record book lists the top active FBS coaches in terms of winning percentage (minimum five years at FBS) and Petersen tops this list with a career .885 mark.

• UCLA, as is well known, pursued Chris Petersen after the Bruins fired Rick Neuheisel. Sources were strongly indicating that Petersen was very serious about the job, but he ultimately turned down UCLA, and UCLA eventually hired Jim Mora.

• There are, of course, many ties between the UCLA and Washington programs. Jim Mora played at Washington, lettering from 1981 to 1983, and he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UW. His father, Jim E. Mora, was an assistant coach under Don James. UCLA assistants Demetric Martin and Eric Yarber have coached at Washington.

• There has been somewhat of an on-going story between Mora and UW. When he was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2006, on a radio talk show, when the Falcons were statistically still alive for a playoff spot that season, Mora jokingly said he’d take the Washington head coaching job if it were offered (even though it wasn’t open at the time). He was criticized by many Falcon fans for it, and Mora was fired by the Falcons following the 2006 season. Last year, when the Washington head coaching job did become open after Steve Sarkisian jumped to USC, Washington seriously pursued Mora, but he turned down his alma mater to remain at UCLA.

• It will be the first time Mora coaches in his former home of Husky Stadium since he was a graduate assistant there.

• Last year’s game at the Rose Bowl was a big one for Washington native Myles Jack, with the linebacker running for four touchdowns against the Huskies. Jack made some finger-licking gestures at the Washington sidelines, and there aren’t exactly pleasant feelings from Husky fans toward Jack. It is, of course, his first time returning home to play in front of his hometown crowd.

• Husky Stadium is one of the classic venues in the Pac-12 and perhaps the country. The Huskies are currently in their 94th season in the stadium, with some recent renovation fixing structural problems due to Washington’s moist weather, and featuring other upgrades. The renovation, began in 2011, cost $280 million, with the Huskies moving back in last season after playing at CenturyLink Field, the home of the Seahawks, for the 2012 season. It seats 72,500, and has a pretty fantastic view through its open end of Lake Washington. Husky fans claim the Wave started there, and it’s considered one of the loudest stadiums, with almost 70 percent of the seats located between the end zones and the cantilevered roofs trapping the sound (the volume has also probably been enhanced since some seats are now closer to the field with the track being removed in the renovation). Husky Stadium utilizes a turf field.

• UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has 68 career touchdown passes, and needs just one more to move into sole possession of the top spot on the all-time UCLA career list. He’s currently tied with Cade McNown.

• Last week, Eric Kendricks went over 100 tackles for the season, and became only the third Bruin in history to have three consecutive seasons of at least 100 tackles. He’s now in the vaunted company of Don Rogers (1981-83) and Jerry Robinson (1976-78).

Paul Perkins went over 1,000 yards for the season last week against Arizona, becoming the 13th Bruin to do so.

• UCLA is 32 of 33 for scoring in the redzone this season, which is a 97% success rate, #1 in the nation.

• UCLA has done well away from home recently, winning its last eight straight games away from the Rose Bowl (5-0 this season). The last time it had a longer streak of wins away from home was in 1997-1998 (10).

• UCLA is favored by 4.5 points.

• The Seattle weather forecast calls for a high of 57 degrees Saturday, with partly cloudy skies and just a 10% chance of rain.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories