Picture Day: Washington's annual Picture Day will be held at Husky Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 14 starting at 1:30 p.m. Schedule posters, schedule cards and other promotional items will be distributed to fans in attendance. Free food and drinks will also be available to fans in attendance. Husky players and coaches will be available during the two-hour period for autographs and photos.
Kickoff Luncheon: Washington's annual kickoff luncheon will take place Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. in Dempsey Indoor. Tickets for the event are $30. Tickets may be reserved by calling 206-543-2210.
Squad Breakdown: Washington returns a total of 49 lettermen, including six starters on offense and defense from last season's 6-6 squad. There are 26 lettermen back on offense, 21 on defense and two kickers. The 49 returning lettermen have combined to earn a total of 79 letters. The six returning offensive starters combined for 49 games last year while the six returning starters on defense made a total of 59 games. Notably, the Huskies have 10 returning lettermen on the offensive line and nine former letterwinners in the defensive backfield.
Sunday Opener: In an unusual turn, the Huskies will open the 2004 season on a Sunday, having moved their opener back by one day so that their matchup vs. Fresno State can air live to a nationwide audience on Fox Sports Net. The fact that the NFL doesn't get its season underway until the following weekend allowed for the move. The obvious question -- has Washington ever played a game on a Sunday? The answer is no. At some point in their history, the Huskies have played a game on every day of the week other than Sunday, many of those non-Saturday contests coming in bowl-game action. In the early years of UW football, games on Thursday and Friday were not at all uncommon. On two occasions, 1961 and 1978, the Huskies played in the Rose Bowl on January 2, as those two years, New Year's Day fell on Sunday. Incidentally, the last time the UW opened a season on a day other than Saturday was in 1999, when the Huskies traveled to Brigham Young for a Thursday night ESPN game, falling to the Cougars, 35-28.
Home Openers: The Huskies are 83-24-5 in home openers (whether the first game of the season or not), a percentage of .763. That mark includes a 28-game streak of home opener wins that ran from 1908 to 1935. Before falling to Air Force in the 1999 home opener, Washington had won 13 straight since falling to Oklahoma State on Sept. 7, 1985. Last year, Washington opened the home slate with a 38-13 win over Indiana after having beaten San Jose State in 2002. In 2001, the Huskies opened vs. No. 10 Michigan, beating the Wolverines, 23-18, in a mild upset. Husky coach Keith Gilbertson is 6-2 as a head coach in home openers. Gilbertson was 3-0 in home openers at Idaho and 2-2 at California and is 1-0 at the UW. He had won his first five in a row before losing to Hawaii, 21-7, in the Bears' 1994 home opener.
Season Openers: Washington is 79-29-6 all-time in season openers, good for a mark of .719. Since 1989, Washington has posted a 9-5 record in season openers - 5-0 at home and 4-5 on the road. In that 14-season span, the Huskies have opened vs. a ranked team eight times: vs. No. 15 Stanford in 1993 (W, 31-14), at No. 17 USC in 1994 (L, 24-17), at No. 20 Arizona State in 1996 (L, 45-42), vs. No. 19 BYU in 1997 (W, 42-20) at No. 8 Arizona State in 1998 (W, 42-38), vs. No. 11 Michigan in 2001 (W, 23-18), at No. 12 Michigan in 2002 (L, 31-29) and at No. 2 Ohio State last year (L, 28-9).
E.T. Headed Up The Charts: Senior wide receiver Charles "E.T." Frederick has already placed his name on several pages of the UW record book. Most notably, he broke the UW's single-game all-purpose yards record last year at Oregon State, when he compiled 371 to break Hugh McElhenny's 53-year old record. But, he certainly won't stop there. Frederick, who has led the UW in punt returns for three straight season and led the Pac-10 in that category last year, already appears on a number of the UW's single-game, single-season and career top-10 lists and is within striking distance of others. Here's a look at the season and career top-10 lists on which Frederick already appears and others he's likely to crack in 2004:
Category Current Total Current Rank UW Record Season Kickoff Returns 30 (2002) 1st 30 Career Kickoff Returns 58 3rd 64 Season Kickoff Return Yards 601 (2002) 3rd 748 Career 50-Yard Rec. 3 4th 8 Career Kick Return Yards 1,093 4th 1,532 Career Punt Return Yards 688 5th 1,086 Season Receiving Yards 831 (2003) 7th 1,454 Season Punt Return Yards 340 (2003) 7th 593 Career Punt Return Average 11.3 7th 13.6 Career Punt Returns 61 t-7th 112 Season Receptions 59 (2003) 8th 94 Career All-Purpose Yards 3,289 10th 5,832 Career Receptions 104 11th 243 Career Rec. Yards 1,482 13th 3,598
D.J.'s Picks: Senior cornerback Derrick Johnson has been an everyday starter each of the last two seasons. Along with the three starts he made as a true freshman in 2000 (he redshirted the 2001 season with an injury), Johnson has made 26 career starts and has 11 interceptions to show for it. Two years ago, he had five picks. Last year, he upped that total to six. If that progression continues, he has a shot at the UW's long-standing career interceptions record as he is seven shy of Al Worley's school record of 18, set between 1966 and 1968. Johnson's 11 career picks (he didn't have any in 2000), currently rank as seventh-most in school history. One more will tie him for sixth on the UW season list and only two more will bump him up to a tie for third. His six interceptions last year were eighth-most in Husky history and most since Walter Bailey made eight picks in 1991. Last year, Johnson broke one of Worley's less well-known records by intercepting a pass in four straight games. Worley had streaks of three straight on two occasions in 1968 when he intercepted an NCAA record 14 passes, a mark that still stands.
Khalif's Starts: Senior offensive tackle has a chance to perform the rare feat of serving as a true four-year starter if he makes a start in each game this season. Barnes, who originally came to the UW as a defensive lineman and only switched sides at the end of his true-freshman season, has started every game for the Huskies over the last three seasons, 37 in all (counting bowls). If he were to start every game this season, he'd become the first lineman in UW history to start every game of four straight seasons. The closest any Husky offensive lineman has ever come was when Chad Ward started all but three games between 1997 and 2000 (including his last 45 in a row).
Short On Experience: Washington's returning quarterbacks have combined to throw only 25 career passes during their college careers entering the 2004 season. Junior Casey Paus has thrown 23 passes in his career (all last season) while sophomore Isaiah Stanback has attempted just two. According to research completed during the off-season, the Husky QBs' total of only 25 career pass attempts are the eighth-fewest (tied) in the nation among Division I-A schools. Here are the top-10 such schools:
Fewest Career Pass Attempts by Returning QBs (entering 2004 season):
1. Louisiana Tech 0 Syracuse 0 3. Tulane 2 4. Ball State 3 5. Tennessee 8 6. Iowa 12 7. Air Force 24 8. Washington 25 Maryland 25 10. N.C. State 28
First-Time QB Starters: No matter who starts the season opener vs. Fresno State at quarterback, the Husky signalcaller will be making his first career start under center. While Isaiah Stanback started three games at wide receiver last year, he's never started at QB. Neither have the UW's two other contenders, Casey Paus (who finished fall camp as the front-runner) and Carl Bonnell. In 2001, Cody Pickett became the first opening-day starting quarterback without a previous career start since 1996. Here's a look at the Huskies' new opening day starters and their performance in that first game, as well as other notable UW quarterbacks' first career starts (that didn't come in season openers):
Name Yr. Date Opponent A-C-I-Yds-TD Result Cody Pickett So. 9/8/01 Michigan 22-13-0-199-0 W, 23-18 Shane Fortney Jr. 9/7/96 at Arizona St. 17-8-0-96-1 L, 42-45 Damon Huard So. 9/4/93 Stanford 23-14-0-174-3 W, 31-14 B.J. Hobert So. 9/7/91 at Stanford 31-21-1-244-2 W, 42-7 Mark Brunell So. 9/8/90 San Jose St. 27-7-1-66-1 W, 20-17 Cary Conklin Jr. 9/10/88 at Purdue 18-5-3-57-1 W, 20-6 Hugh Millen Jr. 9/8/84 Northwestern 23-11-1-103-0 W, 26-0 Tim Cowan Jr. 9/12/81 Pacific 17-12-2-168-1 W, 34-14 Tom Porras Jr. 9/9/78 UCLA 15-9-2-89-1 L, 7-10 Warren Moon So. 9/13/75 at Arizona St. 23-12-0-121-0 L, 12-35 Other Husky QBs in their first-career starts: Name Yr. Date Opponent A-C-I-Yds-TD Result M. Tuiasosopo Fr. 11/8/97 Oregon 30-15-1-261-1 L, 28-31 Brock Huard RFr. 9/21/96 Arizona 31-20-1-311-3 W, 31-17 Chris Chandler So. 11/16/85 USC 32-19-0-197-2 W, 20-17 Steve Pelluer So. 9/26/81 at Oregon 17-10-0-75-0 W, 17-3 Tom Flick So. 11/25/78 at Wash. St. 6-4-1-65-2 W, 38-8 Sonny Sixkiller So. 9/19/70 Michigan St. 35-16-3-276-3 W, 42-16 Bob Schloredt So. 10/18/58 at UCLA 3-0-1-0-0 L, 0-20 Don Heinrich So. 9/17/49 Utah 7-2-1-25-0 W, 14-7
Keeping the Streak Alive: The Huskies enter the 2004 season hoping to extend one of the most impressive active streaks in college football. Washington's 6-6 record in 2003 marked the program's 27th consecutive non-losing season. The last time that Washington finished below .500 was 1976, when the Dawgs went 5-6. Since then, the Huskies are 220-93-3 (.709) overall. The Huskies' 27-season streak of non-losing seasons is the 11th longest in NCAA history (tied with Florida State's current streak) and the third longest current streak. BYU's 27-season streak was broken in 2002 with the Cougars finishing the year 5-7. Here are the longest streaks currently running:
42 seasons Nebraska 1962-2003 36 seasons Michigan 1968-2003 27 seasons Washington 1977-2003 27 seasons Florida State 1977-2003
Streaking in the Pac-10: While Washington's string of 27 straight non-losing seasons is easily the best in the Pac-10, their stretch of .500-or-better marks in Pac-10 play is even more dominant compared to the rest of the league. The Huskies last finished under .500 in Pac-10 play in 1988 (3-5), a streak of 15 straight non-losing league seasons. By contrast, every other team in the Pac-10 has had a losing league season at least once in the last four seasons (2000-2003). Only WSU, USC and UCLA have three-year streaks.
On the Tube: Several of Washington's games have been selected for television during the upcoming 2004 season. The Huskies' home and season opener vs. Fresno State on Sunday, Sept. 5, will be telecast to a national audience by Fox Sports Net. Both of the UW's next two games will also be shown live on television. The Sept. 18 game vs. UCLA (4 p.m.) will be shown on ABC and a national audience will watch the Huskies' trip to Notre Dame (Sept. 25) on NBC. Additionally, the Apple Cup Nov. 25 at Washington State has already been selected by ABC.