Washington will be seeking its third consecutive victory Friday night at the Rose Bowl, where the Huskies haven’t triumphed in seven tries since their last win there in 1995.
GAME: Washington (6-3 overall, 3-3 Pac-12) at UCLA (7-2 overall, 4-2, Pac-12). WHEN: Friday, 6 p.m., Rose Bowl. MEETING: 71st (UCLA leads 38-38-2). COACHES: Steve Sarkisian, Washington; Jim Mora, UCLA. RANKINGS: UCLA 13 BCS, AP; 15 USA Today/Coaches. LINE: UCLA by 2½. TV: ESPN2. RADIO: KJR-950 AM.
Washington and UCLA had similar starts to the 2013 season. Washington won its first four, lost three in a row, won two and sits at 6-3 today. UCLA began 5-0, lost a pair, won two and stands 7-2. The principal difference is that the Bruins can still win the Pac-12 South, but Washington cannot win the Pac-12 North, by dint of playing in a division that also includes Stanford and Oregon.
The Huskies can, however, finish the with nine wins if they sweep their final three, starting with the Bruins Friday night,10 if they prevail in a bowl game, projected lately to be the Sun in El Paso, TX., opposite Duke, currently the No. 4 team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“We’re capable,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said this week. “We just have to play our best football. I’m expecting we will.”
Washington has not ended a season with four consecutive victories (including a bowl win) since 2010, Sarkisian’s second year. That season, the Huskies swept UCLA, Cal and Washington State to close out the regular campaign and then upset No. 18 Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl.
The Huskies haven’t had much luck against UCLA in Los Angeles in recent years, having lost seven in a row at the Rose Bowl, where the Bruins are 10-2 under former Huskies player and former Seahawks head coach Jim Mora (UW’s last win: Nov. 11, 1995, under Jim Lambright).
UCLA features four marquee players: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley, projected as a first-round NFL draft pick; outside linebacker Anthony Barr, considered the best defensive player in the nation and a top-five NFL pick in spring; WR Shaquelle Evans, who has caught seven TD passes, and Myles Jack, a true freshman linebacker/running back from Bellevue High School.
Jack had his first taste of playing offense against Arizona last week and responded with six carries for 120 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Hundley completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 2,225 yards and 18 touchdowns. For better or worse, he has also rushed for 487 yards and seven TDs, a team high.
“We’re going to have to mix it up against Brett,” Sarkisian said. “He’s a really good player. He’s smart, and I think Noel Mazzone is an excellent offensive coordinator for UCLA.”
“He’s got a very strong arm and runs their offense,” UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox added of Hundley. “They’ve got a really good scheme and they’ve got good players. He delivers the ball well, a very strong guy.”
The Bruins are 4-0 at the Rose Bowl, averaging 49.8 points per game, in which Hundley has a quarterback rating of 171.36, best in the Pac-12. In his last 11 home starts, Hundley has thrown 23 TDs vs. five interceptions.
Washington is coming off its fourth 500-yard offensive performance and will be looking to extend its winning streak to three following routs of California and Colorado. While the Huskies offensively have been led by Keith Price, Bishop Sankey and Jaydon Mickens, it figures that TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, based on his “breakout” against the Buffaloes, will be an integral part of the plan Friday.
With Kasen Williams out for the season, Sarkisian succeeded in involving Seferian-Jenkins in the deep passing game, and Seferian-Jenkins responded with three catches for 62 yards, including a touchdown.
SERIES: Dates to Dec. 3, 1932, when Washington scored a 19-0 victory over UCLA at Los Angeles. UCLA has won three of the past four meetings and eight of the past 10, but Washington won the most recent, 24-7 in 2010. In that game, at Husky Stadium, Jake Locker and Chris Polk ran for TDs and Quentin Richardson returned an interception 28 yards for another score.
UW HEAD COACH: Steve Sarkisian (31-28-0) is in his fifth season. After a 5-7 record in 2009, Sarkisian guided the Huskies to a 7-6 record in 2010 that included a 19-7 victory over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. That marked Washington’s first postseason game since the 2002 Sun Bowl. Sarkisian coached the Huskies to subsequent 7-6 marks in 2011 and 2012, earning invitations to the Alamo (Baylor) and MAACO bowls (Boise State). Prior to joining the Huskies, Sarkisian served as a USC assistant under Pete Carroll (2001-03, 2005-08). He also worked as an Oakland Raiders assistant in 2004. Sarkisian played quarterback at Brigham Young University and later played in the Canadian Football League.
UW STATS / NOTES
HUSKIES 2012 OFFENSIVE LEADERS
HUSKIES 2012 DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Fuimaono 62, Thompson 54, Timu 49|
|Sacks||Kikaha 6.0, Shirley 3.0, Littleton 3.5|
|Interceptions||Parker 4, Peters 3, Ducre 1, Wallace 1|
|Passes Defensed||Peters 8, Ducre 6, Parker 6|
|Forced Fumbles||Kikaha, Fuimaono, Watson, Ducre 1|
|Fumbles Recovered||Feeney, Watson, Peters, Farria, 1|
Pac-12 Standings / North
|Stanford||8-1||6-1||Sat, at USC|
|Oregon||8-1||5-1||Sat, vs. Utah|
|Oregon St.||6-3||4-2||Sat, at ASU|
|Washington||6-3||3-3||Fri, at UCLA|
|Washington St.||4-5||2-4||Sat, at Arizona|
|Cal||1-9||0-7||Sat, at Colorado|
Pac-12 Standings / South
|Arizona St.||7-2||5-1||Sat, vs. Oregon St.|
|UCLA||6-2||3-2||Fri, vs. Washington|
|USC||7-3||4-2||Sat, vs. Stanford|
|Arizona||6-3||3-3||Sat, vs. WSU|
|Utah||4-5||1-5||Sat, at Oregon|
|Colorado||3-6||0-6||Sat, vs. California|
UCLA NOTES: The Bruins defeated Nevada (58-20), Nebraska (41-21), New Mexico State (59-13), Utah (34-27), California (37-10), Colorado (45-23) and Arizona (31-26), and lost to Stanford (24-10) and Oregon (42-14) . . . The UCLA roster includes four players with ties to the state of Washington: S Michael Carlson (Bellevue), LB Myles Jack (Bellevue), Blake Backer (Yarrow Point), PK Mitch Johnson (Bellevue) . . . Jim Mora is in his second year as head coach. Mora is a University of Washington graduate who has served as defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers and head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks (2009).
University of Washington 2013 Schedule/Results
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|8/31/13||vs. Boise St.||—||19||W||38-6||1-0|
|9/21/13||vs. Ida. State||17||—||W||56-0||3-0|