It doesn't rain much in Arizona's 'Valley of the Sun'. The Washington Husky football team doesn't win much there either.
In 2001, it took a seven-minute, 12-second fourth quarter drive capped by a 30-yard field goal with no time remaining for the Dawgs to edge the Sun Devils 33-31. Since then, it's been all Arizona State at their place.
Granted, the Sun Devils have usually had some talented players and highly ranked teams when they took on the guys from Seattle. Even more superior UW teams though have struggled to play well at Sun Devil Stadium. Washington senior linebacker Keishawn Bierria recalls a terribly disappointing 27-17 Huskies loss in Tempe two years ago.
"Last time we went down there it was on us, that loss was on us, the defense," recalled Bierria. "Second half, we just didn't show up. We're a long ways away from two years ago." It should be noted the U-Dub offense also had four turnovers in that defeat.
In 1998, the Huskies pulled off the "Miracle in the Desert" at Arizona State as quarterback Brock Huard found tight end Reggie Davis on a 63-yard pass on 4th and 17 with 0:28 left on the clock. Radio voice of the Huskies Bob Rondeau remembers one of the more stunning finishes in Washington football history.
"It was such a surprise and such a shock. Reggie Davis beating people along the way, including Mitchell "Fright Night" Freedman in the Sun Devil secondary, some how getting by him and go into the end zone to produce a really unlikely and immensely exciting win," reflected Rondeau.
Current Husky's defensive line coach Ikaika Malloe played for #19 UW in 1993 when they lost 32-17 to the unranked Sun Devils. He has a theory why it's been so tough for Washington to win in Tempe.
"It's the atmosphere. The atmosphere is unbelievable down there. They bring the noise and bring the crowds. We look forward to meeting the energy they will bring," said Malloe.
Another Bye opponent
For the second time in three weeks the Dawgs face an opponent coming off a bye week. Arizona State is 2 and 3 overall, 1-1 in the Pac-12, including a home field 37-35 victory over Oregon. Led by mobile quarterback Manny Wilkins, the Sun Devils offense is averaging 32.6 points per game. The big problem is ASU's defense surrenders over 36 points per contest.
Another Late Night
Like it or not, the Washington-Arizona State game doesn't start until 7:45 pm Saturday, and ESPN has the pictures again. Husky fans can always turn down the television volume and tune in KOMO NewsRadio AM 1000/ FM 97.7 to hear Bob Rondeau, Damon Huard and Elise Woodward describe the action.