“Friday” Fast Facts – No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 4 Washington

 

Getting to Know … Washington

— Washington quarterback Jake Browing has thrown for 40 touchdown passes this season, three off the Pac-12 set by Jared Goff last season. Between the two is Marcus Mariota, who had 42 touchdown passes for Oregon on his way to the Heisman trophy in 2014;

— The Huskies have posted 11 victories for the fourth time in school history, going 12-0 (and winning the national championship) in 1991. Washington posted 11-1 records in both 1984 and 2001. Colorado has hit the 10-win mark for the eighth time in school history … the Buffs have reached the 11-win mark three times: 1989 (11-1); 1990 (11-1-1); and 1994 (11-1);

— Who will win the first quarter? Washington has out-scored its opponents 162-26 in the first quarter this season; Colorado has out-scored its opponents 120-62. In the first half, the numbers are equally impressive – Washington: 314-81; Colorado 256-118;

— Washington has been in the Associated Press top ten for 13 consecutive weeks, the longest streak for the Huskies since appearing in the top ten in 37 consecutive polls (1990-92);

— Washington leads the Pac-12 in both scoring offense (44.8 ppg.) and scoring defense (17.8). Colorado, meanwhile, is fifth in scoring offense (34.8 ppg.) and second in scoring defense (18.8 ppg.);

— The Huskies are first in the conference in turnover margin (+1.5) … the Buffs are second (+.83). The Buffs are first in the conference in red zone defense (69.4%) … the Huskies are second (75.0%).

 

Washington players to watch:

Jake Browning/QB … The Pac-12 Offensive Player-of-the-Year has posted impressive numbers all season, with 40 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. Browning is fourth in the nation in passing efficiency. Earlier this season, Browning matched a Pac-12 single game record with eight touchdowns (six passing; two rushing) against Oregon.

Myles Gaskin/RB … The sophomore rushed for over 1,000 yards (1,180) for the second consecutive season, on his way to earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors. Gaskin has rushed for 100 or more yards in eight games this season. CU’s Phillip Lindsay, who was named to the second-team, has rushed for 1,136 yards, includng four games with 100 yards or more.

Elijah Qualis/DE; Azeem Victor/LB; Budda Baker/DB; Sidney Jones/DB; Shalom Luani/ DB – The names may not be familiar, but these are the five, yes five,  Washington defensive players who were named to the first-team All-Pac-12 defensive team. Colorado, meanwhile, had only one defensive player, linebacker Jimmie Gilbert, named to the first team.

Two points here. First, when you are going up against a defense where almost half of the starters are named first-team All-Pac-12 (and two others were named to the second team; three more given honorable mention) … you know you are going up against a quality defense.

Second, it’s noteworthy that while three of Washington’s four defensive backs earned first-team status, three CU defensive backs – Chidobe Awuzie, Tedric Thompson, and Ahkello Witherspoon – were named to the second-team. Perhaps a little motivation for the Buffs?

 

Colorado and Washington – head-to-head

This will be the 16th meeting between the Buffs and the Huskies, with Washington holding a 9-5-1 advantage. The two team have played in two neutral site games, with Washington winning the Freedom Bowl in 1985, 20-17 (a game in which Jon Embree threw for a touchdown pass on a trick play, and Colorado taking the Holiday Bowl in 1996, 33-21.

Washington has won all four games played between the two teams as members of the Pac-12 (with the Huskies and USC Trojans the lone remaining teams who have yet to lose to Colorado in conference play). None of the first four games have been particularly close, with Washington winning 52-24 and 59-7 in Seattle, also posting 38-3 and 38-23 victories in Boulder.

One hopeful sign. The two teams have played three games in which both teams were ranked … and Colorado won all three times. In 1989, No. 5 CU knocked off No. 21 Washington, 45-28. In the rematch in Boulder the following year, the Buffs won again, 20-14, with a Deon Figures interception in the final minute preserving the victory.

 

Colorado and Washington … historical

In the 12 statistical categories tracked by Winsipedia, Washington and Colorado both are presented as two of the top teams in college football history.

— Washington is 19th on the all-time victories list, with 719. Colorado is not far behind, with 695, 25th on the list.

— The Huskies will be making their 36th bowl appearance this year (22nd all-time), while the Buffs will finally be making bowl appearance No. 29 (after a nine year wait between bowl appearances);

— Colorado is just barely ahead of Washington in first-round NFL draft picks, 24-23, but has a larger advantage in consensus All-Americans, with 31 (19th all-time), compared to Washington’s 21 (32nd);

— One team will add to their conference championship total Friday night. Colorado has been holding at 26 conference championships since 2001 (10th all-time), while Washington has been stuck on 15 conference titles since 2000 (36th all-time).

 

Colorado and Washington … Notes and Numbers

— CU’s No. 9 ranking is the highest for the program since the Buffs were ranked No. 7 in the 2002 preseason poll (the Buffs lost to Colorado State, 19-14, in the opener, to drop out of the top ten. CU did go on to finish 9-5, capturing a second consecutive Big 12 North title);

— Colorado, with its victory over Utah, became just the third team in NCAA history to follow up ten straight losing seasons with a ten-win campaign;

— When wide receiver Kabion Ento made his first career start, subbing for the injured Byrce Bobo (who may be back this Friday), it marked the first time a Buff made their first career start this season since quarterback Steven Montez was in the starting lineup against Oregon. Only four Buffs – Ento; Montez; and offensive linemen Tim Lynott and Aaron Haigler – have made their first career starts this fall;

— The CU/Washington State and CU/Utah games were just the 8th and 9th November games in Folsom Field history where both teams were ranked at the time of the game … and the first since 2002. The Buffs are 6-2-1 in such games;

— In going from 4-9 to 10-2, the Buffs became just the ninth Power-Five conference team since 1972 to go from four or fewer wins to ten or more in one season … and the first to do it twice. The 2000 Buffs went 3-8, with the 2001 Big 12 champion Buffs going 10-3.

 

Pac-12 Notes … 

— When Colorado joined the top ten in the national rankings two weeks ago, the Buffs became the ninth team in the Pac-12 to have appeared in the top ten in the past three seasons;

— The Pac-12 only has six bowl-eligible teams this year, a season after having ten bowl participants. The main reason? Four teams ( Colorado; Washington; USC; and Washington State) all won seven or more league games;

— This is the third year for the College Football rankings, with 18 postings to date. Utah, held on to the No. 20 position this week, leaving the Utes as one of only five teams nationally (Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Florida State being the others) to appear in all 18 rankings. This week, with five teams in the poll – No. 4 Washington; No. 8 Colorado; No. 11 USC; No. 18 Stanford; and No. 20 Utah – the Pac-12 has had five or more teams ranked in 11 of the 18 rankings.

 

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2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. And now its official. Coach Mac is the Walter Camp Coach of the Year winner. Wow, what a great year to be a buff fan. To think that we were just hoping to get into a bowl.

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