Huskies draw Baylor, Griffin in Alamo Bowl


by Sportspress Northwest Staff


Posted on December 5, 2011 at 8:00 AM

GAME: Washington (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) vs. Baylor (9-3, 5-3, Big 12). WHEN: Dec. 29, 2011, Alamodome, San Antonio, 6 p.m. (PT). MEETING: 4th (Baylor leads 3-1.) RANKINGS: UW unranked; Baylor 15 AP, 16 USA Today coaches. LINE: N/A. TV: ESPN HD; RADIO: KJR-950 AM, 102.9 FM

Washington will play a team the Huskies haven't faced since 1965, in a place it's never played -- San Antonio, in the Alamo Bowl. This will mark Washington's second bowl appearance in a row -- after the Huskies failed to go to a bowl for seven consecutive years (2003-09) -- and their first-ever in the Alamo Bowl.

Washington and Baylor have never met in a bowl game.

"We're excited to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl and to represent the University of Washington and the Pac-12 Conference," said UW head coach Steve Sarkisian in a press release. "The selection is a testament to the hard work our team has put in, and we look forward to a great trip and exciting game."

Added quarterback Keith Price: "It's a big honor for us to be selected. It's a great reward for the team and we're looking forward to the opportunity to play."

"I can't wait to have fun. Two bowl games in three years? After going 0-12?" said defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu. "We've come a long ways."
SERIES: The Washington-Baylor football history began Oct. 16, 1954, when Baylor scored a 34-7 victory over Washington in Waco, TX. The teams have met three more times, Baylor winning 13-7 in 1955, Washington prevailing 35-14 in 1964, and Baylor coming out on top 17-14 in 1965.

UW in 2011: Washington finished 7-5, a one-game improvement over 2010, when the Huskies (6-6) ended the season with a 19-7 victory over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. In 2011, Washington started 5-1, then sustained a 65-21 beating at Stanford, which led to four UW losses in a five-game stretch. The Huskies recovered in the final game of the regular season, defeating Washington State in the Apple Cup, 38-21.

Washington ranks 36th nationally in scoring offense (31.5 points per game), 67th in rushing offense (152.0) and 51st in passing (240.3) . . . The Huskies ranked 94th (of 120 teams) in total defense (426.3), 99th in scoring defense (33.3) and 116th in passing defense (283.7) . . . Sophomore quarterback Keith Price set a school record by throwing 29 touchdown passes and ranks 12th nationally in passing efficiency at 159.9 . . . Junior Chris Polk set a school record (against Washington State) with his 20th career 100-yard game, and ranks 16th nationally at 111.7 yards per game. Polk joined Napoleon Kaufman as the only runners in UW history with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons . . . Senior Cort Dennison led the Pac-12 in tackles.

Baylor in 2011: The Bears won their first three games, lost to Kansas State 36-35 in Manhattan KN., beat Iowa State, dropped a pair to Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, then ran the table against Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas.

Baylor averaged 43.5 points per game and allowed 35.7, 109th nationally; averaged 571.2 yards per game and allowed 477.5, 114th nationally . . . Quarterback Robert Griffin III, a Heisman Trophy candidate, averaged 386.8 yards per game in total offense, No. 2 nationally, and had a passer efficiency rating of 192.3, which led the NCAA. Griffin threw for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns.

UW IN BOWLS: Washington is 17-13-1 in 31 bowl appearances. The Huskies last played in a bowl Dec. 30, 2010, beating Nebraska 19-7 in the Holiday.

BAYLOR IN BOWLS: The Bears have appeared in 17 bowl games, going 9-8. The Bears have not won a bowl game since 1992, when they defeated Arizona 20-15 in the Sun Bowl.

ART THIEL'S TAKE: The Huskies have seen several good quarterbacks this season, but Griffin is probably the best -- statistically better than Stanford's Andrew Luck, whom he probably will beat for the Heisman Trophy.

Griffin been described as the best athlete in college ball, a heady leader that is poised and confident. He has carved up some quality Big 12 defenses, and is the nation's most valuable player, because Baylor wouldn't be .500 without him.

Even three weeks' preparation is not enough time to come up with a defense against Griffin, so the Huskies' only hope -- again -- is to outscore the foe. UW showed a flicker of defensive resilience in the Apple Cup, but it wasn't as if they had new players. Much of the outcome depends on the return to health of Price's knees. Baylor 54, Washington 45.

STEVE RUDMAN'S TAKE: I think I used the phrase "Mt. Sac Relays" to describe an upcoming Washington-Stanford game. If that was the Mt. Sac Relays (Stanford won 65-21), this will one be the Penn Relays, Drake Relays and Mt. Sac Relays  rolled into one.

Baylor averages 43 points a game and Washington is allowing 33.3. Baylor is allowing 433 yards a game and Washington is averaging 380. Typical of bowl games, there will be no defense in this one.

The major intrigue for Washington: how the defense will handle Griffin. He's averaging 386 yards per game in total offense and the Huskies are yielding 426.3, which ranks 94th worst. Baylor 48, Washington 38.

UW COACH STEVE SARKISIAN: Sarkisian is in his third season as head coach of the Huskies. A former USC assistant under Pete Carroll, Sarkisian has an 18-18 record (5-7 in 2009, 6-6 in 2010, 7-5 in 2011) record, 1-0 in bowls.

BAYLOR COACH ART BRILES: Head coach sine 2008, Briles was previously head coach at the University of Houston from 2003-07. In 2010, he led the Bears to a 7-6 record and the school's first bowl game in 16 years. Briles is a native of West Texas.

PAC-12 IN BOWLS (chronologically): Arizona State will play Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl Dec. 22; California will play Texas Dec. 28 in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego; Washington-Baylor Dec. 29 in San Antonio; Utah will play Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl Dec. 31 in El Paso, TX.; UCLA will play Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Dec. 31 in San Francisco; Wisconsin will play Oregon in the Rose Bowl Jan. 2 in Pasadena; Stanford will play Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2 in Glendale, AZ.

ALAMO BOWL: The Alamo Bowl, begun 1993, is played in the 65,000-seat Alamodome. Crowds of at least 60,000 have witnessed eight of the past 10 games. The Alamo Bowl has traditionally been one of ESPN's biggest ratings grabbers.

PAC-12 IN ALAMO BOWL: Washington will become the fourth member of the Pac-12 (or its predecessor conferences) to play in the Alamo Bowl, following California (1993), Washington State (1994), Colorado (2002) and Arizona (2010).
UW Bowl Game Results
University of Washington 2011 Schedule/Results

DateOpponentUW RnkOpp RnkW/LScoreRec.
9/3/11vs. Eastern Washington------W30-271-0
9/10/11vs. Hawaii------W40-322-0
9/17/11at Nebraska---11L51-382-1
9/24/11vs. California------W31-233-1
10/1/11at Utah------W31-144-1
10/15/11vs. Colorado------W52-245-1
10/22/11at Stanford226L65-215-2
10/29/11vs. Arizona------W42-316-2
11/5/11vs. Oregon---6L34-176-3
11/12/11at Southern Cal---18L40-176-4
11/19/11at Oregon State------L38-216-5
11/26/11vs. Washington St.------W38-217-5
12/29/11vs. Baylor---------------