Bloomington, Ind. -- The Hoosiers will travel across the United States in week two of the college football season. Indiana will face a tough task for the second straight week, this time against 22nd-ranked Washington at Husky Stadium. Husky Stadium is historically one of the toughest venues for a non-conference opponent to play.
"Once we get there we will have a heck of a challenge in Washington," Indiana head coach Gerry Dinardo said. "Washington is the 12th winningest football program in history. The only teams in our conference that have more wins are Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. They have only lost five non-conference home games in the last 20 years."
The Hoosiers will look to avoid the turnover bug on against the Huskies. Indiana committed three turnovers against Connecticut that led to seven UConn points and stopped two Hoosier drives inside the red zone.
"If the offense would have scored when they were on the goal line, if they wouldn't have fumbled in the red zone, if they wouldn't have turned it over early on our own side of the 50, the offensive game plan would have been fine," DiNardo said. "I say how about scoring on the goal line, how about being more efficient in the red zone and not turning it over three times, then lets see if it was the right game plan."
Indiana did get good games from junior wide out Travis Haney and sophomore running back Chris Taylor. Haney had a career day with three catches and 99 yards, while Taylor was the leading Hoosier rusher with 73 yards on 13 carries.
The Hoosiers battle the Huskies on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Indiana time. The game will be shown on Fox Sports Net with Steve Physioc handling the play-by-play and Tom Ramsey helping with analysis. The game can also be heard on the IU Radio network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Dan Thompson (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post game).
Saturday's game between Indiana and Washington is the back end of a coast-to-coast opening to the season. The Hoosiers faced Connecticut in Hartford last week and now head to Seattle to square off against Washington. All tolled, Indiana will have traveled 6,432 round trip miles in just the first two weeks of the season.
When Indiana faces Washington, it will mark the first time the Hoosiers have faced a Pac-10 foe since battling USC in 1982, when the Trojans claimed a 28-7 victory at the L.A. Coliseum.
Indiana and Washington have faced off only twice through the years, with the Hoosiers winning both contests. The first meeting between the two came in 1976, when Indiana picked up a 20-13 win in Seattle. The second meeting resulted in a 14-7 Indiana victory in Bloomington in 1978.
New faces factor heavily into Indiana's plans this season, evidenced by the fact that a total of 15 true or redshirt freshmen saw action for the Hoosiers in their opener against Connecticut.
More on Washington
Washington enters Saturday's contest with an 0-1 record after dropping its season opener at Ohio State.
First-year Head Coach Keith Gilbertson leads a squad that topped the Pac-10 in passing yardage (346.2 yards per game), third down conversion percentage (43.5 pct.) and first downs (324) last year.
Washington Pass/Catch Combo Among Nations Best
In senior quarterback Cody Pickett and junior wide receiver Reggie Williams, Washington has arguably the best pass/catch combination in the country. Pickett passed for a Pac-10 record 4,458 yards last year, and Williams has accounted for 2,427 receiving yards in the last two years and was a first-team All-America selection in 2002.
Washington's Last Game
The Huskies' offense was smothered by Ohio State last week, as the Buckeyes rolled to a 28-9 victory in Columbus. Washington was held to 262 total yards, only seven of which came from the running game. Pickett was 26-of-49 for 255 yards, while Williams had 10 catches for 107 yards.
Washington converted on only two of its 17 third-down opportunities against Ohio State and scored on only one of its four redzone opportunities.
Huskies Look to Break Big Ten Losing Skid
Washington enters Saturday's contest as losers of three straight against Big Ten opposition. The Huskies lost to Ohio State last week. In last year's Sun Bowl, UW suffered a 34-24 defeat at the hands of Purdue. The Huskies' 2002 season-opener was a 31-29 defeat at Michigan.
DiNardo's Take on Washington
"They have a big, physical offensive line. Pickett is the real deal; he is a Heisman candidate. Reggie Williams is the real deal. Charles Federick is a tremendous competitor. You have a very good offensive line with two Heisman and All-American candidates in the backfield. Obviously Alexis is a good running back. On defense, I think Terry Johnson is probably the best defensive lineman we have played against to date. In my opinion, they are a more talented team than Connecticut. Marquis Cooper is fabulous. Roc Alexander, who was out last year and is back this year, is a tremendous athlete. They are your typical, ranked Pac-10 team. There are not many weaknesses. They are very good players and athletes."
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