GAME WEEK: BYU vs Washington

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Press releaseBYU opens its season at home against Pac-10 opponent Washington on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live from LaVell Edwards Stadium on CBS College Sports and KSL Radio 1160 AM and 102.7 FM.

During halftime, BYU's eight All-Americans quarterbacks will be honored as part of Y Quarterback Weekend. For the first time in school history, All-Americans Virgil Carter, Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, Ty Detmer and Steve Sarkisian are returning to Provo. See below for more details.

BYU vs. Washington
September 4, 2010
5 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium
Provo, UT

BYU vs. Washington Series
BYU and Washington have come together to play only seven times (Washington leads the series, 4-3), but it seems as if each turns into something memorable. Last time the two teams met in 2008, the Huskies scored on a late drive to set up a potential game-tying extra point. BYU's Jan Jorgensen blocked the kick, giving BYU the victory. Other notables games include the Cougars' late win on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Kevin Feterik to unknown freshman Chris Hale for a 35-28 victory in 1999, breaking a streak of four-straight losses to Washington. The losing streak included the only black mark on a 14-1 season for BYU in 1996, a team led at quarterback by current Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian.

What to Watch For

  • A victory on Saturday would give BYU a three-game win streak against Washington, the best in program history against the Huskies.
  • The first win of 2010 will give BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall his 50th career win as a head coach in just his sixth season, all at BYU. He will become only the second coach in Cougar history to reach the 50-win mark, with LaVell Edwards earning his 50th win in the middle of his seventh season against San Diego State, 21-3, in 1978. Mendenhall's 49 wins in his first five seasons as a head coach is tied for 10th all-time among FBS coaches.
  • With Consensus All-American and current Baltimore Ravens Dennis Pitta and MWC Second Team selection and current Buffalo Bills Andrew George graduating after playing tight end for the Cougars last season, five freshman tight ends will compete to fill in at what has historically been a prolific position at BYU.
  • After opening the 2009 season against Oklahoma and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, BYU will begin 2010 by hosting Washington quarterback Jake Locker, a top Heisman Trophy candidate coming into the season.
  • BYU will start a quarterback other than Max Hall (now with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals) for the first time since December 2006.

Familiar Face...
BYU welcomes back former Cougar quarterback Steve Sarkisian, now the football head coach at the University of Washington. Sarkisian started for BYU in 1995 and 1996, tallying a 21-5 record including a 14-1 season and No. 5 final ranking his senior season. Sarkisian led the nation in passing efficiency on his way to being named an All-American and winning the Sammy Baugh Trophy.

After playing in the Canadian Football League for three seasons, Sarkisian spent one year as the quarterbacks coach at El Camino Junior College before being hired on as the quarterbacks coach on Pete Carroll's staff at USC where he would help the Trojans win a national championship while tutoring such quarterbacks as Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. Sarkisian also spent one season as an assistant coach with the Oakland Raiders. He was hired as Washington's head coach on Dec. 8, 2008, going 5-7 last season.

...Familiar Beginning
The 2010 season opener against Washington is the third time BYU has started its season playing the Huskies, all of which games have also been played in Provo. The Cougars are 1-1 in previous season openers against Washington, losing 42-20 in 1997 and winning 25-28 in 1999, the last time Washington visited Edwards Stadium.

Getting Started
Over the past 10 seasons, BYU is 7-3 in season openers, including a 6-1 record when opening at home. The lone setback at home during that stretch was against Boston College in 2005 in Bronco Mendenhall's first game at the helm of the Cougars. After losing the opener on the road at Arizona the following year, BYU has won its last three season openers under Mendenhall, including the team's 14-13 upset of No. 3 Oklahoma in Dallas last year.

Dating back to 1972 when LaVell Edwards became BYU's coach, BYU is 23-15 in season openers, including an 11-4 resume at home, 10-8 mark on the road and 2-3 record at a neutral site. Mendenhall is 2-1 at home, 0-1 on the road and 1-0 at a neutral site. BYU and Washington have met twice previously in BYU's season opener with BYU winning 35-28 in 1999 and losing 42-20 in 1996. Both games were played in Provo.

Y Quarterback Weekend
For the first time in school history, eight All-American quarterbacks — who played for legendary coach LaVell Edwards — are returning to Provo to take part in a fundraiser for the BYU Football program. Y Quarterback Weekend is scheduled for Sept. 3-4, and will feature All-Americans Virgil Carter, Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, Ty Detmer and Steve Sarkisian. Y Quarterback Weekend begins on Friday, Sept. 3, with a golf tournament at Riverside Country Club. The tournament is scheduled for the morning and will feature a limited number of teams. That evening on the BYU campus, LaVell Edwards will host a dinner and auction, where each All-American quarterback will provide a unique item to be auctioned.

The festivities conclude on Saturday, Sept. 4, with a special ceremony at halftime of the BYU vs. Washington football game. All money raised during the weekend will be used to endow scholarships at BYU. One fully endowed athletic scholarship is approximately $250,000.

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