Yes, the Washington Huskies will have plenty of logistical issues to work through to make a Nov. 18 football date – prime-time college Thursday on ESPN – against UCLA work, but all parties agree, the reward far outweighs any risk.
The UW signed its name on that dotted line in the past few days, and announced the change at a noon press conference Monday.
"This is one we had to jump on," Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said. "It's going to be a great night."
Some of the small-byte particulars:• Game time will be 5 p.m. PST.• It will be the UW's final home game, and the team's "Senior Night."• The last weekday game the Huskies played was against Oregon in 1939.• ESPN will be bringing its "big-stage" crew of Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews.• UW athletic director Scott Woodward said he and campus officials will work diligently about making this all work – parking, tailgating, etc. – for the fan experience. He noted the university will likely put together a mass-transit plan out for the fans through a private company to ease rush-hour traffic concerns.
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"It will be a strain on a lot of people on our campus," Woodward said. "I think it's all worth it with the great amount of exposure we're getting."
The Huskies had a bye week scheduled for Nov. 20. Moving the Nov. 13 date to five days later enables the team to take "one entire bye and split it in half," Sarkisian said, alluding to the bookend games at Oregon (Nov. 6) and at California (Nov. 27).
Dave Brown, ESPN's vice president of programming and acquisitions, didn't take long to mention one of the potential highlights of televising this late-season Pacific-10 Conference game: Jake Locker in his Heisman Trophy bid.
"I have no doubt that football game is going to be significant in the Pac-10 race, significant in the Rose Bowl race – one that the national audience will want to be watching," Sarkisian said.