The University of Washington and San Diego State football teams haven’t played in more than a decade, since Steve Sarkisian’s 2012 Huskies emerged with a 21-12 victory at home.
They’ve met just three times, with Don James’ UW team winning 46-25 in 1982 and Jim Lambright’s crew taking a 36-3 decision in 1997, both in Husky Stadium.
On its future schedules, the UW has non-conference games lined up against Ohio State, Fresno State, Michigan State, Boise State, Weber State, Colorado State and San Jose State.
But not San Diego State.
Now would be as good a time as any for the UW and this Mountain West school to get together and bang heads.
Oh, the story lines that would be involved.
The Huskies have Kalen DeBoer at coach, formerly of Fresno State, where his biggest conference rival was … San Diego State. Both of those teams won 10 games and went to bowl games in 2021, with DeBoer’s Bulldogs going into Aztec Stadium and leaving with a 30-20 victory over their 21st-ranked hosts.
Once DeBoer took the UW job, Husky starting outside linebacker Cooper McDonald and well-utilized tight end Mark Redman decided the coaching change wasn’t for them and transferred out … to San Diego State.
Already there to greet these two in California’s southernmost city and gateway to Mexico was Pa’a “Nowlin” Ewaliko, now a 6-foot-4, 235-pound redshirt freshman defensive lineman for the Aztecs — and the son of former Husky defensive lineman Mike Ewaliko.
This younger Ewaliko played at Seattle’s Ballard High School, in the shadows of Husky Stadium, and drew a lot of Mountain West and Big Sky interest, but he couldn’t get the since-departed Jimmy Lake’s UW staff to get on board with him.
The word out of San Diego State is the coaches are very happy with his progress as an edge rusher and he should see the field a lot this fall.
His father, of course, was a spot starter in parts of three seasons, at defensive end, defensive tackle and nose tackle. His finest Husky performance, as it was for many of his teammates, came in the 1994 UW-Miami game, where the Huskies went in to South Beach and won 38-20, ending the Hurricanes’ 58-game home winning streak.
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This Ewaliko was a defensive terror that on that historic afternoon, blowing up a screen play with a hit as violent as any in modern times for the UW.
McDonald headed for San Diego, a school that initially recruited him coming out of high school in Haslet, Texas, after spending two seasons in Seattle, one as a 10-game starter.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Texan, always a favorite for the departed Lake, cited the desire to play alongside his older brother, Caden McDonald, an all-conference linebacker for the Aztecs, as his main reason for leaving. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Redman left presumably because the offense changed with the arrival of DeBoer or he was turned off by the 4-8 season that brought the UW coaching change.
Either way, the highly recruited player joins a San Diego State program that initially pursued him coming out of high school in Newport Beach, California, along with Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
He appeared in 16 games and started one. He caught a lone pass for 5 yards against California. He should be immediate starting material for San Diego State. He has three seasons of eligibility left.
San Diego State and the UW aren’t scheduled to play each other any time soon, but there are plenty of reasons to mix it up.
Maybe these two schools, with their crossover and competitive football connections, will end up in a bowl game together. It would be interesting to see who does what.
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