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Originally published Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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UW Football | Home-and-home series with LSU starts in 2009 in Seattle

Needing to find some games to fill out some future football schedules, Washington's acting athletic director Scott Woodward turned to some...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Needing to find some games to fill out some future football schedules, Washington's acting athletic director Scott Woodward turned to some old friends at LSU.

Friday, the Huskies announced the fruits of those relationships, a home-and-home series beginning in 2009 with the Louisiana State Tigers, the defending national champions of college football. The series will start with a game against LSU at Husky Stadium on Sept, 5, 2009, the season opener for UW, and conclude with a game at LSU on Sept. 29, 2012, in Tiger Stadium.

Woodward worked in the administration at LSU from 1999 to 2004 before coming to UW along with president Mark Emmert, who was the chancellor at LSU during that time. UW needed a game after Nevada asked out of a contest scheduled for 2009, and after consulting a few other schools, Woodward finally turned to LSU, working out the deal with good friend Verge Ausberry, LSU's senior associate athletic director.

We "had an opening and [they] had an opening and it just sort of fit," Woodward said.

UW has played just seven games against SEC schools, only two at Husky Stadium — against Mississippi State in 1977 and Alabama in 1978. UW has played LSU just once, a 40-14 loss in 1983, the last time the Huskies have played a regular-season game against an SEC team. UW's last game of any kind against an SEC team was a 34-7 win over Florida in the 1989 Freedom Bowl.

UW will also host Idaho and play at Notre Dame in 2009 along with nine Pac-10 contests.

Some wondered if the Huskies might look for a less daunting opponent to fill its 2009 opening given its current rebuilding state. But Woodward said UW coach Tyrone Willingham was eager to play a high-profile opponent.

"He likes to have competitive schedules for our fans, and he likes the challenge," Woodward said.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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