Countdown to Camp: Schedule Part One

We’re 2 days away from Fall Camp starting.  Technically, the players start tomorrow but the media and fans don’t have access until Monday.  The first week of practices will be mostly non-contact workouts until the weekend.  It will be great to be able to read some actual football news instead of rumors of Wak getting fired. 

The Huskies have consistently had one of the toughest football schedules in the nation in the past decade and that doesn’t change this year.  Today, I wanted to do a quick run-down of the schedule with a little preview of the teams.  We’ll be sure to have a more complete analysis of opponents in the week before games.  Here we go!

The season opener is against a rebuilding team in Provo.  I would feel a lot more confident about this game if it wasn’t the season opener but at this point we have to believe that Sark will have the team ready.  BYU has lost their quarterback, leading rusher, all 3 starting linebackers and a few other players.  They do return most of a strong offensive line.  Mendenhall is a great coach and BYU always seems like a force these days.  I’d feel much better about this game if it was swapped with the Syracuse one.  But, here’s to hoping they start Jake Heaps and we come to dominate.  This one’s a toss up right now in my mind.

It was 5 years ago that Jake Locker debuted in Syracuse, New York.  He ran all over and the Huskies looked better than they had in a couple years.  No need to look back at much history though.  The Syracuse program has been struggling for the better part of a decade now.  They did show some signs of life last year though.  They return 18 starters from a group that went 4-8 last season.  They do have to replace their quarterback and playing your first road game at Husky Stadium is not an easy task.  This should be a victory, although it may not be as easy as some people think.  This is a possible trap game.

This could be awesome.  If the Dawgs start 2-0, there could be many possibilities for this game.  College Gameday would most likely be here.  The Huskies might wear black jerseys for the first time.  It could be the game that would vault them into the top 15 in the nation.  The problem is that Nebraska is good.  Really good.  They do have holes at quarterback and center but they have some talented guys at those spots with a litle experience already.  Their defense was the strength last year and will be again.  Although the Cornhuskers lost 4 of their 5 top tacklers, there’s plenty of talent.  It’s to our advantage to get them early in the season.  It’s a really interesting match-up; our explosive offense vs. their dominating defense.  Here’s to hoping both teams are 2-0 going into the game and we get a memorable game.

Let Pac-10 play begin!  And what a tough way to start it.  USC is almost as talented as they’ve ever been, although they don’t have as much depth.  They have more talent than the Huskies but that doesn’t always matter, as we saw last year with USC.  The Trojans have to replace their secondary and have some offensive line depth issues, but everywhere else looks pretty solid.  This could be a tough one to watch, but you never know.  We can play with them.

We shouldn’t have lost this game last year and we should win this year.  The Sun Devils offense shouldn’t be very good.  They were bad last year and there’s not much reason to expect a dramatic improvement.  The defense is another story.  Led by Vontaze Burfict, the defense is one of the Pac-10’s best.  They did lose 6 starters on that side of the ball but they have a solid core unit and won’t be a push over.  With that being said, this looks to be one of the easier games on the schedule.

Oregon State
OSU always seems to be good now and this year looks no different.  The key to their season is replacing Sean Canfield at quarterback.  He was great last year and will be tough to replace.  Fortunately for the Beavs, they have 4 starters back on the O-line along with the Rodgers’ brothers to make things easier for the new quarterback.  Their defense is always over-achieving and should be strong this year.  They have some holes at linebacker but all the other spots look to be sured up.  This will be a tough game, as usual.

I’ll be back with the rest of the schedule tomorrow.  Thanks for reading.  Bruce Chen is shutting down the Mariners and I wish I could say I was surprised.  Believe big!



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