The Huskies face one of their toughest road games in years tomorrow, as they travel to Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers. The game is huge for a slew of reasons, especially because LSU is really good and the Huskies are reaching a point where they need to pull off a surprise. We and everyone else have covered all of those reasons, so I’m going to talk about something else, like I usually do in these posts.
Before last season, after all of the conference expansion talk, I wrote about how I was sad about Texas not joining the Pac-whatever because it took away a chance to visit Austin. Austin is high on my list of places to visit that I will probably never visit because I would probably only go for a few days and I don’t have the money to do that often, or at all. Hope that made sense. Just going to Austin for fun isn’t real likely, but if I could work a trip around a Husky game, that somehow makes it more possible. I have no idea why that’s the case, but it makes sense in my head.
This is suffering from a serious lack of direction, so I’ll just cut to the chase and say that New Orleans is first or second on that list with Austin. It’s a little more likely vacation destination, but a game at nearby LSU is an opportunity I shouldn’t have passed up.
So, for this travel themed UW-LSU prediction post, a purely travel based ranking of the Huskies’ 2012 road games. The games themselves don’t matter, this is just a completely subjective look at which places I’d most like to visit:
1. LSU: It’s the food in large part, and the music. I’m not a big partier, so I’ll skip Mardi Gras, but walking around listening to blues and jazz and eating gumbo sounds great.
2. (Tie) Colorado: I’ve never been to Colorado except the Denver airport, and I’d love to see the mountains, plus Boulder and Denver sound like my kind of towns. I would have put Cal ahead, because San Francisco is one of my favorite places, but I was already there this year and am always up for visiting somewhere new.
4. Arizona: The options really drop off here. I’ll go with Arizona for Mexican food and sun in late October. Arizona State would be a better option, because Tucson isn’t terribly appealing.
5. WSU: These last two are pretty much tied for last, but I’ll go with Pullman because I know a few people there, it’s a slightly shorter drive, and there aren’t any Ducks.
6. Oregon: No explanation is needed.
That’s kind of rough. Not a lot of premier destinations. Only one out of conference game and no LA trip hurt. In the future, how about Minnesota or Illinois in September, one of the Carolinas in October and any moderately good game in a big city. What we really need is someone to provide The Good Guys with a travel budget! If you have some extra cash or a road game you’d love to see on the schedule, put it in the comments. For now, on to the predictions!
I usually try to write something before I jump into my prediction but this week I can’t because Tigers are cool. Sark brought a live one to practice. How ridiculous is that! It is so awesome. Here we go!
As you pour through the numbers that set up this weeks matchup, there aren’t many that favor the Huskies. Sure, there are a few spots to feel good about (I’ve got a post planned for tomorrow to show that), but the Dawgs have an uphill battle to climb. LSU just doesn’t lose home games, especially non-conference home games. The Tigers haven’t lost there since 2009 and that was against a number one ranked Florida team. I look for Sark to pull out all the stops though. He’s brought in a live tiger, he’s brought Shaq in to talk to his players (the basketball legend, not the true freshman), and it seems that this is more than just a normal game for him. Even with that, I think the sheer power and speed of LSU will be too much. I think we’ll be encouraged by the game but it won’t be the upset we’re dreaming of.
LSU – 31, Dawgs – 21
There is no good reason to think the Huskies will win this game. They are overmatched at every position except quarterback, tight end and maybe the secondary. The mismatches on the lines appear huge. For UW to win, they’ll have to gang up to somehow stop the run, hope for/force LSU mistakes in the passing game, and convert some huge plays on offense. Upsets happen, and this wouldn’t be the hugest one in history or anything, but it’d be up there. Coming into the year, a lot of people said a worthy goal was to stop being blown out against big favorites, and that’s extremely true here. I think the Huskies hang around, but I doubt they’re ever in position to win in the second half.
LSU 31, UW 17
I can’t think of a tougher opponent than LSU, in Baton Rouge, in the evening. This game is one that you pencil an L in months ago because creating a scenario where the Huskies pull off the upset is just not realistic. UW can match LSU in the skill positions on offense, and that’s about it. In the trenches, on the o-line and d-line, that’s where LSU has a huge advantage. I’d expect LSU to have their way on offense because of this mis-match, and on defense, the Tigers will certainly have Keith Price running around all night, trying to squeeze the ball through tight windows. Kasen, ASJ, and Price provide the small hope for the Huskies, and sometimes in college sports, a hot QB can win a game on his own. I will certainly be hoping for this, but a common trend for lesser opponents facing LSU is a blowout loss, and that’s my prediction for tomorrow night.
If we let history be our guide, this game should not be close. 24 point underdogs don’t win on the road, especially on the road in Death Valley, aka LSU. The Huskies come off a good win over SDSU. Not impressive, especially on the offensive side of the ball, but still, a win is a win. The defense played well, essentially giving up no legit touchdowns and constantly dealing with the Aztecs going for it on 4th down. The performance from the defense last week gives me hope the Huskies can keep this game close. LSU will establish the run early and often, which I believe will lead to a worn out and battered defense. Compound that with a UW offense that will struggle to run the ball, and this game has the recipe for being a slow death in the 4th quarter. I really see no reason why the Huskies can win this game, outside of a complete flop by the Tigers. Prediction: UW offense struggles to run, leaving Price running for his life, while LSU ground and pounds to 200+ rushing yards, while UW covers.
LSU 31 – UW 17