The Huskies have four regular season games left, and the season could go almost anywhere at this point. Today’s game should be a win, as should the Apple Cup, although one never knows. At UCLA and Oregon State will be tough but winnable games. Win all four and this season is an unmitigated success. Win three and it’s still a decent season, especially if they can tack on a bowl win.
There are plenty of interesting storylines to watch the rest of the season, but one I’m especially curious about is the development of a few true freshman. John Ross has had the biggest impact thus far, and that should only increase in the absence of Kasen Williams. Fellow WR Demorea Stringfellow hasn’t done much thus far, but he too could blossom with increased opportunity. It sounds like the coaches expect or at least hope he can take over the position. Stringfellow is a mountain of a man at 6′ 3″ and at least 220 lbs. Don’t be surprised if he has a breakout similar to Kasen’s at the end of his freshman year.
After watching Stanford’s defensive line demolish Oregon this week, I’m hoping to see quick improvement from maybe the two most talented ends on the Huskies roster, freshman Joe Mathis and Marcus Farria. Both have had their moments in limited playing time thus far. I don’t know if they’ll see a ton more playing time, but Sark raved about them during the bye week. Both bring a combination of size, length, tenacity and quickness that could allow them to be stars as they mature.
The Huskies don’t lose a lot of players after this season, which means the improvement of young players will either lead to upgrades at positions or quality depth, which the Huskies have not had much of in a long time. Hopefully 2013 brings five more wins and plenty of bright moments for the young guys.
The Huskies had a bye last week and if all goes as it should, tomorrow ought to be a semi-bye too. Colorado is bad and anything other than a UW blowout would surprise me. It feels like the Huskies haven’t played in a really long time, and they may have some rust to knock off, but by the second half I suspect the Huskies run away, literally, by running the ball. Maybe the Buffs will be good in a couple years, I think that would be good for the conference. For now, they are relying on a true freshman QB from Tacoma who had exactly 1 offer from an FBS school. Although he did torch my Bothell Cougs last year so maybe he’s the real deal. Dawgs roll tomorrow, and hopefully stay healthy in doing so.
UW 42 – CU 13
UW comes off a much needed bye week to face lowly Colorado. The Buffaloes showed signs of life at UCLA last week, keeping the game competitive and in doubt into the second half, which is a vast improvement over the Buffs previous blow out losses. I have a feeling that game may have been CU’s best effort; couple that with a rested and ready UW squad, and I see a solid, big win for UW Saturday night. The Huskies know what is at stake: win, and they are bowl eligible, which yes, that is a big deal. It would be four years in a row Sark has guided UW to a bowl, which is only a year removed from the 0-12 abyss he inherited. At some point the 0-12 excuse must end, frankly I think this is it, but that said, a bowl eligible Husky football team in early November hasn’t happened in a decade, and should be cause for celebration among Husky fans. The fun part is there is still much to be gained with the rest of the season. 9-3 is a very real possibility with the scuffling Bruins and Beavers left, and then the wretched Cougars at the end. Tomorrow is the first step to Sark’s best record year yet.
UW 39 – CU 17
I’ve seen a good amount of talk about how the Buffaloes are going to give the Huskies a tough game and they are no push over. This could be the case and credit Colorado for playing hard the last few weeks. But, the Buffs played their best game of the season last week and still lost by three scores. UCLA didn’t especially look great last week either. This game may be close for a while but it would be because the Huskies aren’t playing well, not because Colorado is the better team. I think the Huskies will be focused and ready to set the tone for the last 1/3 of the season. While Colorado may keep it close for a quarter, I think the Huskies will have this wrapped up in the 3rd quarter.
When I used to pitch in Little League, my dad would coach. When it was a really important inning he would get this look about him as I headed out to the mound. Once the inning started, I would hear this voice come out from the dugout. “9, Andrew!” I’d fire in a strike. “Alright, 8 more!” After every strike he would count down one more until my team was back in the dugout. Coming into this season I think the goal needed to be 9 wins on the season (including the bowl, in my pre-season prediction). That goal is going to take a great focus, one that we haven’t seen out of Sark’s team. Now is as good of time as ever to start. Go get ’em, Dawgs! 4 more, and it starts tomorrow.
UW 45 – COL 14
Colorado is not a pushover like they have been, but they’re not a lot better. Paul Richardson is one of the scariest wide receivers in the country, but they don’t have a lot of offensive firepower otherwise. The defense is nothing to be afraid of. This is a game the Huskies should win handily. The best case scenario would be an early blowout and some rest for Price and Sankey and Danny Shelton. Bigger games are coming. These Huskies are a bit unpredictable, so who knows what to expect, but this seems like the perfect opportunity to practice some consistency and play a complete game. It might stay close for a bit, but the Huskies should win this one easily.
UW48 – Colorado 17