Category Archives: UW Game Previews

A Few Thoughts On The Dawgs

I couldn’t bring myself to do an actual post-game analysis after the debacle against Arizona this weekend so instead you get an array of bullet holes.  No sense in wasting time, let’s get to it!

  • Saturday marked the low point in the Steve Sarkisian era and there’s no doubt that his seat is getting a little warmer than it was to start the year.  With that being said, everyone needs to step off the ledge for a moment.  Yes, this year has been a disappointment through 7 games and 8 wins doesn’t seem likely.  But, a 3-4 record is about what we all had the Huskies pegged at through this point.  Let the year play out and then make a judgement on the coach.  For the record, Sark won’t be fired this year unless the Huskies lose every single game (and even then it doesn’t seem likely).  It’s next year when the real expectations kick in and, frankly, I think that he’s earned that.
  • The offense continues to struggle and I think that it’s time to panic as far as that goes.  The running game is the only part that seems to be decent right now and, for whatever reason, the coaches went away from that in the last 2 weeks.  The offensive line looked awful, once again, in pass protection.  Micah Hatchie played his worst game of the season.  Drew Schaeffer even looks lost on blitzes.  When you can’t play with the same 5 guys every week there isn’t as much communication.  That’s a basic rule in sports and it’s coming into play right now as we see blitzers running right by linemen who aren’t blocking anyone.  The receivers are bad too.  They really should be better and I don’t know what to say about them.
  • Keith Price deserves his own bullet hole.  His head is muddled right now and he is just lost.  He is visibly upset after turnovers or bad plays and doesn’t seem to be having any fun.  It’s not the Keith that we saw last year or even in his first start of his career against Oregon.  Price clearly has the offensive line on his mind as he is just missing reads.  He isn’t trusting his receivers.  If you watched Matt Scott on Saturday, he threw the ball well before his receivers had turned or looked for the ball.  On fly routes the receivers would take off, Scott would find a spot he could throw it and the receiver would spot the ball in the air and just stop and make the catch.  Has Keith done that this season?  Maybe a few times early in the year but not lately.  He has the capability and flashes it a couple of times a game.  But, then he throws an interception, fumbles or just doesn’t trust anyone around him to make a play.
  • The defense clearly can not keep up with a high-paced, spread offense.  It’s interesting, because before the year that’s what I thought they’d be able to deal with best.  Thankfully, there aren’t really any of those teams left on the schedule.  The Cougars I guess could fit the bill but to put them in the same category as Arizona and Oregon is laughable.
  • Arizona is good.  They’re a scary team especially at home.  They’re not as good as the Huskies made them look, granted.  But, that was a good team the Dawgs lost to.
  • Oregon State now comes to town, in the top-10 and undefeated.  In a way, I think this Oregon State team is a year ahead of the Huskies.  They had a disappointing year last year.  Their receivers were talented but inexperienced, their running backs went MIA a lot of the time.  Their offensive line struggled but gained experience, their defensive line had bright moments but lacked consistency.  There are quite a few similarities and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Huskies took a similar route as the Beavers have.  With that being said, I think this will be a tricky game for Oregon State.  They have yet to blow the doors off of a team and Sark has proven tough in close games.  Sean Mannion will be back as the starter at quarterback for Oregon State and that is a big boost for them.  Like I said though, the Huskies have had much more success against these type of offenses as opposed to spread offenses.  Marcus Peters and Desmond Trufant will have to step up and the offense has to get rolling.  But, this has been a different team at home and it should be a decent game.  If it’s not, expect the boo birds to come out early.

I suppose that’s enough for now.  This is a defining moment in the Sark era and how the team responds will go a long way in telling us if we have a long-term coach or just one who got us to mediocrity.  Let’s hope for a pissed off Husky team to show up and play their best game of the season on Saturday.

Andrew

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Just A Reminder

Today the Huskies play USC at 4 p.m.  Gus Johnson is calling the game on Fox so there’s even more motivation to watch this game.  Predictions will be posted tomorrow morning but it’s not secret that most people don’t favor the Huskies in this game.  The betting line in this game favors USC by about 11.  All the experts are picking Matt Barkley and his two All-American receivers to win.  And they probably will.  Sure, the Huskies have a decent chance of an upset but it would be just that if they won.  An upset.

But do you remember the last time USC came to town?  Jake Locker cemented his place in Husky fans memories.  Sark proved himself in his 3rd game being here.  A program started their march upwards.  Yes, that march has gone a little slower than all of us would have liked but at least we have actual win totals to point to that show improvement.  That doesn’t really happen with the baseball team in this city.  The Huskies are playing against the odds tomorrow but last time USC was in Seattle this happened:

For 7 or 8 years, being a Husky fan felt fairly hopeless.  Then this happened.  I haven’t felt hopeless about a Husky football game since.

One more for good measure.

Playing in Seattle, at home, has now turned into an advantage for the Dawgs.  Just like the good ol’ days.  I’m hoping that it stays that way at 4 P.M. today.

Go Huskies!

Andrew

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UW – LSU Recap

I’m a few days late on this but I was a bit busy and don’t have much to say about this game.  I’ll keep it short and then talk about the rest of the Pac-12 tomorrow.

Before I recap the disaster that was Saturday night, I’d be remiss to not mention the announcement that the Sonics Arena Deal will be passed.  Chris Hansen has bent over backwards to get this deal done and now, we’re only a few steps away from getting an NBA team here.  Hansen seems to be one of the most likeable guys around and the whole city needs to send him a few thank you cards.  Our city will be better because of this deal, not just because of the enhancement of the NBA being here but also because of the traffic problems being taken care of and the cleaning up of the Sodo District.  It’s a great day to be living in Seattle.

Also, I’d like to thank any veterans and members of the military on this day we remember.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost someone on this day 11 years ago.

So, on to Saturday night.  There’s not much to say, because I generally try to stay positive.  The Dawgs were beaten, stepped on, beaten, and then curb-stomped a few times.  Sure, the game started well on the first play and the Huskies took an early lead, but the game was over once the Huskies had to settle for a field goal.  Who knows what happens if Bishop Sankey or Jaydon Mickens holds on to the ball and the Dawgs get a quick 7 on the board.  They still would have lost, but an early bit of confidence could do a young team wonders.   It was like LSU was going to play rope-a-dope with the Dawgs, then felt their measly jab to the ribs, and decided to just K.O. them sooner rather than later.

Thomas Tutogi and Danny Shelton had good games.  Otherwise, can you point to anyone who had a good game?  I can’t.  If you can, let me know in the comments.  Erik Kohler was lost to another injury.  Travis Feeney might be out for a few weeks.  The team was just dominated physically.

My general feeling is that I’m tired of watching that happen.  I thought this team would compete with the best this year and they definitely didn’t.  They’ve been bit by the injury bug, but that’s not an excuse for getting beat 41-3.  It’s one game, but for the first time in the Sark era, you have to worry about progress a little bit.  He’s done a great job with this program and by no means is in the hot seat but the team can’t keep getting blown  out in these games.

This week they need to throttle Portland State.  They need to beat them the way Oregon would.  It will put everyone’s mind at ease.  They need to average 5 or 6 yards a carry.  Keith Price needs to have a high completion percentage, look efficient and then get out of the game by the 4th quarter.  The defense needs to score a touchdown (they have in both games so far, unless you count that blown call by SEC officials) and limit yardage.  No, they don’t need to do these things to win but they need to do them for their own confidence and to keep the fan base patient.  Stanford comes in a few weeks later and the Huskies need to have shown that they’ll be ready.

Shane Brostek will play in his first game on Saturday.  He is a true freshman who will see time at right guard.  I wish he could have red-shirted but the offensive line needs help and if he can make them improve then I’m all for it.  This week is a chance for the Dawgs to get healthy and dominate in all aspects of the game.  Let’s hope they get that done.  After Saturday, they could use something that goes according to plan.

Andrew

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UW vs. San Diego St. Predictions

And here we are.  In about 25 hours, the Huskies will have a game in the books.  It’s strange that, after waiting for months for the season to start, it will now be over in 3 short months.  By the end of September, the Dawgs will have played half of their home games.  Or slightly less than half if they host the Pac-12 championship.  Time keeps passing, but it will slow down for a few hours tomorrow night.

I just got home from dinner, and the drive took me along the east edge of Lake Sammamish, which is one of the better drives in the area, even in the dark.  Tonight, there was a clear sky and big moon lighting up some low hanging, patchy clouds.  It was exactly the kind of night I associate with autumn and football.  I grew up in Yakima, where clear skies are common, but in the fall as the temperatures drop, the sky takes on this misty quality that I can’t really describe.  The moon seems bigger, the stars brighter, the night clearer.

That kind of night will be forever linked in my mind with high school football games.  I never played, but I’m not sure I ever missed a game, either.  Our small stadium had bleachers sandwiched between a couple of small grassy berms where the students stood, on the left if you were in middle school, to the right for high schoolers.  There are not many places I remember more fondly than that stadium, huddled with friends, shivering in the cold.

I have no real reason for sharing all this, except tonight reminded me of those nights, which seems fitting for this weekend.  It’s not cold enough to really have the same effect, but I was glad that, a couple of miles up the plateau from where I drove, Skyline and Bothell were facing off in a bigtime season-opener.  Last night, Bellevue beat a Texas powerhouse in overtime in Memorial Stadium.  Tomorrow, the Huskies take on the Aztecs under the lights.  It’s the best time of year.

I hope you get to be at Century Link or your stadium of choice tomorrow.  I cannot tell you much joy it brings me to enter the stadium, waiting for kickoff.  If college games aren’t an option, check out your local high school.  There are few things better than cheering on a random high school team with some friends, or sharing a blanket with your lady (or man).  I’m rambling now, so I’ll stop and get on to the predictions.  Welcome to football season, everybody!

Joe

I have pretty high expectations coming into this season opener with SDSU. My expectation surround two areas: Keith Price and the defense.  Price is the unquestioned leader of the team, and a deep sleeper Heisman candidate.  Price has an opportunity early on to set the tone for year and show he is an elite level QB.  Look for Price to come out aggressive and throw deep a lot to give the fans some excitement right off the bat.  For obvious reasons, I’m excited to see the defense play.  After the nightmare in the Alamo Bowl, Sark fired the whole defensive staff and replaced them with young, energetic, but most importantly, talented defensive coaches.  Justin Wilcox is a clear upgrade at DC.  I’m excited to see how the unit gels over the first few weeks, and matching up against a solid Aztecs squad will be a great test.  Should be a fun Saturday night!

UW 31 – SDSU 20

Matt

I don’t really know what to expect from this game, except a win.  It could be close, it could be a blowout.  The offense could dominate, or it could struggle like in last year’s opener.  I’m hoping the offense can dominate without having to open the playbook too much and the defense can consistently tackle and make a few big plays.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.  It doesn’t help that San Diego St. is hard to get a handle on, but I’m pretty sure the Dawgs are better.  I’m just hoping they play that way.

UW 38 – SDSU 17

Dan

No prediction from Dan yet.  I (Matthew) have decided that, since I’m the one compiling the predictions, I get to make fun of whoever doesn’t send one in.  So here goes.  Man, Dan is a smelly guy.  He is so smelly.  I think he forgets to shower and takes a bath in the drainage pond by his house instead.  Geez, that guy’s smelly.  I’m glad I’m not sitting by him right now.  Go take a shower!

Andrew

Season openers haven’t exactly been Steve Sarkisian’s strong point.  He’s 1-2 in them but the only good performance in these games came in his first season against LSU.  Last year, we had to sit through a nail biter as the Dawgs held on to beat Eastern Washington.  This year, they play a decent San Diego State team who will come to play.  I think the Huskies will be ready though.  Maybe I’m just being optimistic but I think as the second half wears on, the Dawgs will start to pull away and end up winning by 20.  Here are 3 reasons why:

1.  Keith Price is the best quarterback San Diego will face all year, and, even with 5 defensive backs on the field. the Aztecs just won’t have an answer to Price and ASJ.
2.  The Husky lines will be better than the Aztecs.  There haven’t been many times in the last decade where I think the Huskies will win the battle in the trenches but tomorrow is one of those days.  San Diego State is replacing quite a few guys up front and the Dawgs will rack up a surprising amount of rushing yards.
3.  The defense will be better.  Of course, it can’t be worse but I mean to say that the D will surprise some people.  They’ll have a few mistakes but they’ll make plays and they’ll look much faster.  Because they are.  Danny Shelton will have a good game and the secondary will cover up the linebackers mistakes.  At least for this week.

So, there you go.  Expect Shaq Thompson to wow you.  Expect to be frustrated at some points.  But, Keith Price and the Husky offense will be just too much for the Aztecs.

Huskies 45 – Aztecs 24

Go Dawgs!

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UW vs. EWU Predictions

It’s finally here.  Without further ado, here are the Good Guy predictions for the battle royale at Husky Stadium tomorrow.

Joe

Eastern is no slouch, and I don’t think the Huskies will treat them as such. I believe Sark has the Huskies focused and prepared to play the Eagles at a high tempo and tons of emotion. I expect the Eagles to come out jacked and just as prepared, which I think will help the UW get “up” quicker than normal, especially when playing a perceived easy win. I honestly see the Huskies running the ball early, then working the middle of the field with ASJ. I expect Callier to get the bulk of the carries, even if Polk somehow plays or Fogerson. I’d be all for Callier getting a ton of carries. I think the Huskies WRs corps could be unstoppable, how EWU will combat that I have no idea. Defensively the Huskies will be fine, EWU hasn’t seen this level of talent in FCS. There won’t be a shutout, but I don’t expect EWU to move the ball at will. Early season game, lots of jitters, emotions, there will be crazy plays, blown assignments, timing will be off, and the Dawgs will win:

UW 31 – EWU 14

Dan

Even when Washington tries to schedule a cupcake for once, they fail. Eastern is no slouch, and if this were a week 2 game, or god forbid it was being played on the red turf, I’d be very nervous. But the Huskies are at home, and given that this is the first game, the players have had all offseason to think about the Eagles. Bo Levi Mitchell is a legit QB and he has a veteran group of receivers to throw to. I expect Eastern will move the offense through the air, and rack up decent passing totals between the 20s, but the Huskies are too deep, too talented, and too hungry to start 1-0. They can’t lose this game, and they won’t.

Washington–30, Ea. Washington–20

Andrew

If you follow the Huskies at all, you know this week the theme by the coaches has been “1-0.”  In fact, Sark has said that this was the theme since fall camp began.  “1-0.”  The Huskies haven’t started the season with a win since 2007, and if you remember that it wasn’t a feel good win.  We’ve also heard all week about how good Eastern Washington is.  It seems every person in the state has said, “Eastern is going to surprise on Saturday.”  I have no doubt that Eastern is a very good football team that is in the FCS.  But, they’re no match for the team they’ll face on Saturday.  They don’t have as much depth, talent, and it will take a minor miracle for them to win this game.  I’m sure the Dawgs are sick of hearing how Eastern is going to surprise them.  I’m sure they’re sick of Eastern players saying, “The Huskies don’t respect us” or things to that extent even though no Husky player or coach has come close to saying that.  It’s a Saturday on Montlake and Husky football is on its way back.  The Dawgs make it a bit stressful but then dominate.  Welcome back Huskies, I’ve been waiting for this since a certain night in late December.

Huskies 38, EWU 13 

Matthew

Eastern is certainly scarier than the typical FCS team, but I think their talent is maybe getting a bit overblown.  Could the Huskies lose this game?  Sure, it’s possible, I guess.  Will they? Not a chance in the world.  Eastern might score a few points, but I can’t see this being close.  My only question is how long it takes the Huskies to break away.  In past years, they’ve started slowly in the few blow outs they’ve had before pulling away later.  This Saturday, I’m hoping the first quarter has Jesse Callier running through 10-foot holes, Jermaine Kearse 20 feet behind the EWU secondary, and Bo Levi Mitchell flat on his back after every play.  Go Dawgs!

UW 48, EWU 17

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Husky Predictions – Apple Cup Edition

Joe

The Apple Cup is always crazy because of the rivalry.  Upsets are common place.  Underdogs win, road teams win, bad weather, goofy plays.  You name, it’s happened in this rivalry.  All of these events are being talked about as possibly happening in the latest edition.  For the first time in years the Huskies have something tangible to play for besides pride.  A win and the Dawgs finish 3rd in the Pac-10 and most likely an Alamo Bowl birth.  This fact alone is amazing considering the last time UW played in Pullman they lost to a previously winless Cougar squad, going 0-12, and threw the program into the darkest winter it has ever seen, being the butt of jokes and the door mat of college football.  Under Coach Sark the Dawgs have improved by leaps and bounds.  A win in this game will vault the program back into relevancy.  It will be a needed shock to the system, giving a once very proud program reason to have some swagger.  For the seniors playing in this game, it will mean the world.  The Huskies have everything to play for.  Everything.  This is it.  No tomorrow.  Pride is a small part of this equation.  We are talking legacy.  We are talking foundation.  We are talking about us telling our grandkids about this team, this team that broke through, even at a mediocre 6-6, they broke through, learned how to win, and got the program going in the right direction.  Guys like Jake Locker and Mason Foster will forever be etched in Husky lore as warriors who got beat up and beat down more often than not, but went out winners, went out on their terms.  The final drive at Cal last week and the gutsy performance the week prior verse UCLA have battle hardened this team.  They are not afraid of a street fight.  They are not afraid of the road.  Not afraid of some cold temps.  They are not afraid of their bitter and hated rivals.  The Cougars have nothing but pride to play for.  There is no legacy.  There is no grandkids talk.  Sure, they can razz us until next season, but for what?  To go 2-10, 3-9 again?  If the Coogs win or lose, it won’t matter to that program.  They have upset the Dawgs before, and they will no doubt do it again.  But not this day.  The chemistry of this game favors the UW.  Better athletes, better coaches, more to play for, and a desire for more to play for.  This current roster has never played for anything but pride and a win.  The past two wins have given us glimpses into what they can do when backed into a corner.  The final drive at Cal really showed their grit, showed who they really can be.  Now, they have it within their grasp.  This is it.  This is the game.  60 minutes to glory.  Impose your will.  Play the game of your life.  Everything you have worked for since you first picked up a football has led to this moment.  Be legends.  This day it begins.  None of this can the Cougars say to themselves.  Every word of this is true for the Huskies.  Throw the X’s and O’s out the window folks, this game is about who want it more, and there is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind who wants it more.

Huskies 35 – Cougars 17

Matthew:

I’m scared to write a prediction for this game. There’s too much on the line, and it doesn’t seem like risking a jinx just for a prediction. I’ll risk it anyway. Objectively, I really think the Huskies should roll in this game. Well, maybe not roll, but be in good control. I’ve thought this many times before when nothing of the sort has happened, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised by a close game. Ultimately, I’m hoping the Cougar optimism is overblown and the Dawgs bring them back to reality.

Huskies 31- Cougars 17

Dan:

3 weeks ago I drew a parallel between last year’s UW basketball team, and this UW football team. I wondered if the football team could pull off what the basketball team did last year. After following to 7-7 in conference play, the Huskies had to win out in order to make the tournament. That team could have tanked it the rest of the year. Instead, they rallied around their senior leader, Quincy Pondexter, and won 9 straight. After 3 straight blow out losses, UW football was 3-6, and would have to win out just to make a bowl game. So far, the team has responded just like the basketball team did. Now, just one game separates the Huskies from breaking through to the bowl season, and I think they’ll get it done. I could back this claim with statistics, by comparing strengths and weaknesses, and using logic. But all that is thrown out when these two teams play. The Huskies appear to be a team of destiny, and I can’t see Jake Locker and this senior class being denied.

Huskies-27, Cougars-17

Now, I’m going to take this prediction one step further, and take a crack at picking the play of the game. I see a Locker to Goodwin connection for 60 yards. It may look something like this:

Andrew:

These predictions have been a little weird.  Joe’s is a mini novel, Dan’s includes a video of him playing X Box and Matthew’s email prediction involved one of the strangest subject lines I’ve ever seen (Woof woof. Meow. Oh, I thought you were supposed to be cougar.  You’re just a cute little kitty. Woof.).  I’m not going to do anything too crazy, I just want the Huskies to win.  We’ve waited 8 years for this.  It’s been completely frustrating.  Sitting through Keith Gilbertson and Tyrone Willingham was painful.  Our fans deserve this.  Our players have been beat up more than they’ve beaten anyone.  They deserve this.  This program could be in a much brighter place at about 7:30 Saturday night.  Yes, the Cougars are improving but they still aren’t good.  This is it Husky fans, the game we’ve been waiting for.  I think the Dawg’s win and we’ll celebrate through the night.

Huskies 31 – WSU 21

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Husky Predictions – Cal

I’m getting this up a little bit late, but here it is.  This is the biggest Husky game in quite a few years and it’s nice to have a meaningful game in November.  Here goes nothing!

Joe

This one is simple:  It’s Cal.  It’s after Thanksgiving.  They will quit.  Huskies have more to play for.  Yes, Locker is still hurt, but the combo of Polk and Callier will run, run, and run again and again.  The defense has played better over the past few games.  Cal can’t throw, they will try to run Vereen, but the UW front seven has done a fine job of stopping the run lately.  I like the Dawgs.
UW 20 – Cal 17

Dan

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been intrigued by the bowl possibilities that could await the Huskies, if they could get to 6 wins. As a fan, I’m allowed to think weeks ahead, make predictions, and dream a little. I don’t have to take it “one week at a time.” I would love to see UW play as well on Saturday as they did against Cal last year. It would be great to see this team win for Jake, similar to how the basketball team rallied for Quincy Pondexter last year. Unfortunately, I see a Cal victory. Unlike last year, the Bears have as much to play for as the Huskies, and it is not just Senior Day in Berkely, but also the final game at Memorial Stadium. That seems like a lot to overcome, and it’s had to imagine the Huskies stopping Vereen and the Cal running attack. I think the Dawgs play inspired ball, but the talent gap is just too big, and without Locker being 100% still, I see Cal winning 34-17.

Andrew

There’s quite a few reasons to like the Huskies in this game: Cal seems to be in a late season collapse, Locker is healthier, the Husky defense seems to be improving.  With all that being said, it’s hard for me to see the Huskies winning this game.  I hope I’m wrong but I think we’ll see the good Cal team show up today and that will be just too much for the Huskies.
Cal 35 – UW 24

Matthew

No prediction sent.  Slacker.

I am a slacker, but I’m picking Huskies 27-24.  We’re only 8 minutes into the game!


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