Tag Archives: Zach Maynard

UW vs. Colorado Predictions

Hello, and welcome to the Good Guys Sports Blog.  I’ll be your host this evening.

Here’s tonight’s question: Who is your favorite Pac-12 player to watch that is not on your favorite team?  That means no Chris Polk for Husky fans, no Marquess Wilson for Cougars, etc.

For me, LaMichael James is probably the guy.  He’s a Duck, and you can argue he’s a product of their system, but consider me skeptical that any of their other backs will be nearly as good as he is.  He’s out for at least this week though, so I’ll try for someone less obvious, if possibly just as talented.

Every year, the Good Guys plus a few others have a Pac-10/12 only fantasy draft.  It’s slightly ridiculous but a lot of fun, and we know as much about Utah’s fourth string running back as anyone outside of Kyle Whittingham, which, I guess that’s a good thing?  Anyway, last year, I was looking for late depth at wide receiver and grabbed California’s Keenan Allen, then a probable starter as a true freshman.  The first few weeks, I think he gave me more points on end-arounds than on receptions, but by the end of the year, he was a solid starter for my team.  This year, I think I grabbed him in the fourth round or so, which raised a few heckles from fellow drafters.  It was the best pick I made.

Allen and Cal QB Zach Maynard are half-brothers, and the hope for Bear fans was that the two would develop into a dynamic duo that would provide the passing attack Cal has mostly been missing the last couple of years.  That’s been the case at times, but Maynard has been extremely inconsistent, and just plain bad the last couple of weeks.  Allen has had no such issues.  He’s been solid to spectacular, with the Huskies getting most of the spectacular.  He went for 10 catches and 197 yards with a touchdown in Husky Stadium.  Last night against USC, he seemed like Cal’s only offensive weapon, ending with 13 catches for 160 yards.  He’s gone over 100 yards receiving in every game but one this year.

Allen’s a joy to watch, big and smooth.  He’s one of those guys who doesn’t seem like he’s that fast until he’s running away from you, like he did in the first series against the Huskies.  The Pac-12 has a bunch of great receivers.  Robert Woods is just ridiculous in all aspects.  Juron Criner is excellent when he can stay on the field, and Marquess Wilson is lightning, scary as can be.  If I were picking guys for a team though, my pick might be Keenan Allen.

So who do you like to watch?  Put it in the comments.  Onto the predictions:

Joe

Even though the line on this game says it will be a blow out and not noteworthy, I believe this game is intriguing and could be another defining moment for this program (Sark has had a few defining moments, both wins over USC, the Holiday Bowl and last week vs Utah…).  If the Huskies want to be elite and return to conference dominance like so many long time fans want, they must, I repeat, must destroy Colorado.  The Buffs are simply not good.  They lost home to Wazzu and haven’t won a road game in four years.  If UW claims to be good, and 4-1 says they are, they gotta play like it and come out and crush CU.  No sloppiness like they showed against lesser opponents earlier this year.  I want to see crisp, aggressive play right from the start.  The Huskies tend to play well in the underdog role, it gets them jacked up since a hallmark of Sark’s coaching is playing with emotion and a chip.  Against Utah they had all of this.  How do they handle the biggest in conference spread since the Neuheisal days?  I am very curious to see.  I like swagger, in fact I love it, but if you want to be hardcore you better go out and back things up.  Bury them from the start.  No detailed player or scheme breakdowns in this prediction, just the plain truth: Dawgs in a blowout, POW!

UW 41 – CU 17

Andrew

The last 2 games I’ve picked against the Huskies and what have the results yielded?  The Huskies have beaten teams by more than 7 points 2 weeks in a row!  You may think that’s not a big deal, but it hasn’t happened since (I’m looking back through the records now, wait for it) the last two games in 2009.  That’s pretty amazing seeing how the Huskies record is 13-7 in that span.  By the way, the Huskies have won 8 of their last 9 games.  That’s better than most teams in the country, pretty cool huh?  It’s because of those records that the Huskies should blow out Colorado.  The Buffaloes haven’t won a road game since 2007 (double check that for me), they are completely depleted in the secondary, and they are missing one of their top offensive weapons.  I know Colorado has been going through down years but these road woes are pretty ridiculous.  Why don’t they bring the buffalo on the road with them?  You can’t convince me that they wouldn’t win at least a couple of road games in that span if they brought their buffalo along.  I know picking the Huskies to lose has worked out for us the last few games, but now is the time to start believing that the Huskies will win.  Our Dawgs have a tendency to keep things close but, on Saturday, I think we’ll see domination.  The Dawgs will run away with this one.  The fans will party out in the rain and our team will show up in the top-25 on Monday.  That will set up a showdown for the Pac-12 North that has early Rose Bowl implications.  Yes, I’m getting way too ahead of myself but it sure does feel good to write that.  Go Dawgs!

Huskies – 42 Buffs – 17

Matthew

Like many Husky fans, I’m still trying to get used to a good UW team.  I keep looking for reasons that they’re not very good.  Their opponents haven’t exactly gone on to great success.  It’s just going to take a bit before I’ll be able to expect continued excellence from them.  A blowout win over a bad and beaten-up Colorado team would be a huge step in the right direction.  I think they’ll do it.  There’s not a whole lot else to say.  Colorado isn’t terrible offensively, but they’re missing Paul Richardson, who accounts for something like 25% of their offense so far, which seems extremely high for a wide receiver not named Robert Woods.  Their defense isn’t anything special, especially if you pick up their blitzes.  The only thing really scary about them is the buffalo, and as Andrew said, he’s not making the trip.  The mascot making every trip should have been a requirement of Colorado joining the Pac-12.  Have to say though, I saw them run the buffalo out recently, and I was disappointed that they didn’t just turn him loose.  They have 4 people running along beside him.  Let that guy run!  Andrew pointed out that that would be dangerous and crazy.  I pointed out that I didn’t care!

UW 45, Colorado 20

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UW vs. California Predictions

Let me take you inside the absolutely fascinating inner workings of Good Guy Prediction posts.  I (being Matthew) send Danny, Andrew and Joe a text at some point on Friday that says, “Hey, send me your predictions when you get a second.”  They all send me an email, and when I get home that night, I combine them in a post, write an incredibly exciting intro, and that’s that.

Ideally, this process would happen on Wednesday or Thursday, so that people could read the predictions before gametime and so my fellow Good Guys have a little more time to respond.  Alas, I’m lucky if I think about this post before lunch on Friday, so occasionally you get a predictions post with two predictions instead of four, like today.  Joe’s off hiking somewhere, which sounds great if you’re into that sort of thing.  Andrew played a show tonight (which was great) and has his 21st birthday Saturday (happy birthday!), so he’s a little otherwise occupied.  Dan and I will hold the fort for this week.

Edit: And Andrew pulls through with his email as soon as I posted this.  Good job, the little guy! (That’s his nickname.)

Dan

After beating Cal on the road last season, it would seem unlikely that the Huskies would let the Bears return the favor tomorrow, especially considering UW appears to be improved from last year. But Cal may have finally found a playmaking quarterback, something they have lacked for the past couple years. Maynard is a dual threat QB whose game apparently resembles Keith Price. He has weapons to throw to in Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones, and I’d imagine the Bears will gobble up yards like most teams seem to do against UW. However, I have a hunch the Dawgs will yield less points than one might expect, if for no other reason than the defense is bound to come out hungry. This game is a virtual toss up in Vegas, but  for no good reason I think the Huskies put all 3 phases together tomorrow, and Sark can finally smile. Maybe the homer in me is talking, but I think Cal is catching UW at the wrong time.

UW-45, Cal-27

Matthew

It’s hard to be completely sure about anything Husky related right now, but I’m pretty sure that if Keith Price and Chris Polk are on the field, the offense will score at least 30 points against almost anyone.  The defense is anyone’s guess.  They have the talent, but I think there’s a lack of confidence in the new linebackers that’s affecting the whole unit.  Sarkisian’s comments about the defense were revelatory.  Hopefully they cut loose this week and let their athleticism take over.  I’d rather see big plays with a few mistakes than the steady drip of yards they’ve been surrendering.

The last two games between these two have been wins for the Dawgs, a blowout and last year’s game winning touchdown by Polk with no time on the clock.  I’d love another blowout, but I’m expecting a close one.  The Golden Bears are a talented team in almost exactly the same position as the Huskies, as an unproven team with talent.  The winner becomes the front runner for third in the tough northern division.  I think the Huskies pull it out.

UW 38, Cal 34

Andrew

I don’t know what to think of this game.  It’s a very important game in this season where we’re trying to figure out if the Dawgs have taken another step forward.  I have a lot of confidence in the offense, they are moving the ball very well the last 2 weeks.  But, Cal also scares me.  I’m not sure if they’ve earned me being scared of them (I’m not sure they care about me, in general so they are kind of jerks), but they have a strong defense and a decent offense.  Against the Huskies defense, a decent offense is all you need it seems.  But sooner or later, the defense will play better.  It might be the year 2017 or it might be in this game.  I have said almost nothing in this preview.  This game seems even and whoever wins the turnover battle will win the game.  Home field advantage will be a key.  For some reason it sure seems to me like Cal is going to win.  Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday and I’m not sure if the Huskies have ever won on my birthday.  I hope I’m wrong and I hope Chris Polk, Keith Price, and Ta’amu run up to me in the stands after a blow out and deliver me a game ball along with a million dollars.  But, for now I’m going to say Cal wins 35-27.  Prove me wrong Dawgs!  GOOOOOO!!!!! HUSKIES!!!!!

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Hello Dawg Fans

To anyone still reading this nearly dormant blog, welcome to the 2011 season of college football and the first season for the new Pac-12 Conference.  This is a favorite time of year for the Good Guys, so you should start to see a lot more posts here.  Personally, I am finally done with the graduate school that’s kept me from posting for the past 8 months or so, and I’m looking forward to getting back to writing.

The Pac-12 season kicks off for everyone this week, with Arizona State and Utah both kicking off tomorrow and everyone else starting the season on Saturday.  The only real attention grabbers for the weekend are UCLA at Houston and the battle of off-season troublemakers between Oregon and LSU.  Everyone else plays an FCS or comparable team.  Not to say that all of the teams have a definite win, but even the Cougars should have a pretty easy go of it this week.

Reading through the multitude of Pac-12 previews over the last few weeks, the conference seems unsure, at least after Oregon and Stanford at the top.  Oregon, despite the offseason drama, is still as fast as anyone and a threat to return to the BCS championship.  Stanford has a few more questions after losing Jim Harbaugh and several receivers, but they still have Andrew Luck and as much or more talent as anyone else in the conference.  Expect these two to stay at the top of the league, perhaps meeting as undefeated teams later in the season. Unfortunately, both play in the new North division with the Huskies, meaning that only one of them can play in the new Pac-12 Championship.  Of course, if the Huskies want to play in it instead, they’ll probably have to beat at least one of these teams and win just about everything else.  More on them in a bit.

After those two, the pecking order is anything but clear.  In the south, there is talent with question marks.  ASU looked like the top dog, but they’ve suffered some major injury losses, and the Sun Devils haven’t met expectations since Jake the Snake was there, as far as I can remember.  USC still has excellent talent, but they’re banned from the postseason.  Utah is always good, but how they’ll transition to the Pac-12 is a big question.  Arizona could put up crazy passing numbers if they’re o-line holds up.  Even UCLA and Colorado seem like they could surprise, although each have big questions or weaknesses.  I could truly see just about any order of finish in the south, but none of these teams seem truly dominant.

There is similar uncertainty after Stanford and Oregon in the north.  California might have the conference’s top defense to go with some weapons on offense.  If new quarterback Zach Maynard can consistently get the ball to Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones and Isi Sofele provides a reasonable facsimile of Shane Vereen, they could easily surprise and make a bowl.  It’s hard to imagine Oregon State struggling for a full year, but the offseason has not been kind to them.  They lost Jacquizz Rodgers somewhat surprisingly to the NFL and will start the year with at least four starters out due to injury.  James Rodgers is among those who might return later in the year, so it’s quite possible this will be another season where the Beavers play good football by November.  They have questions on both lines even before the injuries, however, so I have my doubts.  Cougar fans have been talking for months about this being their season to break out.  Their schedule starts easy, and if they can beat San Diego State to go 3-0, they might have something this year.  WSU is definitely better than they have been, but I’m betting talk of a bowl game will prove to be wishful thinking.

That leaves us with the University of Washington.  They’re being picked anywhere from 3rd to 5th in the north, with projections of 6-8 wins.  That seems likely, with a couple of significant injuries the only real plausible path to fewer than 5 wins.  It’s become difficult to expect much out of the Huskies, but this might be the year that starts to change.  I remember a comment on a chat board somewhere saying that the Dawgs won’t really return to dominance until they have Pac-12 starter level players who are unable to get onto the field.  The Huskies are still too young for that to really be the case this year, but they’re getting closer.  Their talent level and depth is significantly better than it has been in years.  They have difference-makers at every position.  The question now is whether all of these players are actually ready to make a difference.  The offensive line needs to translate their talent into consistent performance.  The young linebackers on either side of Cort Dennison will have to grow up and make plays in a hurry.   Everyone else just needs to show consistency.  There is plenty of talent, but in past years it hasn’t always produced results.

After that, it comes down largely to one player: Keith Price.  If the rest of the team plays up to its talent-level, he only needs to be okay.  Manage the game, make most of his open passes, not do anything crazy and the team should be fine.  I think he can do that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does more.  Jake Locker was one of my favorite Huskies of all time, but realistically, he wasn’t that great last year.  Price should be able to produce similar, if not better, passing numbers.  However, like many great quarterbacks, Jake had the ability to get better and make plays when he needed to.  There’s no way to know if Price can consistently do that yet.  Probably, he can’t, but luckily there are plenty of others on the team who might be able to fill that void.

I don’t know what the actual over/under line is on regular season Husky wins.  If I had to guess, I would set it at 6 1/2.  I’ve talked myself into expecting 7-5 or 8-4 before a bowl game, and if everything broke right I could see even better than that.  It’s been 11 years since everything broke right for the Huskies.  I’d say they’re due.

-Matthew

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