Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Game Two....Oklahoma

Having your second game of the season on the road in Norman isn't exactly a soft landing for a team coming off a 2-9 season. The Sooners were down last year, but got better as the season progressed beating Oregon in the Holiday Bowl finishing 8-4 by winning six out of their last seven.

Coming into 2006 most publications are going to rank the Sooner's in the top ten making them a pre season contender for the national crown. Rhett Bomar, Adrian Peterson, and Malcom Kelley lead the way on offense, but the offensive line returns only one starter. The early collapse to begin last season was due to injuries, attrition to the NFL, and a young team led by 12 freshmen who played last season. Oklahoma should be a deeper, and more experienced group coming into 2006 and has to be the hands down favorite in this game on their home field.

The Sooners play the following week in Eugene as they try to win their second leg of the Northwest Championship. Oregon will give the Sooners a much tougher test and could come away with a victory if they are settled at QB.

Washington will have a few problems in Norman.

The first problem they have is they simply don't have as much talent as the Sooners who have lived off top 100 recruits since the programs resurgence. Washington will have to have a better gameplan that is able to put Oklahoma back on it's heals early. Washington will need to improve it's redzone performance to stay with these guys. If they make mistakes we need to take advantage of them.

The second problem is the environment, expect it to be hot and humid in Norman on game day. An added feature is 85,000 Okie's in one of the shrines of college football. Playing in humidity after practicing in the Northwest all summer can really drain your energy as the game goes on. Let's hope the Dawg's are in condition to face a very physical team in a hostile environment.

The third problem is the green UW offensive line going up against a Bob Stoops defense. This is going to be a challenge. If we are able to give the running backs a little room, and make enough time for IS to create, we have a better chance. No doubt this game will be won in the trenches. Oklahoma will also have better overall team speed.

A few things in Washington's favor

The first thing is we could be taken lightly even though we are a Pac Ten team. Oklahoma still has a young team, and young teams tend to make mistakes early in the season. California came in and shredded them early last season.

The second area is our defensive line which will be playing against their green, but talented offensive line. If we can create some turnovers, and slow them down it will help. Our defense is a strength, and we will need it to create some opportunities.

Finally how good is Oklahoma? I don't see them being a national championship, or even league title winner, I don't think they have the horses to get by Texas. They do have BCS talent, but they aren't like SC of the past few years. I would rate this years 2006 California team higher.

Whats going to happen?

Both UW and Oklahoma have prior games before playing with the Sooners taking on UAB, and the Huskies battling San Jose St. You really never know what any team is going to be like till they play a game. We should have a good idea of each teams readiness after the first week.

UW is going to try to strike early, we saw an improved long game in the Spring, and IS can throw it a mile if someone can get under it. Can the UW receivers get some seperation, and can IS get some time? You also have to establish the run to win, and Lappano won't shy away from trying to do that. UW's offensive line will be severely tested trying to make some room inside. Kenny James can get some tough yards, but he still needs a little space.

I am not going to go out on a limb and predict a Washington victory, I don't think we have the athletes to play 4 quarters with these guys on the road. I think UW will go down 31-17 in an interesting game that will tell us pretty much what Washington will do over the season. I don't think we are ready to beat a top fifteen team, but we should be able to go out there and give them a game without embarrasing ourselves. We will have our chances, but in the end talent and depth will win out.

Oklahoma 31 UW 17 (1-1)


hairofthedawg said...

I think that's optimistic, but not as optimistic as I would be with my prediction. I just hope the team comes away healthy and with a little more confidence. Those "good games" afterward mean a lot more when you can tell the other guys mean it.

I haven't had enough beer to share my fantasy victory scenario.

prrbrr said...

Gosh, I hope you are correct on this one JB. Not to take a losers attitude or expectations, but I hope we are close but more importantly to me, I hope they play with heart even if we lose. My great embarassments have been that Miami disaster, and Lambos routs at ND and Nebraska, and Gilbys return debut at Cal. those teams all quit, something I hadn't seen in a long long time from the Huskies. This game to me will be a sign of where we are against the elites and how much further we have to go. No prediction from me on score, Okla win hopefully not big.

Health Insurance Expert said...

It is always very hard for me to predict a UW loss. I just think the Oklahoma program is way ahead of UW at this point even though they probably aren't at the national championship level this season. The thing is they will be next year, so there is a lot of talent in Norman.

UW is probably around three years behind these guys right now if we recruit well....that is the reality.

I would take a respectable loss with no injuries at this point. Strange things do happen, the ball takes funny bounces.