Monday, October 02, 2006

The Monday Morning Wash

Hello Dawgfans!

Your University of Washington Huskies are now 4-1 and have exceeded their combined victory total of the last two seasons in less than the first half of this season. That is reason for a little celebration around the Northwest, and yes the fans still care as witnessed by 7000 showing up for a closed circuit broadcast of the game in Hec Edmundson Pavillion last Saturday night. It just shows you that if the program wins they will fill up the seats each week.

Next up is Southern California who has looked mortal in their two previous road outtings against WSU, and Arizona. I even was pretty convinced that we could handle the Trojan's next week after our victory in the desert, but as Lee Corso often says, not so fast.

Playing USC at home is a lot different than playing USC on the road. The Trojan's always have problems in Pullman, which means they usually win, but the game is closer than anticipated. USC has a young squad this year, and they don't have the experience they have had in the past few years, that adds up to more of a struggle even though they are physically superior to about any team they will face this season.

A question many will ask is just how good is Washington State? They gave the Trojan's all the could handle, and if they had turned a couple early FG's into TD's we would have been talking upset. IS WSU really better than Washington? Early returns up till last Saturday would have given UW the edge since the caliber of team WSU has beaten, and the margin of victory has not been impressive.

Last season USC had four Heisman Trophy caliber athletes in their backfield, and two actually won the award in back to back seasons. Leinhart, Bush, White, and Jarrett made up a backfield that most NFL teams were envious of, and even USC simply cannot reload that type of talent on a year to year basis even though they came pretty close while John McKay was coach. USC is still talented, but they lack experience, and the replacements while very good don't even come close to matching up. You take Jarrett out of the equation, and he will probably miss the UW game too, and the Trojans are beatable.

The question is can Washington beat them?

I think Washington can for a couple of reasons, and I never thought I would say that this year.

1. The USC defense is still the teams weak link. You can score on SC.

2. The offense lacks the firepower to overcome that defense in a tight game.

3. Stanback if he plays well all four quarters has the talent to beat these guys.

4. The Washington defense has been steady and improving each week.

Will Washington beat the USC?

1. We are talking about playing on the road against one of the most storied programs in NCAA history in their house with over 80,000 watching.

2. We are talking about a team made up of mostly highly ranked HS all americans despite the losses from last year.

3. Washington hasn't put together a complete game yet this year despite the 4-1 record. Last week wasn't exactly a complete game either.

4. I think the game will be close, and I have a good feeling going in, but my sober observation is that USC will win unless they turn the ball over and UW takes advantage.

Around the Conference

WSU gave SC everything they could handle but ran out of time as Taylor Mays intercepted a last gasp pass near the goal line. How good are the Coug's?

UCLA beat Stanford 31-0 but was only ahead 7-0 at halftime. UCLA has some problems, the least of it being talent.

Cal cruised over Oregon St. the Bears have it going right now and are hitting on all cylinders. They gave up more points than expected, but since the game was never in doubt attribute it to being on cruise control most of the game.

Oregon throttled ASU, and we can honestly say that ASU is going to have problems winning any more games this year. Carpenter was terrible, and you can bet that they wished that they had handled the Sam Keller situation better. Oregon looks like the best team in the league right now.

Next weeks Oregon/California game in Berkeley is a can't miss game. The Bears are favored, but I have to give the early nod to Oregon. the game is a tossup of course, and the winner may find themselves in a BCS Bowl game.

Nationally it was fun to see Georgia Tech explode and hand the Hokies there lunch in Lynchburg. You won't see that happen very often against a Beemer defense. Alabama faded in the 4th quarter against Florida. Notre Dame knocked the snot out of Purdue...Irish will keep winning till the SC game as they play cupcakes the rest of the way. BYU upset Texas Tech in a big surprise. Rutgers is 5-0! Georgia had another dissapointing performance in squeeking by Ole Miss. Kansas gave Nebraska everything they could handle losing in OT to Nebraska...the Cornhuskers are not back....finally in the marqee game of the day #1 Ohio St had little problem with Iowa on the road. Look for Auburn and Ohio St to play for all the marlbes at the end of the season.

The local writers, even Bud Withers have jumped on the husky bandwagon. Most feel that a bowl game is a certainty at this point. We should be able to handle OSU, and Stanford with little problems. ASU looks more like a win every week. WSU will be a tossup since it is on the road in Pullman, and the Coug's look like a different team than opened the season on the road at Auburn. Oregon and Cal scare me, and I think they are both the class of the Pac Ten right now. USC is having some growing pains, but until somebody knocks them off the pedestal it hard to dismiss them as title contender nationally, or in the Pac Ten.

This upcoming week will be a little more exciting as the schedule will offfer some bigger games. Stay tuned as we will preview the USC game, make predictions about coming games in conference and nationally. It should be a fun week, but it is always fun when you are 4-1 coming off a bog road victory.

Go Huskies!

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