Friday, October 12, 2007

Puppy Chow

I am at home today preparing to take off to Tempe in the morning. Plenty of little preparations to do to make sure that everything goes smooth while I am away to watch two consecutive Husky games in person. That's right, next Saturday morning I jump on a plane to head to Seattle to watch the Huskies play the Ducks. Thank goodness for the afternoon start in that one, and the evening start in Tempe.

I am pretty excited to see the team in person from the stands because you can really see a lot more at the game then on TV. You can pick up the mood of the team, and coaches on the sideline. You can feel the momentum as it changes, and you can pay extra attention to the play of the line rather than just focusing on who has the ball.

This is a crossroads game for Willingham, and his program. The fan base is tired of moral victories, and disappointed in a 2-3 start even though that is the best most pundits figured the Huskies would do before the season started. Looking back the Huskies could easily be 3-2, 4-1, or even 5-0, and that really is rubbing the fan base wrong after Stanford knocked off USC last week.

This is almost the exact midpoint of the reign of Ty Willingham, and he needs a signature victory, and a winning season to keep the rebuilding process on track. This is also the mid point in Jake Lockers first season as starting QB. While Locker has gained over 80 yards per game with his feet, he is at the bottom of the Pac Ten in most passing categories. It is hoped the bye week can straighten out his problems, give him a chance to heal, and allow him a fresh start for the second half of the season. It all sounds plausible since Locker is destined to be the best QB in the Pac Ten one of these days. Most thought he would struggle early, and he has, but most also thought that by the end of the year he would be among the best in the conference.

Saturday night in Tempe is where it all needs to start. Don't pay attention to the statistics, because if you do you will concede the Sun Devils a two TD victory. Pay attention to Jake Locker. If he can come out, and complete around 60% of his passes on Saturday Washington is going to win this game. Those additional completions are all it is going to take to open up the run game, and keep the defense off the field in the heat.

Washington needs a win right now, a signature win. ASU is a team we need to beat to start moving up in the conference. Win this game and a 5-3 finish of higher looks very doable. Lose this game and the margin for error is ever so tiny.

Pac Ten Predictions

Washington at Arizona State

I am taking the Huskies in this one despite the fact that they are 11 point underdogs on the road. throw out the statistics, I think Washington shows up, and Jake Locker the passer arrives on Saturday night.

Arizona at USC

The WildCats certainly are a bit off on their timing rolling into the Coliseum this week. Cinderella won't strike twice and the Trojans will win by three TD's.

WSU at Oregon

I would love to see the Coug's knock off the Ducks, but it isn't going to happen because WSU's defense is way too weak to stop the Ducks. UO by 14

TCU at Stanford

I am actually going to take Stanford even though TCU is a much better team. I am turning into a Harbaugh believer. Cards by 3

Oregon State at California

The Beavers put together a nice win over Arizona last week, but they will have to throw the ball to beat the Bears. Bad things happen to the Stroughter-less Beavers when they put the ball in the air. Canfield throws the usual four interceptions. He must be getting close to Derrick Anderson's record. Cal by 14

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