Saturday, August 18, 2012

Death Valley- Previewing the Huskies First Six Games

The Huskies 2012 football team is up against a tall task, taller than any task Sark and his boys have faced in his four year tenure. Four of their first six opponents are ranked inside the top 21 teams in college football. A tall task for any team if you ask me. The Huskies have always setup their first games playing A, B, and C caliber teams so they can ease into the season and be ready for Pac-12 play. This year they are doing the same thing, playing their B game first against San Diego St., then the A game against the third ranked LSU Tigers in Death Valley and finally the C game against Portland State. After the trio of games and a needed bye week, the Huskies head into Pac-12 play. Usually the beginning of league play isn't to hard for the Dawgs, but this year they open up Pac-12 play against the three best teams in the league, the 21st ranked Stanford Cardinal, 5th ranked Oregon Ducks and finally against the number 1 team in the nation, the USC Trojans.

AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Jennifer Buchanan

The first game of the season shouldn't be to hard for a BCS conference team as these teams look to keep a clean record early on in the season. The Huskies should have an easy time with the Aztecs of San Diego State and should be 1-0 heading into one of their toughest matchups in Sark's era. Even though Tyrann Matthieu was kicked off the team this week for drug use, LSU still poses a huge threat to the Huskies. However, I think this game could be closer than most people think. With an already clear improvement within the defense in practices this early fall, the Huskies will have the tenacity to compete with a solid LSU offense. I think if the defense can contain the LSU offense throughout the entire game, limiting them to less than 30 points, the UW offense will be able to muster up 30 or more points. However, my biggest concern is the LSU defensive line. They are just too big and strong for our unstable O Line and KP17 could be finding his knee problems re-occurring during the game, due to all the times he will be sacked. In the end the LSU defense will prove to be to much to overcome for the Huskies offense and the LSU Tigers will secure a 30-17 victory over the Huskies.

After a tough loss in Death Valley, the Huskies will easily rebound against the Portland State Vikings and flex their muscles. They will head into their first bye week with a 2-1 record. During the bye week, the Huskies will rest up and mentally prepare for a grueling three week schedule, arguably a harder three week stretch than any other team in the nation. First up is the Stanford Cardinal, at home. The loss of Andrew Luck will prove to be to crucial for the Cardinal this season. The Cardinal defense has also been sub par in the past and their cornerbacks wont be fast and strong enough to cover and keep up with Kasen, James Johnson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Keith Price will absolutely shred their defense and on the other hand our improved defense will hold the Cardinal below 20 points. This will be a nice upset victory for the Dawgs, beating the Cardinal 31-20.

Heading into their fifth game of the season the Dawgs will be sittin' pretty at 3-1. However, they will run into a road block. A huge one at that. The stinkin' Oregon Ducks. The team any UW fan hates the most. Their fans are cocky and obnoxious and the only reason they are good is because of a rich Uncle they have named Phil. That being said, they are one of the best teams in the nation and the loss of Darron Thomas will help them to say the least. I never thought he was that good. I don't know why there was so much hoop-la surrounding such a mediocre quarterback when you have an even more talented one waiting in the wings. That would be Bryan Bennett. The kid placed in Oregon's offense will keep the UW defense on their heels and the Huskies won't know what hit them. Oregon will put a plethora of points up on the board and will do it FAST as well. KP17 should lead the offense to some nice scoring drives against a tough Oregon defense and put up plenty of points, but in a shootout, Oregon usually comes out victorious. In a battle of the offenses, Oregon wins it 45-31.

Following two tough, bone-wrenching games, all the Huskies have to do is come home and play the best team in the country: USC. Sounds easy right? The Trojans are my pick to win the national championship this year, but their toughest game of the year will come on August 13 at Century Link Field. Even though the Huskies will be beat up, they will pick themselves up when the Trojans come to town, just like they have in the past. Matt Barkley will win the Heisman this year, but I think the task at hand on this day will be insurmountable. The coaching staff will get the Huskies FIRED UP for this game against the Trojans and the defense will have their best performance all year, forcing turnovers left and right. The offense will be its usual self and will put up a solid amount of points on the board against a great defense. I'm predicting Sean Parker and Kasen Williams will have their biggest games all year against the Trojans. The fans will rush the field after this one and Sark will keep his streak of victories over USC at home alive. The Huskies will wreak havoc in front of many fans and recruits and will upset the Trojans with the final score being 24-14.

In my opinion, after those first six games and because of the experience they will gain of playing such good teams so early, the Huskies will remain unbeaten for the final six games on the schedule, bringing their season win loss total to 10-2. I know this is going out on a limb here, but the Huskies new defense should prepare the team for a big year and will help them out more than any other year in the Sark era. The offense will have a banner year, even better than last year with KP17, Kasen and ASJ leading the way. I feel like Sark's fourth year will prove to be a special one, showing his new coaching hires were the best moves he's made yet.

From a high school student's perspective, you hope the Huskies can upset all the big name teams, but you know that's not going to happen. You hope to see under a head coach's fourth year, vast improvement within the team and that's what I think you get in 2012. I'm already looking forward to next years recruiting class as well as it should be a top-20 class. The Huskies will surprise many people this year. I feel a Rose Bowl berth in the making sometime in the near future. Maybe not this year, but in 2013, the whole country better watch out for the Washington Huskies.

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