Back to the drawing board
The Washington Huskies are still licking their chops after the flattening they received last week at LSU coming into this week’s matchup with Portland State. Last week was atrocious and reminded many Husky fans of last season. With all that being said, though, it’s time to look ahead to Saturday’s game against the Vikings.
Portland State at Washington
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 15, 2012
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: 4 p.m. ET, FX
Team Records: Portland State (1-1) Washington (1-1)
Standings: Portland State Tied-4th Big Sky, Washington Tied-4th Pac-12 North
As previously mentioned, the Huskies suffered a humiliating loss at #3 LSU last week. The 41-3 game was a reminder that this Husky team still has a lot of work to do to compete on the big stage. The injury situation hasn’t helped, either, with the team losing several starters already this year.
Portland State is coming off of a game where they put out 515 yards of total offense in a 45-37 loss to North Dakota. The Vikings have several ties to the state of Washington (being so close and all), including ex-Washington safety Nigel Burton who is now leading Portland State in his third season with the team now.
This is the first ever meeting between these 2 teams.
What to Watch: Portland State
Portland State is 0-10 against Pac-12 schools. They have put up 30+ points in their last 3 games but have given up 47 points in the first half against 22 points in the second half of games this season.
The team is starting a true freshman quarterback in Kieran McDonagh.
The Vikings have 12 seniors on the team and will rely on youth to get the job done against Washington.
What to Watch: Washington
Washington will be looking to bounce back big time after their deflating loss to LSU last week. Injuries have decimated this Husky roster, but the team won’t release injury information any longer until the very last minute, as demanded by the NCAA.
Justin Wilcox will need to dial up better QB pressure packages and shore up the defensive line who has allowed teams to run through them like a sheet of paper.
Steve Sarkisian will need to dial up some big plays downfield as they were sorely lacking them last week.
UW Offense vs. Portland State Defense
We all know this Husky offense is extremely potent and able to score lots of points. Last week was a blemish and the Dawgs are looking to go back to last season’s form as Keith Price will be looking for Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins to make some big plays.
The Huskies will look to freshman Erich Wilson to step up and play a big part with the #2 role in the running game.
Portland State is coming off a game where they allowed 401 total yards against them. Their best defensive player is Senior Ian Sluss who has 14 tackles on the season.
This season, the Viking defense has 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and a blocked kick.
UW Defense vs. Portland State Offense
Washington’s defense has a lot of making up to do after last week’s terrible showing. The arm tackles and blown coverages need to stop or this Husky defense will allow another small school to make it a game when we all know it should not be.
Tre Watson has played very well since taking over as starter and Shaq Thompson has been stepping up big as a true freshman.
The team will need to play balanced defense to stop Portland State, who has both a legitimate rushing and passing attack.
Portland State will look to QB Kieran McDonagh to keep going to his go-to guy, senior WR Justin Monahan. Monahan is a big play guy and has easily been McDonagh’s top target this season.
The Huskies will also need to keep an eye on the Viking running backs, especially with the run stopping not working so well for them.
Junior RB DJ Adams is their top guy, going for 144 yards and touchdown on 16 carries last week.
His backup, Shaquille Richard is no shlub, either, going for 77 yards rushing and 117 yards receiving on the year.
Portland State vs. Washington Prediction & Analysis
While this seems like a blowout in the making, there is no safe game with this Husky team. They have a history of allowing smaller teams to make the Huskies work for their wins. In order to make up for last week, the Dawgs will need to put up huge numbers in this one.
The Portland State Vikings seem to be the 1-AA version of Washington, putting up lots of points and yards, but also giving up the same.
They will do their very best to play spoiler at CenturyLink, which is quite possible.
Being hopeful, I’m taking Washington to get their heads out of their you know what.