One more chance…
The Washington Huskies may have face one of the hardest schedules in all of football this season. Out of their 7 games so far, 4 have been against opponents ranked in the top 11 of the country.
Oregon State at Washington
When: 10:15 PM ET, Saturday, October 27, 2012
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Team Records: Oregon State (6-0), Washington (4-3)
Standings: Oregon State Tied-1st Pac-12 North, Washington 5th Pac-12 North
Matchup | Preview
This weekend is no exception as the Oregon State Beavers come into town. Barring any crazy jumps by Pac-12 teams, this could be Washington’s last chance this season to earn a quality win.
What once seemed like a sure thing, the Huskies are now fighting for a bowl game appearance this season.
While many think that Washington has done poorly against the likes of Oregon and USC in the recent past, they overlook the fact that the last 10 games in this series have been dominated by the Beavers, winning 7 of the last 10 meetings between these two teams. While Washington won the last meeting at home, it took 2 overtimes to do so.
Oregon State QB Sean Mannion has missed a couple game with an injury and subsequent surgery, but looks to return this weekend to take on the Huskies, who are celebrating their homecoming weekend.
Before going down with injury, Mannion was ranked 2nd in the Pac-12 with 339 yards per game, which also landed him 6th in the nation.
What to Watch: Oregon State
Oregon State will be looking to continue their best start since 1907 by knocking of Washington, who is reeling after 3 straight losses. While Oregon State has a good offense, their defense is not one to be taken lightly, either.
After dispatching Wisconsin and UCLA during their hot streaks, as well as defeating Arizona State, BYU, Utah, and lowly Washington State, the Beavers will be looking to add to their momentum going into big games against Stanford and in-state rival Oregon.
What to Watch: Washington
Keith Price tried once again to put the blame from last week on himself. Steve Sarkisian tried to take the blame, but also pointed out that Price isn’t trusting the boss’ play calling/philosophy.
In order for the Huskies to succeed, these 2 need to click and Price will earn back his confidence.
After admitting coming out flat last week, this Washington team needs to play some inspired football to dig up whatever hope they have left this season or else the remaining part of the schedule could be a complete nightmare for the Dawgs.
UW Offense vs. OSU Defense
Keith Price, in addition to avoiding costly turnovers, will need to get the ball to Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, hands down. Those are the 2 biggest playmakers on this team and need to be given a chance to make an impact for the Huskies.
Bishop Sankey will need to be included more as well, as he has been used more sparingly the last couple games due to falling behind quickly.
Sankey could be used dynamically like Chris Polk was last year, but the Huskies just need to get him the ball to find out. Last week, Washington lost to an embattled Arizona team that came into the game with 6 sacks and left with 10 sacks, after grounding Price 4 times.
Oregon State’s defense matches well against the Husky offense and should make it a good game. Price should avoid throwing in the direction of Jordan Poyer, who has 5 interceptions on the season.
The Beavers are only allowing 80 yards on the ground per game as well as only 16 points a game. With Washington averaging 20 points a game offensively, this could be a chess match if each team plays their cards right.
OSU Offense vs. UW Defense
With Mannion returning this week, things could get interesting. Offensively, the Beavers have 3 big offensive weapons for Mannion to use. Senior WR Markus Wheaton, sophomore WR Brandin Cooks and freshman RB Storm Woods.
Wheaton is widely known as one of the top receivers in the Pac-12 and could be garnering some national respect. His 7 touchdowns should earn that respect in Seattle this week.
Conversely, Washington will need to improve their rush defense after being ran over last week by Arizona.
While they obviously need to worry about Wheaton and Cooks, the Dawgs will need to keep an eye on Woods as well.
He is OSU’s version of a dynamic back – he can hurt you on the ground and he has good enough hands to be a threat in the passing game as well.
While I expect Washington to compete, I’m not sure how long they’ll be competitive. If their attitude doesn’t change, Washington is going to be in for a long Saturday night.