Hawaii (1-0) at Washington (1-0)
And the streak hits five. That’s right, Husky fans, even though last week marked the beginning of the post-Jake Locker era, the departed quarterback helped Washington to four straight wins at the end of 2010.
Add last week’s victory over Eastern Washington and it’s five in a row.
Not that every win during the streak was pretty, mind you. Washington was favored by 18.5 points over Eastern Washington last week and narrowly scraped by with a 30-27 home victory. Their defense was nothing short of awful. What will that mean when high-octane Hawaii comes to town this week?
Let’s start with the good news. While the Washington Huskies’ offense didn’t post eye-popping numbers last week, it certainly looked effective and efficient. Keith Price threw the ball just 25 times in his first game as the Huskies’ unquestioned starter but completed 17 of his passes (68 per cent) and threw for three touchdowns. And he did that despite an ankle sprain.
Coming back from arthroscopic knee surgery, tailback Chris Polk also didn’t miss a beat, rushing for 125 yards on 23 carries.
The Huskies’ “D” was beyond nightmarish, however. It surrendered 500-plus total yards, including 473 through the air, and allowed two 100-yard receivers for just the 11th time in school history. Those are frightening numbers considering that Hawaii specializes in crazy offensive numbers.
Last season, Warriors quarterback Bryant Moniz threw for 5,040 yards and 39 touchdowns. Then, out of nowhere, he totally changed up his game last week, rushing for 121 yards and three touchdowns while passing for just 178 yards and a score. He ran for more yards last week than he did in all of 2009 or 2010.
A weapon as dangerous as Moniz will only further highlight how important it is for Washington to shore up its defense.
It wouldn’t be a surprised if this game is a real shootout. The Warriors held Colorado scoreless for the first half last week but their 17 second-half points allowed reminded us that Hawaii isn’t known for its defense. That means Price and especially Polk, whose knee could be even stronger this week, could flourish.
However, if the Huskies dare to dream of winning this week, they have to dig deep and find a way to stop Moniz. It’s a scary thought considering that Eastern Washington of all teams gave UW fits last week.