Earlier I posted a breakdown of the Washington Huskies. Here are three games from their schedule I am ready to see today
I thought about it and decided I wanted to see this one. Last time they played was in Washington and it ended a lot closer than I expected it to and closer than the final score would indicate.
In the end, LSU won by eight. So when I say it was closer than it looked, you might ask how. Washington was coming off of their 0-12 season while LSU was ranked No.11. Washington took the early lead and was always within striking distance. LSU was just able to score that one more time that Washington couldn't. Washington outgained LSU, in both rushing and passing, and had more first downs
Unfortunately, Washington also had more turnovers and penalties.
I think this year's Washington team is better than that one. If Price plays like he did in the Alamo Bowl, it could be a long day for LSU.
Note: I started writing this on August 9th. As of August 10th it has been reported that LSU has released cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. This slightly changes how I see this one ending.
Before the news of Mathieu being released I was hoping for and expecting a fairly competitive game. I give Washington, with a dangerous passing attack, more of a chance now. I expect LSU will fill in that position just fine, but Mathieu was a game changer on many levels. My main question is: Will Price have time to throw with the pass rush of LSU going against a rather pedestrian offensive line for Washington?
Both head coaches were offensive coordinators for USC before getting head coaching jobs. They worked together on the staff when Sarkisian was the quarterbacks coach and Kiffin was the wide receivers coach.
They have met twice with their current teams and have gone 1-1 against each other. Because of the changes to the schedules when the conference expanded in 2011, Washington has had to make the trip to LA in two consecutive years.
In 2010, Sarkisian and the Huskies won by one point on a game-winning field goal as time expired. This was actually the second game in a row between these two teams where Washington pulled off a last-second win with a field goal. Kiffin wasn’t there for the one in 2009 though.
In 2011, Kiffin and USC showed no mercy as they throttled Washington 40-17. USC never trailed and never let up. No one for Washington really had the type of game you would write home about. If they hope to keep this one competitive, someone will need to step up.
Last year, the North was a two team race with Oregon and Stanford clearly on top. California and Washington fought it out for third. This year Oregon is picked as the favorite again by a large margin, but the difference between Stanford and Washington for second is only 31 points. Cal is picked fourth and is 120 points behind. I don’t know that I see the gap being that big.
Washington won last year’s game by eight points and it was close all the way through. Washington had their largest lead of 11 points about halfway through the third quarter. They allowed Cal to score the next 13 points to take the lead. Washington wasn’t done and scored the final 10 points of the game to get the win.
When I look at Washington and Cal this season I see two teams that will finish right in the middle of the conference. Both teams could be dangerous, but neither one should really be that big of a threat. I expect to see both of them in the postseason, playing in the conference's mid-to-low tier bowl games.
With Stanford not being quite as strong as in recent years, this game opens more of an opportunity for both Cal and Washington to perhaps make a push at the division title.