One week ago, the Washington Huskies completed their spring practices in style in a tightly played spring game. Some would say that the spring didn't show us enough to make any firm predictions about the fall, but I beg to differ. The prognostications you are about to read are iron-clad, lead-pipe cinches. They cannot be questioned and are not to be trifled with!
1) Jake Locker wills the Huskies to a win
At some point this season, the chips will be down, and the Huskies will need strong leadership and a big play to win a game. Redshirt Senior Quarterback Jake Locker will be ready. Similar to the USC game last year, he will find a way to escape the pocket and make a critical completion for a first down during the game winning drive.
2) The Defense will surprise someone
Given some of the defensive performances of the past couple of years, this may be the most far reaching of these predictions. However, with the big group of returning players, as well as the flexibility it now gives the defensive staff, someone will overlook the Husky defense, and will pay for it. I think that the "other" team in Los Angeles — the one in baby blue and gold — will be a strong candidate to get bitten.
3) Steve Sarkisian will outcoach his opposite number
Head Coach Steve Sarkisian is only entering his second year, but with his time at USC — as well as a short stint in the NFL — he has a strong background to draw upon. Given the caliber of some of the other coaches in the Pac-10, it won't be much of a surprise for him to prepare his team better, get them to execute better, and have them finish the game better than their opponents.
4) The Huskies will stumble on the road
While this is the second year in the program for most of the players, the Huskies remain a very young team. This will lead to a letdown on the road against a weaker team. At some point in the game, there will be a crucial lapse or gap in coverage that will cost them. The parity in the Pac-10 makes this a key challenge for the Huskies to overcome.
5) The Washington Huskies are going bowling
With Jake Locker returning — as well as most of his offensive weapons — the Huskies clearly have the firepower to win six games. In a past Bleacher Report poll, the majority of people predicted an eight or nine win season. Mark my words — they will go to a bowl game, and will win it!
The Huskies are facing higher expectations — but they have the personnel to meet them. Sure, their out of conference schedule is tough, but the parity of the Pac-10 gives them a chance to overcome it.
They have shown the capability to beat anyone (USC, AZ), and with a little better execution can challenge some others (Oregon, ASU, Stanford) this year. Depending on which of the above predictions come true, it could be a very good year for Dawg fans!