Washington Football: NCAA Football 12 Predicts Cal over Huskies

R. Kyle Beswick@@adopteddawgContributor IISeptember 22, 2011

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 10:  Quarterback Zach Maynard #15 of the California Golden Bears rolls out to pass against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 10, 2011 in Boulder, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

For the first time this season, my XBox 360 simulation failed to predict the correct Washington Husky outcome.  

Nebraska overpowered the Washington defense in the second half and benefited from poor officiating en route to a 51-38 home victory.

Now Washington opens the Pac-12 regular season with visiting Cal, a 3-0 team with plenty of offensive weapons.  Statistically speaking, Washington has one of the worst defenses in the nation, and heading into Week 4, Husky fans are hoping their defense can gel during conference play.

As I do every week, I consulted NCAA Football 12 on my XBox 360 for a simulated look at this week's game.

The commentators opened with the idea that Cal vs. Washington will be a "seesaw battle."  I think many would agree that this week's game may come down to which team has the ball last.

The game also highlighted the cyber version of Cal middle linebacker D.J. Holt, a formidable senior who will try to slow Washington's star running back, Chris Polk.

In the simulation, UW had a difficult time stopping Cal's running game.  As Washington adjusted, Cal took advantage of a creeping secondary, scoring on all three red zone trips in the game.

Washington can ill-afford to let Cal establish a run game on Saturday. Inexperience at outside linebacker continues to plague Nick Holt's defensive unit, and containing scrambling QB Zach Maynard will give John Timu and Princeton Fuimaono another tough assignment.  

In the end, Cal's red zone success proved too much for the Dawgs. With two TDs for tight end Anthony Miller, Cal upset UW 24-13.  

For the first time this season, I disagree with my Microsoft crystal ball.  

I expect the UW defense to have its best game of the season, though Cal will still put up points. Look for freshman Josh Shirley to start living up to all the buzz he created in fall camp, harassing Maynard and allowing the Washington defensive line to take advantage of mismatches up front.  

An improved defense will give UW's robust offense just enough to win at Husky Stadium.  

I say the Huskies win in a shootout, 44-38. 

XBox 360 Predictions this season: 2-1.

Beswick Predictions this season: 2-1.