Since correctly picking Washington over Hawaii in Week 2, my XBox 360's simulations in NCAA Football 12 have failed to predict the winner in the last five Husky games.
Washington fans hope the streak ends this week.
In Week 9 of this ongoing series, NCAA Football 12 projects the Huskies will beat Arizona 17-3 this Saturday, which suggests both sides will have trouble scoring in Seattle.
Despite the cold and wet forecast for Saturday, I think both teams will score plenty of points.
Washington and Arizona mirror each other this season—high-powered offense, lackluster defense, and coaching controversy. In Arizona's case, head coach Mike Stoops got fired midseason, replaced by interim coach Tim Kish; for Washington, all eyes are on defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who some feel is not earning his top-level salary.
Arizona surprised many with a 48-12 dismantling of UCLA last week as the team showed more spark and intensity without Stoops roaming the sideline. Will Arizona's new attitude lead to an upset this weekend?
Looking at these similar teams, the small differences between the two will ultimately decide the game. Though Arizona's Nick Foles and Washington's Keith Price are two of the best quarterbacks in the nation, this game will come down to defense.
Arizona's defense has struggled against both the run and the pass this season and suspensions resulting from the UCLA brawl last week will weaken the Wildcats secondary even more.
Arizona won't be able to stop Price's passing attack which should open up running lanes for Chris Polk to dominate in the second half.
Washington's defense, though punished by Stanford and Nebraska, has talented leadership at key positions—namely, senior defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu and middle linebacker Cort Dennison. Despite UW's propensity to give up huge yards through the air, a decent pass rush and stout running defense should keep Arizona trailing for most of the game.
In the end, Washington should outlast the Arizona offense at Husky Stadium.
Washington wins, 38-30.
Xbox predictions this season: 2-5
Beswick predictions this season: 5-2
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