The Washington Huskies look to bounce back when they square off with a rejuvenated Arizona team this Saturday night at Husky Stadium.
This will be an emotional game for both teams but for very different reasons. Arizona is flying high coming off a win under their new interim head coach Tim Kish. The Huskies however, will be looking to prove they are still a Pac-12 contender after a blowout loss to Stanford last weekend.
Here are four reasons the Huskies will bounce back this weekend in what should prove to be a pivotal game for Washington.
I, as well as others, are starting to become critical of Nick Holt. His seat is starting to get hotter as the weeks go by because his defense simply isn't getting the job done.
Sark is doing his job and has put together an offense that scares defenses and causes fits. Now it's Holt's time to prove he can get the job done as defensive coordinator. It might be now or never for him to turn this thing around.
Holt makes a lot of great promises in this video but I surely haven't seen him "take the players we have right now" and make them play at a high level. He needs to take his players this week and live up to the promises he made in his first year.
I absolutely think this is possible as the Huskies have good talent. If he can get them to fly to the ball this weekend and make big plays, the Huskies shouldn't have a problem winning this game.
Holt knows he's almost out of time so he's going to show that he can run this defense at a high level against Arizona.
The Huskies have one of the best offenses in the Pac-12 and can win shootouts. Led by Keith Price, you never know just how many touchdowns the Huskies will put on the board any given week. You do know one thing though, it's going to be a lot.
Against Stanford, the Huskies were held way below their 34.7 PPG average. Don't forget that they still managed to put up the most points on Stanford than any other team this year. Stanford has the best defense in the Pac-12 and three touchdowns should be considered a victory for the offense.
The Huskies do whatever they want on offense and Sarkisian might be the best play caller in the Pac-12. He can get this team to put up points and lots of them.
Combined with a horrible Arizona defense (which comes in plagued by defensive injuries), the Huskies should have no problem scoring above their average.
Arizona is going to have one hell of a time trying to cover Washongton's receivers.
The Wildcats' allow teams to rush for an average of 173.3 yards per game. That's good enough for 79th in the FBS.
Chris Polk is ready for a monster game and you better believe he's going to make sure the Huskies beat that number. Polk will more than likely surpass that number all on his own Saturday.
Polk is dynamic and knows when he needs to step up and put the team on his shoulders. He tried to do that at Stanford with plenty of huge runs. Stanford plays better rush defense than Arizona and if Polk can shred on Stanford then Arizona better be ready.
Even if Polk for some reason can't get it done on the ground, he'll help Price do it through the air. He's always a threat to catch a touchdown pass and he's done it on multiple occasions this year. When it's all said and done I believe Polk comes out of this game with at least two more touchdowns on the year.
The Huskies have yet to lose at home this year and should continue that trend on the biggest home game thus far this season.
With a raucous crowd it's hard to argue against the Huskies' home field advantage. Saturday is going to mean even more than usual for the home squad with the fans excited for the 2011 homecoming game.
Washington's crowd will be decked out in black, just like last year's win over UCLA. That's sure to add intensity to the sometimes flat Huskies. The extra noise and support from the fans should help push the Washington defense to play better than what they have shown so far this season.
With a game that means so much to the University, the Dawgs will elevate their game (which is under the lights for the first time this year) and give the fans another great home victory. It's just something they have to do tomorrow.