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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 1, 2006 at 8:58 AM

Pre-game potpourri

We’ll touch a number of bases on the day before the day it all begins — ex-Huskies in the NFL, a look around the Pac-10, and scouting the opponent.
First off, here’s the latest from San Jose State, a story in today’s Mercury News that talks about the team’s uncertain quarterback situation. I think whoever is San Jose’s QB is going to have a tough time moving the ball Saturday as UW’s defense has been the strength of the Huskies throughout camp and seems to have the edge in the matchup with the Spartans.
A bigger key for UW Saturday will be whether its rebuilt offensive line can handle San Jose State’s unique defensive formations. Dick Tomey drove Pac-10 coaches fits for years with his flex Double Eagle defense which features lots of blitzing from a variety of angles. One of the biggest tasks for UW’s front will be simply figuring out where the pressure is coming from, especially the two young tackles and center Juan Garcia, who all have little if any game experience.
On the ex-Husky front, it was another good night for James Sims, who seems likely to have at least secured a spot on the practice squad for the Giants — a heady climb for an undrafted free agent. Sims finished with 34 yards on nine carries and scored a touchdown. Maybe he’ll even be on the game roster when the Giants come to Seattle Sept. 24.
Rich Alexis didn’t do much for Jacksonville Thursday night and may have a tougher time staying on the Jaguars’ roster. Alexis didn’t have any carries but caught a pass for four yards.
And Marques Tuiasosopo had a real tough night at Qwest Field against the Seahawks. He led three straight three-and-outs, then completed a 51-yard-pass for the Raiders’ longest gain of the night, then threw an interception on the next play. But as one who was there in person, it was fun seeing Marques and Zach Tuiasosopo play significant time in the same backfield. Zach Tuiasosopo got a lot of time on the field, as he appeared to be getting a tryout on every single special team.
Now to the Pac-10. First, here are our picks for Saturday’s Pac-10 games — you are more than welcome to debate these selections and share yours below.
Auburn 38, WSU 14 — The loss of two defensive linemen in the last week or so will really hurt the Cougars in this one.
USC 41, Arkansas 24 — It’ll be tougher than the 70-17 win of a year ago, but Troy should still roll.
Arizona 24, BYU 17 — Big game for Mike Stoops, who has done a good job of raising expectations in Tucson but has yet to filfill them. Here’s guessing that he finally does — at least for a week.
Oregon 35, Stanford 21 — Ducks can hold the Pac-10 lead by themselves until Sept. 23 by winning this one. Their offense will be too much.
Utah 30, UCLA 23 — I don’t think the Bruins are going to be very good this year.
Cal 27, Tennessee 24 — Let the national title talk begin in earnest if the Bears win this one. Whole key is how Nate Longshore reacts to the pressure of what is just his second start as a college QB.
FYI — We’ll save our UW-San Jose State pick for later.
And here’s a good story out of Corvallis about Oregon State’s win over Eastern Washington last night. Granted, it was just the Eagles, but OSU won that game the way a good teams is supposed to win games like that. I think OSU’s offense will be the real deal this season.

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