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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 16, 2006 at 2:30 PM

Pre-game thoughts

Here are a few thoughts as kickoff nears:
— There are lots of reasons for people to be pessimistic about Isaiah Stanback. I was realizing another yesterday while figuring out his career record as a starter, which stands at 3-11. None of those three wins have been televised, and the Arizona win last year was on the road, so not a whole lot of you have ever seen him lead the Huskies to a win. That could change today. If it doesn’t, something else is likely to change.
— The news on Dan Howell didn’t become official until late yesterday afternoon, and I didn’t factor that in to my prediction of UW winning 27-21. I’ll stand by that pick, but the loss of Howell could be significant in large part because it takes everybody out of position just a bit. Scott White now moves back to strongside linebacker, and while he’s started 20 games there in his career, he seemed to really be thriving at the weakside. And Chris Stevens now steps in on the strongside, something he has never really done for a full game before. With Fresno State sure to run the ball a ton, that will be a key matchup. Also be interesting to see if the Huskies still use the same nickel package with Stevens at defensive end.
— The impact of the special teams today can’t be overrated. The Huskies haven’t won a game via special teams in forever, and despite the long punting of Sean Douglas a week ago, the long return by Oklahoma and the blocked punt were critical. FSU coach Pat Hill felt his team was beat on the special teams last week so it will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs respond on special teams after what was certainly a tough week of practice in that department.
— I think we’ll really know after today if UW’s running game is for real. Certainly, it’s much improved. But OU last week tried to take away Stanback’s running and left some holes up the middle as a result. FSU is stout up the middle so UW may have to attack differently today. We’ll see if the Huskies can.
— Husky coaches had talked this week about having some “Husky weather” for the Bulldogs. Alas, it looks like it’s not to be as it is sunny and clear here right now with very little wind about 45 minutes before kickoff.
— The Huskies have to at least contain Dwayne Wright to have a chance. If Wright gets 150 yards again, as he has the last two weeks, it will be tough for the Huskies to win.
— UW has to get something good going early., Their psyche if fragile and they know the second half hasn’t been their best half this year.
— We’ll try to update this at the end of each quarter so keep coming back.

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