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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 13, 2006 at 4:37 PM

THE PICK – UW

OK, so like the players, I’m “buying in” to the Huskies.
Of course, last time I bought into something I decided to split 10s and got two twos and ruined the whole table.
But I see the Huskies having better luck Saturday, in part because I see the Beavers coming apart at the seams.
In my regular evaluation of the positions, I gave UW the edges at QB, WR, DL, LB and DB. I gave OSU the edges at RB, the OL and special teams.
I’m sure many of you will disagree with my evaluation of the offensive line, and certainly, UW’s is playing more to its potential right now than is Oregon State’s.
But I typically include the TE as part of the O-line when doing these evaluations, and in this case, that helped tip the edge to the Beavers. Joe Newton is as talented a TE as there is in the conference (and Dan Howell will have to do a job covering him), right guard Roy Schuening was a first-team preseason all-conference pick, left guard Jeremy Perry was one of the Pac-10’s freshmen of the year last season, and center Kyle DeVan was an honorable mention selection last year.
That OSU seems to have all that talent up front is what make the Beavers’ struggles this year that much more perplexing.
I think the other two OSU edges are a given — Yvenson Bernard gained 1,321 yards last year and is second in the conference this year with 495. And OSU has the best kicker in the conference in Alexis Serna and the best punt returner in Sammie Stroughter.
But as for the rest, I think the Huskies have the edge, with the biggest check mark coming at QB, where OSU’s Matt Moore has been atrocious much of the year.
Word in Corvallis is that the Beavers have shucked much of their deep passing game because Moore hasn’t been able to execute it. It’ll be of much interest seeing how long OSU coach Mike Riley sticks with Moore, or if he goes with Sean Canfield if Moore struggles.
In the end, I see a 27-17 UW victory, with the Huskies winning in large part by making fewer mistakes than the Beavers, who are prone to penalties and turnovers.
HERE ARE A COUPLE OTHER QUICK NOTES
— The Huskies eschewed their normal day-before-the-game walkthrough today as part of coach Tyrone Willingham’s attempts to keep his team physically fresh. UW also shaved a few minutes off of practices this week for the same reason.
— UW is favored by nine. The last time it was as big a favorite in a Pac-10 game came in 2003 when the Huskies were favored by 16 at Arizona. UW lost that game, 27-22.
—- OSU starting free safety Al Afalava won’t make the trip after suffering a concussion against WSU. Sophomore Bryan Payton is expected to start in his place.
— UW punter Sean Douglas was named a midseason All-American by College Football News.
— Lastly, here’s an Associated Press story on Notre Dame’s 2008 schedule highlighting the fact that the Irish will again come to Seattle. That’s old news out here. This sked has been done for some time. But anything ND does is news, so I’ll pass it along.

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