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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 27, 2006 at 3:45 PM

The pick – Huskies

Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter said this week that his team and the Huskies seem pretty evenly matched.
I agree, as I thought this was about the hardest game of the year to try to predict. Even though I’ve been wrong about two UW games this year (Yes, I’ve gotten the winner right six other times, missing only on the UCLA and Oregon State games) I always felt I had good reasons for picking the winner that I did.
This week, I don’t have much of a feel for this one either way.
UW has the home field advantage and is coming off a game at Cal that again showed how improved this team is.
On the other hand, while Carl Bonnell played well last week, he’s hardly a finished product (as the five picks showed) and now he may be without Kenny James.
ASU looked as bad as can be in losses to Oregon and Cal. On the other hand, it has since rebounded with a last-minute loss at USC and a rout of Stanford and is likely to be feeling as good about itself as it has all season.
ASU also has some qualities that should be worrisome to UW fans. It has a big offensive line and a really good running back in Ryan Torain, and in the words of Tyrone Willingham, has as much team speed as any team in the conference.
Koetter was calling this maybe his most talented team at ASU before the year began.
Point being, most figured ASU to be a lot better team than UW when the year began, and it could just be that the Sun Devils are finally finding that form.
In my breakdown of the positions for Saturday’s paper, I actually gave ASU five checks to UW’s three. Here’s the list:
QB — UW
RB — ASU
WR — UW
OL — ASU
DL — ASU
LB — UW
DB — ASU
ST — ASU
But I think most of those checks are really close, particularly the secondary where the Huskies are a lot better now that Dashon Goldson is healthy enough to play every down at corner.
And in the end, I think the home field advantage will prove enough to bring the Huskies home, though even that I worry about a little. ASU has actually won its last three games in the states of Washington and Oregon, so it’s not as if it can’t win in a different climate.
I just think the Huskies are due. Due to block a punt or return a kickoff for a touchdown — that sort of thing — to give them some needed momentum. And I think they will bring more intensity than they did to the Oregon State game that will allow them to keep Torain in check just enough to get the W.
As we’ve explained here several times this week, however, they’d better if they want to go to a bowl game this season. It’s not impossible to do without winning tomorrow, but it will be pretty darn hard.

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