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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 11, 2009 at 2:26 PM

The pick — Huskies

Okay, no real reason for drama on this entry. May as well get this one over early, just like I figure the game to develop tomorrow — so call it Huskies 41-13 (a slight revision from the earlier comment board pick).
Sure, UW has lost 15 in a row and obviously needs to learn how to win again, but Idaho is 4-21 since 2007 and hasn’t won more than four games in any season since 2000 — and as many as four only once (when Dennis Erickson was coach in 2006).
And in my mind, there are still some big differences in the overall talent level in your average Pac-10 team and your average WAC team (one reason I’m not on the bandwagon that the BCS has to be opened up to every WAC/MWC team that goes undefeated — it’s simply not as tough for those schools making it through their conferences as it is any of the BCS teams).
The UW game this most reminds me of is the last time Idaho was here, in 2005. Then, the Huskies had lost eight in a row, including the first two of the Tyrone Willingham — and the week before, one of the biggest defeats in Husky Stadium history, 56-17 at the hands of Cal. I remember much worry that week about whether the Huskies could beat Idaho, and the betting line actually shrunk to 13.
Then the game began, and while it took a little while, eventually UW’s physical superiority won out as the Huskies held Idaho to minus-four rushing yards and 186 overall. Maybe this Idaho team is a little better than that one — I know the view there is that Robb Akey is beginning to solidify some things in his third year. And they have a few talented players, as I detailed in the preview yesterday.
But I also think this UW team is better than that 2005 team that finished 2-9, especially on offense, where Washington’s speed advantage should be most apparent. I would be surprised if there aren’t a handful of big plays for the UW offense.
This Idaho team does appear to have a better running attack than the one from 2005. But it’s not as if Idaho ran all over a not-very-good New Mexico State team last Saturday. Take out a 67-yard run early in the game and the Vandals had 104 yards on their other 31 carries.
As for a possible letdown, I think the fact that the Huskies have lost 15 in a row should take care of that — the coaches may not have been around for all of that, but the players have and obviously they are tired of it. Even a letdown shouldn’t be enough to cost UW this game, just make it closer than some of us expect. But there’s little evidence to suggest this won’t be a fairly comfortable win for the Huskies.

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