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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 16, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Wednesday links — Can the Huskies be road warriors yet again?

Washington’s game at Oregon State — as well as being a chance to get a seventh regular-season win for the first time since 2002 — is also UW’s final road game of the season.

UW will finish with a game against WSU next week at CenturyLink Field and then a bowl game at a neutral site.

The OSU game is just UW’s fifth road contest of the season with the Huskies having the favorable end of the 5-4 conference split this year.

UW is 1-3 in its four previous road games, losing at Nebraska, Stanford and USC — all ranked teams; while winning at Utah, an unranked team. That might bode well for UW this week.

On the other hand, UW is just 4-11 on the road under UW coach Steve Sarkisian compared to 13-6 at home. Not unusual, though, for a team to be a lot better at home, especially one that is perceived to be in rebuilding mode.

Only one of the road wins didn’t go down to the wire, a 31-14 victory at Utah earlier this season that at this point probably has to be regarded as the best win of the season for the Huskies given the setting and the way the Utes have played of late.

On the, uh, third hand, UW is 4-8 on the road in Pac-12 games, and has won three of the last five conference games away from home — the Cal and WSU games at the end of last season and then Utah this year. So that’s 3-0 in the last three conference games against unranked teams, though UW is 3-8 overall against unranked teams on the road under Sarkisian.

But while UW is 4-11 on the road straight-up under Sarkisian, the Huskies are 8-7 against the spread.

Lots of proof there mostly that winning on the road is difficult in any circumstance.

In our links for today. …

— In my story for today’s paper, I looked back at last year’s game and how it proved a turning point for Oregon State. The Beavers were ranked No. 24 at the time, having won the previous week at Arizona, but are just 4-12 since then, including 2-8 this year. The game was decided when OSU went for two and didn’t get it after scoring in the second overtime. Here’s what OSU coach Mike Riley said yesterday about the play when asked if he’s ever had second thoughts about the decision to go for two:

“It could have been a momentum deal for us that was real good at the time and it obviously wasn’t, so you reevaluate that.I also look at it as we had the opportunity, we had a chance, the guy made a good play, but we were a little bit late and had an open player and that’s hard to get in the tight windows in the end zone, so you kind of go back and forth. And what you try to do is improve the play that you might run the next time you get to that. It’s important to evaluate and reassess what you might do the next time.

Bud Withers examines how the Pac-12 bowl picture might develop and says UW has a good chance of going to the Alamo Bowl.

— The Columbia Tribune looks at all the Big 12 bowl scenarios and has UW playing Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

— The National Football Post lists Alameda Ta’amu No. 3 among all senior draft prospects.

— CoachSark’s site has some pictures of the Husky Stadium renovation and of practice.

— GoHuskies.com writes about the Oregon State series.

— The line on the game continues to hover from UW by 1.5-3 points.

— Looks like it will be cold and wet in Corvallis this weekend with temperatures in the 40s and a good chance of showers.

— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller has a few thoughts on the game.

— Running back Byron Marshall, who visited UW the week of the Oregon game, has committed to Oregon, according to Brandon Huffman of Scout.com.

— The Oregonian reports that center Grant Johnson will return for OSU Saturday, and also that he thinks UW is the “snotty” college.

— The Oregonian also has an overview of OSU’s season so far.

— OSU lost a defensive end earlier this week.

— The Statesman-Journal says OSU’s run offense and run defense has to improve for the Beavers to win Saturday.

— Injuries and other personnel updates from the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

— The Portland Tribune notes its OSU’s Senior Day.

— The Eugene Register-Guard writes about OSU’s tough season and what it does now.

— The Orange County Register with some thoughts on how USC’s defense might try to slow down Oregon.

— The Arizona Daily Star ponders a losing team winning the Pac-12 South.

Jon Wilner examines how Stanford’s loss last week impacted the Heisman Trophy race (basically, it’s no longer a cakewalk for Andrew Luck).

— The Eugene RG also tries to get at why DeAnthony Thomas spurned USC for Oregon.

— Lots of other Pac-12 links from Vince Grippi.

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