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Anyone else having a hard time getting a feel for this game?
I’ve been going back and forth all week.
Part of me thinks that Bishop Sankey will indeed have a field day with that porous Arizona State rush defense.
Part of me wonders if Oregon might have exposed something in the Washington secondary.
Part of me believes the Sun Devils are too one-dimensional to beat a top-20 team.
Part of me can’t get over the idea that the Huskies haven’t been good on the road against quality Pac-12 teams.
Part of me is really hungry.
Also, sorry about that headline. That’s just bad. I promise, that’s my last reference to the weather this weekend.
For fun, here’s a look back at UW’s last victory over Arizona State, as written by Bud Withers on Oct. 27, 2001:
TEMPE, Ariz. — As a hot autumn day in the desert passed, the Washington Huskies watched college football turned upside down, much of it in their favor. Undefeated teams tumbled all over — first Oklahoma lost, then Virginia Tech, then Maryland.
Then the final two unbeatens from the Pac-10, UCLA and Washington State.
It was left to the Huskies to avail themselves of all this largess, and in typical Washington fashion, they did. John Anderson booted a 30-yard field goal with no time on the clock, inching the UW past Arizona State, 33-31, in another wild Washington finish.
“The Pac-10 is always a crazy race,” said Willie Hurst, the UW senior who ran for a career-high 185 yards. “No one goes undefeated. It’s going to be a great stretch run in November.”
The victory pushed the Huskies into a four-way tie for first at 4-1 in the Pac-10 with Stanford, Washington State and Oregon. UCLA is 3-1.
Yep, that was fun. It’s not helping me make my pick, though.
Let’s see … UW and ASU have one common opponent so far this season. Both played at Stanford.
The Sun Devils were 29-0 by halftime and lost 42-28. The Huskies couldn’t cover their own feet with a warm blanket and lost a heartbreaker, 31-28.
Edge there to the Huskies, I suppose.
Hmm. When was the Huskies last “quality” road win in the Pac-12. Let’s see … here are all of their Pac-12 road wins the past four seasons (including 2013):
From 2013: …
— UW 38-3 at Colorado. … Quality win? Not a chance.
— UW 21-13 at Cal. … Nope, sorry.
— UW 31-14 at Utah. … Getting warmer. That Utah team did finish 8-5, and Stanford showed last weekend how tough it can be in Salt Lake City.
— UW 35-28 at Wazzu. … Doesn’t count.
— UW 16-13 at Cal. … Try again.
— UW 32-31 at USC. …. Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. The Trojans were ranked No. 18 at the time and, yes, that certainly qualifies as quality.
Which only proves what we already knew: The Huskies haven’t been very good team the road in awhile.
Is this the week? Against an ASU team that’s 8-2 at home since the start of last season?
Sure. The Dawgs are due.
The pick: Washington 34, Arizona State 31.
Around the Pac-12:
— UCLA at Stanford: I won’t gloat, but I did say a month ago that Stanford was overrated, didn’t I? I just don’t understand the fascination with a team that consistently plays in tight games. The margin for error is too small for a supposed national-title contender. Look for UCLA to prove it’s a legitimate top-10 team Saturday. The pick: UCLA 28, Stanford 24.
— Washington State at Oregon: The Cougars tend to give the Ducks some trouble, but not that much trouble. The pink: Oregon 59, Washington State 28.
— USC at Notre Dame: The Trojans feel like a new team now with Ed Orgeron, and it sounds like Marqise Lee should be back, too. Let’s roll with some Pac-12 pride. The pick: USC 28, Notre Dame 25.
— Oregon State at California: Mannion for Heisman! The pick: Oregon State 42, California 31.
— Utah at Arizona: Can the Utes take their act on the road? The pick: Utah 34, Arizona 28.
— Charleston Southern at Colorado: Really? Did Colorado hire Alabama’s schedule-maker? The pick: Colorado 35, Charleston Southern 10.