UW Game Day: Cactus Bowl
Huskies (8-5, 4-5 Pac-12) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6, 4-5 Big 12)
7:15 p.m. PT today at Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
TV: ESPN. Radio: KOMO AM-1000, FM-97.7.
LATEST LINE: Huskies are favored by 6.5 points.
- Chris Petersen makes sure it’s all fun, too — when the time is right.
- Larry Stone: Shaq Thompson has a lot of options as he weighs his future.
- Christian Caple picks the Huskies, 31-20.
- Huskies hope to send seniors off on a high note.
- Freshman QB Mason Rudolph has flipped the script for Oklahoma State.
RESTED OR RUSTED? UW will be the last Pac-12 team to kick off its bowl game, and it’s been five weeks since the Huskies ended the regular season with a 31-13 victory at Washington State. (Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma a week later.) The long layoff is a concern for the Huskies, who had a nice momentum building on offense over the final few weeks of the regular season. “Both teams will try to start fast,” Petersen said. “And as we’ve seen in the bowl games, there’s usually a team that does kind of start fast and then things settle down.”
SETTLING IN: All season, UW coaches emphasized pocket presence with Cyler Miles, and Petersen said the sophomore quarterback has improved in that regard. “I think he anticipated and saw some things a little bit cleaner and a little bit faster (late in the season),” Petersen said Thursday. “It’s like you just got to trust those holes a little bit more, throw it in there on time. … I think he made some strides there.” Overall, Miles completed 194 of 291 passes (66.7 percent) for 2,129 yards with 16 touchdowns and three interceptions in his first season as the starter.
TRICKED OUT: Petersen’s penchant for trick plays has been a regular topic at bowl press conferences. His old team, Boise State, ran two Statue of Liberty plays in its Fiesta Bowl victory over Arizona on Wednesday in nearby Glendale. Petersen hasn’t ruled out UW using more theatrics in the Cactus Bowl. “I think everybody in bowl games has these trick plays,” he said. “You see everybody doing them. It’s not unique to I think any one person. I think what you’re just trying to do is figure out how to move the ball.
UW PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Cyler Miles: 144.2 QB rating
RB Dwaye Washington: 655 yards, 9 TD
DE Hau’oli Kikaha: 18.0 sacks, 24.0 tackles for loss
LB John Timu: 96 tackles
OSU PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Mason Rudolph: Making third career start
RB Desmond Roland: 647 yards, 10 TD
WR Brandon Sheperd: 34 catches, 39 yards, 4 TD
DE Emmanuel Ogbah: 11 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss