The Husky Haul‘s Evan Webeck answered a few questions for us in anticipation of Saturday’s matchup between the No. 16 Washington Huskies and the Arizona Wildcats:
The Huskies have outscored their opponents 128-30 in the first three games. What do the Wildcats need to do to halt Washington’s hot start?
“There’s not a whole lot anyone can do to stop the Washington offense. The biggest weakness is the offensive line, but that is accounted for by throwing lots of quick screen passes to the Huskies ultra-athletic receivers, specifically John Ross, Jaydon Mickens and, to a lesser extent, Kasen Williams. The best defense against the Huskies is a good offense.”
How has Keith Price been able to put a sub-par junior campaign in the rearview mirror?
“The same topic comes up here: the offensive line. UW has eight linemen who have started in the past, and all are improved over last year. Price has more time to throw the ball to shorter routes. That’s not to say Price can’t throw the deep ball, but the Huskies have utilized the short passing game to perfection in their first three games. He’s said that he lost trust in his teammates last season, and that led to his struggles. With their trust regained, Price is back to his sophomore self.”
Who do you think wins the battle of star running backs: Bishop Sankey or Ka’deem Carey?
“Ka’Deem Carey may rush for more yards, but it’ll likely come on more carries. The Wildcats are averaging over 50 rushing plays per game, and now that they’re finally facing a legitimate opponent, the overwhelming majority of those will likely go to Carey. Washington is primarily a rushing offense, but Sankey isn’t the Huskies’ only weapon. Price will throw the ball at least 20-25 times, and the backup running backs should see at least 10 carries between them.”
Name a Washington player that Arizona fans may have never heard of, but will remember after Saturday’s game.
“Offensively, both the Huskies slot receivers haven’t gotten much press, but John Ross and Jaydon Mickens have had monstrous impacts thus far. Mickens has nearly double the receptions as the next leading receiver, with 20. Ross is listed as second on the depth chart at the slot, but he has six catches for 100 yards. Defensively, there are a lot of unheralded stars. Marcus Peters is a sophomore and doing a fantastic job as the No. 1 corner. Josh Shirley will be the man sacking B.J. Denker; he had three sacks against Illinois.”
Will the newly-renovated Husky Stadium have any effect on the outcome of the game?
“The renovations only increased the volume of an already loud Husky Stadium. The track that surrounded the field is gone, and fans are now about 100 feet closer to the field. Husky Stadium would have had an impact without renovations, but it is just louder now.”
Who do you think wins and why?
“Washington wins, and it won’t be close. The Wildcats gave the Huskies an old-fashioned beat down in the Dirty T last year, but they also had considerably more talent. The Huskies only got better, and they play much better at home. The Huskies offense will overwhelm the Wildcats defense, and Arizona’s one-dimensioned offense will struggle when Washington puts seven in the box. I think it’ll be similar to last year’s score: Washington 49, Arizona 14.”
To see my Q&A on The Husky Haul, click here.