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SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION – Washington

… Previews for CU’s opponents will be posted each week leading up to the start of Fall Camp … Previous posts: Oregon StateWashington StateNew HampshireNebraskaUCLA

 

Game Seven – CU at Washington – October 20th 

Last game between the two schools … September 23, 2017 – No. 7 Washington 37, Colorado 10

Colorado looked to avenge a 41-10 loss to Washington in the 2016 Pac-12 championship game. Instead, it was a repeat, with the Buffs falling 37-10.

The previous December, the Buffs were down only 14-10 at halftime against the Huskies, but turnovers doomed the Buffs in the second half. In the 2017 Pac-12 conference opener, the Buffs were down only 10-7 at halftime, but turnovers doomed the Buffs in the second half. A pick six thrown by CU quarterback Steven Montez late in the third quarter turned a 17-10 game into a rout.

For the game, Montez completed 21-of-27 passes for 171 yards, but also had three interceptions. His counterpart for the Huskies, Jake Browning, was not much more effective, completing 11-of-21 for 160 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The difference on the stats sheet came on the ground. Myles Gaskin went for 202 yards on 27 carries, including a 57-yard score to add insult to injury late. CU’s leading rusher, Phillip Lindsay, had 68 yards on 19 carries, posting the Buffs’ lone score.

“This is the best team in the North (division) that we’ll play and they’re a really good football team that’s really well coached”, said CU head coach Mike MacIntyre. “They beat us tonight. We’ve got some things to work on and improve on just like every game. When something happens, they make you pay for it. That’s what good teams do. We do that too. We’ll do that a couple times this year too.”

… The full game story and You Tube video of the game, along with the essay for the game, I’m Keeping my Towel“, can be found here

 

2017 Washington results – 11-2 (8-1 in Pac-12 play)

– Returning starters, Offense: 7 … Returning starters, Defense: 9

 

– 2017 Washington National Rankings (Offense)

— Scoring – 17th … 36.2 points per game  (Colorado scoring defense – 74th … 28.2 points per game)

— Rushing – 44th … 183.2 yards per game   (Colorado rushing defense – 108th … 208.0 yards per game)

— Passing – 72nd … 222.2 yards per game   (Colorado passing defense – 94th … 242.6 yards per game)

— Total – 58th … 405.5 yards per game  (Colorado total defense – 109th … 450.6 yards per game)

– 2017 Washington National Rankings (Defense)

— Scoring – 5th … 16.1 points per game  (Colorado scoring offense – 81st … 26.4 points per game)

— Rushing – 4th … 100.8 yards per game (Colorado rushing offense – 74th … 157.2 yards per game)

— Passing – 32nd … 197.2 yards per game (Colorado passing offense – 39th … 260.4 yards per game)

— Total – 8th … 298.0 yards per game  (Colorado total offense – 48th … 417.6 yards per game)

 

Washington storylines … 

– Meeting expectations ….

In 2016, Washington won the Pac-12 title game against Colorado, advancing to the College Football playoff.

Last season, the Pac-12 was left out of the playoff discussion, with Pac-12 champion USC earning no better than a Cotton Bowl invitation.

In 2018, the Huskies are a top ten preseason candidate, and may be carrying the Pac-12 and its reputation on its back after the conference embarrassed itself with an 1-8 bowl season.

The pieces are in place for the Huskies, with 16 starters returning from a team which went 11-2 in 2017, with close losses to Stanford and Penn State (in the Fiesta Bowl) the only blemishes on the record.

With all of the hype associated with Washington, it all could come crashing down before Labor Day.

On September 1st, Washington faces another preseason top ten team in Auburn, with the game to be played in Atlanta (1:30 p.m., MT, ABC). A loss to the Tigers, even in basically a road game in the heart of SEC country, will make it difficult for the Pac-12 to challenge for a college playoff berth.

On the other hand, if Washington can take care of business against Auburn, the remainder of the schedule sets up fairly well for the Huskies to make a playoff run. USC and Arizona are missed in the Pac-12 South rotation, with Stanford, the defending Pac-12 North champion, coming to Seattle the first weekend of November.

“Our kids, they understand who Auburn is … We’re talking about playing the best of the best right now”, said head coach Chris Petersen about the Huskies’ season opener.

We’ll know a great deal more about where Washington has a chance to go with its 2018 season … by the evening of September 1st.

 

Players make plays

There are mixed opinions when it comes to senior quarterback Jake Browning. Some have Browning as one of the top five quarterbacks in the nation.

Others aren’t sure Browning is in the top five … in the Pac-12.

Browning was the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player-of-the-Year, and already holds the school record for touchdown passes, with 78. Still, his production fell from 43 touchdown passes in 2016 to 19 last season.

Fortunately for Browning and the Husky offense, running back Myles Gaskin decided to return for his senior season. Gaskin already has 4,055 career rushing yards, and will own most Washington rushing records by the end of his senior campaign (Eric Bieniemy holds the all-time career rushing record at Colorado, with 3,940 yards).

The strength of the offense lies with the offensive line. Both offensive tackles, Trey Adams and Kaleb McGary, are NFL prospects, with both having earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in their careers.

As good as the Washington offense might be, the defense is even better.

The Huskies were 5th in the nation in scoring defense and 8th in total defense last season … and return nine starters.

Washington returns six players who started at least six games to a secondary which might be the best secondary unit in the nation. Dominant lineman Vita Vea was a first round NFL draft pick, but should still be powerful up front. Nose tackle Greg Gaines is a 33-game starter, and leads a unit which was fourth in the nation in rushing defense in 2017.

 

How the Buffs fit into the Huskies’ 2018 schedule

If Washington can get past Auburn in the season opener – a big if – then the schedule lightens up considerably. Three of the next four games for the Huskies are at home, and none of the three – North Dakota, Arizona State, BYU – should present a challenge.

The only September obstacle for the Huskies after facing the Tigers in Atlanta would be the first Pac-12 game … a road game against Utah. The last three meetings between the two schools have been close (34-23 Utah; 31-24 Washington; 33-30 Washington).

In October, Washington will have only one home game, and that will be against Colorado on October 20th. Before facing the Buffs, the Buffs will take on UCLA and Oregon on the road (and then travel to Berkeley to face Cal the weekend after the CU encounter).

So, if the Buffs get one break in taking on Washington on the road, is that it will come a week after the Huskies face rival Oregon in Eugene. The Huskies broke a 12-game losing streak to the Ducks on the road two years ago, with a 70-21 rout. Washington followed that win up with a convincing 38-3 win in Seattle last season. Oregon fans believe the Ducks will be much improved this fall, and will have the Washington game circled on their calendars.

Buff fans can only hope that the Huskies will take a body blow from the Ducks, and will not face the Buffs at 100%.

 

Bottom Line

As Washington is facing Oregon in Eugene, Colorado will be taking on USC in Los Angeles.

Back-to-back games against the top two teams in the Pac-12 is tough enough.

Back-to-back games against the top two teams in the Pac-12 – with both on the road – is next to impossible.

Colorado has not been within two touchdowns of Washington since joining the Pac-12. The last two games (41-10 in the Pac-12 championship game; 37-10 in Boulder last season) were not particularly pretty to watch.

The first five games of CU’s season – CSU; at Nebraska; New Hampshire; UCLA; Arizona State – are all winnable.

The last five games of CU’s season – Oregon State; at Arizona; Washington State; Utah; at Cal – are all winnable.

The two games in the middle – at USC; at Washington – are not.

CU fans can only hope that that the Buffs can make enough of a statement in the first five games to put themselves in a position for a bowl run in the last five games.

In those two middle games, the Buffs – and their fans – will just be in survival mode.

Can the Buffs pull of an upset in Seattle?

Sure.

Is it likely?

Surely not.

—–

13 Replies to “Scouting the Opposition – Washington”

  1. As a resident of the Seattle area for the past 20 years or so…I just hope we can keep this close. Husky Stadium has truly been a house of horrors for us and the weather will be ugly. I just hope to be holding my head up high in the 4th quarter, but unfortunately don’t see it again. Not with Mac as our HC and not with their D and Gaskins/RBs going for 250+.

    1. I’m with you Irie. I live down here in Portland and have been debating taking the 160 mile drive to sit in the rain at 42 degrees to watch the Buffs get lit up. Hope VK is right and we are surprised. I’m going to see how the season starts. I’ll head up if at least I know we will be competitive. Love if we beat the Dawgs.

  2. Well? There’s always a chance! But, my money would be on the USC game – if I had to pick one of the two between USC and UW – for CU to steal.

    UW’s tough. More so at home.

    I do expect a closer game than most may though. My optimism only wanes so much, after all. Of course, we’ll know a lot more about both teams by the time they line up, midway through the season.

    Go Buffs.

    1. Welp you already predicted the Buffs were going to beat the Korndogs by 20?

      You can’t make this easy decision?

      Come on get on your Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa train.

      Gawd

      1. What the heck are you talking about? Looks like you fell out of bed too early again. Or, was it staying up too late? Either way, you’re making no sense. Again.

        Go Buffs.

        1. Oh really earache

          “Eric
          June 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm
          Frost may in fact get Nebraska football back to a level of respectability. But, it’s not happening against CU this year.

          Of course, that will hang a lot on Montez’ performance, but again, I’m expecting homey to make some great improvement from what we’ve seen so far. He has the tools. If he puts in the work, and gets his head in the game more than we’ve seen so far, dude can be special, I think.

          Shall I predict a score? Sure. CU 48, NU 28.

          Go Buffs.

          Ease up on the meds bud. You ain’t even remembering the idiocy you posted 18 days ago.

          1. Oh silly LaVark, there you go again, confusing yourself with your ramblings.

            It’s particularly silly, because you can read and think before you post, but… clearly you don’t. Maybe you should get some more rest?

            You said: “You can’t make this easy decision?” To which I replied, “what are you talking about?”

            Based on your reply to my post, in which I said: “I will pick CU over USC, and I think CU will lose to UW, in their house, because, not only is UW a top Pac 12 team, but… Husky Stadium is a tough place to go and steal a win. Nevertheless, it’s possible, but… not likely”. So, I did make a decision. Very clearly. How’d you miss that?

            As to the Buffs beating Nebraska? Yeah, I’ll stick by that prediction, too.

            Care to try again? Maybe get a full night’s sleep, first? Put down the Halo?

            Go Buffs.

          2. Whoa earache.

            Didn’t quite see it that way the first time you wrote it. But like vested loan officer you added some more details that were not available the first time.

            So frigging typical of …………

            Anyway you said maybe The buffs could steal one and maybe USC is where you would put your money.

            Not what I was asking for.

            I am shocked you couldn’t put a hard decision out there.

            But after re reading your interpretation of what you wrote it is not shocking what you wrote.

            You didn’t make a prediction on anything.

            Unbutton that vest. Let the other sheep have a peek.

            Buffs.

            You are quite the banker babbler and I can see it now adding stuff as the negotiations roll on. No wait this is what it really says. Weeeooo

          3. Wow, LaVark. You are either completely delusional, or just a bit zany. Or, most likely, just a total troll, entertaining yourself in the wee hours of the night/morning. That’s ok too. We see your true colors. Have for years.

            I’ll use your copy and paste trick – which isn’t necessary, because it’s so obvious, but… maybe it will sink in for you this time.

            I said, verbatim as it relates to CU at UW this year: “Well? There’s always a chance! But, my money would be on the USC game – if I had to pick one of the two between USC and UW – for CU to steal.

            UW’s tough. More so at home.”

            How is that not making a decision? Please elaborate. Unfortunately, it’s clear you will not. Instead, you’ll ramble on about things you know nothing about. Again.

            Care to give it another shot?

            Go Buffs.

          4. Earache,

            Okay so you take back the rambling 2nd post which emulated new terms and conditions a teller would show the client after the deal.

            “There is always a chance and my money is cu………….TO STEAL…………and the qualifier………we will know more later.

            That is a what if.

            Make the prediction.
            Don’t do a banker waffle.
            What is your prediction? Score.

            come on Baaaaa man……you can do it………

          5. Oh LaVark, you ol’ trolly wolly flim flam master.

            Nothing I said needs to be taken back. I was merely clarifying the obvious for the feeble minded (that’s you, my friend).

            As to picking a score? I guess you mean for the UW game, or USC?

            Either way, I usually save my full pre-season worthless predictions (I say worthless because like everyone’s, they are) until fall camp. I’ll give you a game by game view then.

            Until then? Troll on.

            But, here’s an idea we can troll out now – you seem to think six wins is a stretch – a must you say, and it is – but you don’t seem to think they can get beyond that. I, on the other hand, think 7-8, with the possibility for another special 10-win season are in the cards.

            So, how’s this? Let’s make 7 wins the over/under. I’ll take the over. I will wager anything you like. You in? Will you put your money – or anything else, for that matter – where your mouth is?

            Go Buffs.

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