Look out for the Washington Huskies this season. I haven’t gotten around to featuring the Huskies yet this season, but they’re a team I have been high on dating back to the end of last year. It was only a matter of time before Chris Petersen had this school playing like a major contender. If you are a fan of college football, you probably remember the name Chris Petersen from Boise State. Petersen is the architect that put together Boise State and put them on the map. The beauty of what he did with the Broncos is noting the kind of talent he had to work with out of high school. Petersen was bringing 2 and 3-star recruits to come to Boise to play football. Somehow he got the most out of his players and led them to several notable accomplishments. Kellen Moore smashed records, and was one of the best college quarterbacks at the time.
Petersen came to Washington in 2013 after then head coach, Steve Sarkisian, opted to take the USC coaching gig. Now, that worked out well for him, didn’t it? It’s all worked out well for Petersen, who has taken this program and elevated it up a notch. The Huskies were an average team then, and Petersen are turning them into a national contender. Washington hasn’t had the toughest schedule yet. And I don’t think Arizona is going to be the hardest opponent, but they are certainly going to pose more of a test than Rutgers, Idaho, and Portland State. In other words, Washington has basically had a two-week bye heading into Arizona. Rutgers is not a good team either, so I might want to include an additional week, too.
Now that Petersen is at a bigger school, his options open up with regards to recruiting. Before he was working with mainly 3-star recruits at Boise State. Getting 4-stars to come and play at Washington makes for an easier case for him. If he could get regularly rank in the high school talent he brought to Boise State, what do you think he can do with more talented players? I expect big things for the future of this program. Sarkisian going to USC might have been the best thing that happened to Washington.
Washington Huskies vs. Arizona Wildcats NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Arizona +13.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Washington vs. Arizona Pick:
Washington has been taking a good look at Arizona for the greater part of the last two weeks. Portland State was essentially a bye for Washington. The Wildcats have been one of the biggest disappointments in college football to me. Anu Solomon has been unable to develop and become a game changer at the quarterback position. He had an excellent freshman campaign, but he has since regressed in the wrong direction.
Solomon had the makings to be the next Russell Wilson of college football. Same frame, style of play, everything. However, Solomon has looked lost at times and his indecisions has cost him dearly. He doesn’t know whether to pass or run with the ball too many times. Now Solomon is battling injuries, and could possibly miss his second game in a row today.
Brandon Dawkins is expected to get the start tonight, with Solomon listed as questionable on the injury report. Dawkins might actually be the better option for Arizona. Dawkins is a runner first and passer second. He ran for 118 yards against Hawaii. Expect to see many more option plays with Dawkins starting at quarterback. I don’t expect a Chris Petersen led team to come into this one unprepared for Dawkins.
Perhaps the bigger issue for Arizona, than Solomon missing action, is the potential absence of starting running back Nick Wilson. In a game where Arizona will lean on the ground game, a talented guy like Wilson at running back would have helped. Washington is allowing only 2 yards per rush. Defensively I don’t know what to make of Arizona, they’ve played BYU, Grambling State, and Hawaii, and so those teams don’t give us a clean look at the defense. BYU is a good team, but their offense is like a high school offense. They run the ball, run the ball some more, and mix in a 2 or 3-yard pass. Note that they were losing to Grambling State at the half. Washington is going to open things up, in a wide open offense that you need to defense from all angles. Arizona has a long list of injuries on defend as well, including three linebackers listed as out or questionable. Washington is going to prove tonight that they are for real. I expect a three-touchdown victory for the Huskies
PICK: WASHINGTON -13.5 (-110)