A Tall Order

On the heels of Idaho's thrilling home victory over San Diego State, the Vandals now hit the road to close out their 3-game tour through the PAC-10 with a meeting in Seattle against the Washington Huskies.

Following Washington's last second loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor (31-29) to start the season, the Dawgs of Montlake have been rolling through their early season schedule. In both games since Michigan, they've had some trouble in the first 2 quarters of each game, but have gone on to post big wins against San Jose State (34-10) and Wyoming (38-7). The scores in both games could have been significantly larger blow-outs, however, as the Huskies have been their own worst enemies (fighting turnovers and penalties).

But the Huskies are one of the favorites to win the PAC-10 Conference this year, and are currently ranked 13th in the nation by the AP. They are a very strong, balanced team with loads of weapons on offense and plenty of speed on defense.

Below is a quick glimpse at the players to look for this weekend, followed by links to additional information on the Washington Huskies.

Denis Poroy / AP
#3 Cody Pickett has been been tearing up opposing defenses this season.
Husky Offense

Projected starting lineup:

QB Cody Pickett, 6-4, 215 Jr
TB Rich Alexis, 6-0, 220, Sr
FB Zach Tuiasosopo, 6-2, 245, So
WR Paul Arnold, 6-1, 200, Sr
WR Reggie Williams, 6-4, 220, So
TE Kevin Ware, 6-3, 255, Sr
WT Khalif Barnes, 6-5, 300, So
WG Aaron Butler, 6-4, 320, So
C Todd Bachert, 6-4, 310, Jr
SG Dan Dicks, 6-6, 315, So
ST Nick Newton, 6-4, 315, So

Just like we've faced each of the past 4 weeks, our defensive backfield will again get a colossal test this weekend and against the Huskies. UW boasts 2 Parade All-Americans in wide receivers Paul Arnold and Reggie Williams. The depth behind these receivers is solid, headlined by Florida native Charles Frederick. The backfield is led by junior tailback Rich Alexis, while fullback is manned by converted defensive end Zach Tuiasosopo. The guy making this offense go is junior quarterback Cody Pickett, a Caldwell, Idaho native who is currently ranked 3rd nationally in passing yards (347 YPG) and is ranked 13th in pass efficiency.

The Huskies overhauled their offensive line this year and are starting 4 sophomores across the front. Don't be mistaken by their age, however. This is a pretty good line, and should be formidible in the years ahead. At tightend is senior Kevin Ware, with redshirt freshman Joe Toledo (6-6, 290) nipping at his heels.

Denis Poroy / AP
#90 Kai Ellis is one of the anchors on a solid Husky defense.
Husky Defense

Projected starting lineup:

DE Kai Ellis, 6-4, 250, Sr
DT Josh Miller, 6-3, 270, So
DT Terry Johnson, 6-4, 285, Jr
DE Manase Hopoi, 6-4, 255, So
ILB Ben Mahdavi, 6-2, 235, Sr
ILB Marquis Cooper, 6-4, 215, Jr
OLB Jafar Williams, 6-0, 230, Sr
CB Derrick Johnson, 6-0, 185, So
SS Greg Carothers, 6-2, 230, Jr
FS James Simms, 6-1, 195, RFr
CB Roc Alexander, 6-0, 185, Jr

Gone this year off the Husky defensive line is Larry Tripplet to the NFL. But the guys who remain are a talented, athletic, quick bunch led by defensive end Kai Ellis. The senior is an imposing presence with a knack for getting to the ball quickly. Probably the strength of the defense is the linebacking corp where they have 3 veterans in seniors Ben Mahdavi (a one-time walk-on) and Jafar Williams, and junior Marquis Cooper (the second leading tackler on the team). This is a group with good mobility and excellent size.

The defensive backfield is a group with a mix of veteran leadership and some youth that is learning the rigors of the 1-A game. The leader is strong safety Greg Carothers who is leading the team in tackles this year. Cornerback Roc Alexander is the speedster, while redshirt freshman free safety James Sims is working to make his presence felt.

Read More

University of Washington Official Athletic Site

Seattle Times, Huskies Page

CollegeFootballNews Washington Preview

The Sporting News report on UW/Wyoming Game

Dawgman.com Website and Message Board

ALL Vandals Top Stories