Dawgman.com Predictions - Week One

Football season finally arrives with the home opener on Saturday against the Eastern Washington Eagles, the defending national champions. Will the Huskies struggle against the well-coached, highly successful Eagles, or will the Dawgs size and depth overwhelm the visitors from Cheney? Here is what the staff thinks.

Dick Baird - Former UW Coach/Recruiting Coordinator: Washington will win their first opener under Coach Sarkisian and beat a National Champion in the process. The difference will be in the lines and overall speed. Regardless if Chris Polk is ready, the Huskies should be too powerful for a Football Championship Subdivision team.

Prediction: Washington lots, Eastern Washington not enough
Jay Torrell - Scout Publishing/Dawg For Life: I equate this game to a first round March Madness match-up between a 2-seed UNC versus a 15-seed Morgan State. The 15-seed comes out firing, relying on their 3 good players and the prospect of upsetting a goliath to keep them equal for a little over half of the game. Then depth and fatigue starts to set in and the deeper, stronger team starts to pull away. Sark has hammered home the 1-0 mantra and EWU QB Bo Levi Chucky Robert David Stanley Mitchell has provided enough bulletin-board material to ensure the Huskies don't let this game get away. Fun home opener under sunny skies.

Prediction: Washington 42, Eastern 24
Patrick Thrapp – Numbers Guru: So here it is the first game of the season. I was listening to Condotta on KJR with Gas Thursday afternoon. He indicated that Polk might play, but that our corner, Richardson, may not. He further stated how young we are at corner. Eastern is going to be some nice competition for this team. I feel fairly comfortable that we will eventually win, but I think Eastern will make us work some for it. Just what we need to get the season rolling.

Prediction: Washington 31, Eastern 17
Shane Pahukoa – Former UW Safety Extraordinaire: Where do you go if you're a high school football player with mediocre size, speed and talent? Besides WSU....The answer, Eastern Washington University. This may work well in the Big Sky Conference, but not in the Dawg House. The Dawgs are just too fast and too big for this Eagle team. Bo Levi Mitchell will be wishing he would have stayed at SMU after Saturday's game.

Prediction: Washington 37, Eastern 13
Scott Panitz – Dawgman.com Intern: You know what? I'm going to go big. What's the fun in making predictions otherwise? This year's Huskies are much deeper than they've been in forever and Coach Sark said himself that the biggest difference between FBS and FCS schools is depth. I'm not worried about Keith Price one bit – I think he's a talented, smart, savvy, albeit smallish, leader who will use the plethora of weapons at his disposal to terrorize the Eagles. Whether Chris Polk plays or not, Washington's offense should be able to light up the scoreboard with the flip of a switch. Kasen Williams or Austin Sefarian-Jenkins will score his first collegiate touchdown; maybe both will. Big ‘ole Alameda Ta-Amu and Danny Shelton will shut down EWU's running game, but only early – they'll have to abandon it after going down by several scores and once that happens, it will be open season for UW playmakers Nate Fellner and a vastly improved Des Trufant. If this team is ever going to score 40+ points they are going to do it in this game. Dawgs triumph big and start the 2011 season off with a win.

Prediction: Washington 52, Eastern 17
Eric Dore – Dawgman.com Intern: This is the perfect game to break in a new quarterback behind an offensive line that should in theory dominate an FCS school. In fact both sides of the line should dominate, as the size and strength of the Husky lineman are what should separate these two teams. Whether or not #1 plays I don't think it will have much of an impact on the final score, as Sarkisian will dial up a number of creative runs for Callier, Sankey, and Price as well. As we saw towards the ends of last year when the Huskies were at their best it was when they were dominating the line of scrimmage – running the football, controlling the clock, and keeping the Husky defense fresh on the sidelines. A couple of things that may not show this week, but I will continue to ask throughout the season; will Keith Price's height and weight be an issue? Will his height hinder his field vision and at 195 lbs can he hold up over the course of a grueling schedule?

Prediction: Washington 38, Eastern 17
Joe Kaiser – Dawgman.com Intern Emeritus: How will the Huskies overcome their youth and inexperience against Eastern Washington on Saturday? With talent, speed and improved play on both sides of the line. Look for UW to possibly start slow for a quarter or two, but for Sark's guys to kick it into high gear as the nerves wear off. Expect Jesse Callier to carry the load on offense in Chris Polk's absence, and for one of the Huskies' three talented freshman tight ends -- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Michael Hartvigson and Evan Hudson -- to score his first UW touchdown..

Prediction: Washington 38, Eastern 17
Scott Eklund – Dawgman.com Recruiting Guru: The first-ever FCS opponent to grace UW's schedule is a doozy. None other than the defending National Champs and preseason #1 Eastern Washington. While this might seem like an ominous opponent fans shouldn't be too concerned. Washington should own the trenches vs. the Eagles and hopefully will not need the services of Chris Polk who is likely out for the game as he recovers from meniscus surgery. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me to see the visitors from east of the Cascades to at least keep things close in the third quarter before the Huskies pull away to win by a rather comfortable margin.

Prediction: Washington 40, Eastern 17
Kim Grinolds: Dawgman.com Business Operations: When you're bigger, stronger, faster, hungrier and playing at home against a team that has 20 less scholarships available.......I like your chances. It won't be close. Look for lots of coming out parties for guys who haven't played yet or haven't played much. Kasen, Shelton, and ASJ won't disappoint.

Prediction: Washington 55, Eastern 17
Chris Fetters - Dawgman.com Editor-in-Chief: This has the makings of a game where it's tight through the first two quarters, and then the flood gates empty. I expect both teams to come in amped up, and it may take a quarter for them to settle in. Once that happens, I could even see EWU leading going into halftime. But over time, Washington's size, speed and overall athleticism will take a toll, and I don't think they'll be stopped the final 30 minutes. I also think this game needs to be the defense's calling card. They need to show that they can control a game up front, and make teams pay in the second-level and secondary with fumble recoveries and interceptions. Helping the offense is going to be key this season, and the Huskies have a chance to turn the tables on Eastern and become the ones that take advantage of mistakes.

Prediction: Washington 38, Eastern 6
David R. Samek – Dawgman: I just cannot see Washington NOT clown-stomping the visiting Eagles. Eastern is a good team but the difference in talent on the lines is going to be the difference. The Huskies will impose their wills in both trenches and take the Eagles out of the game early and the only thing that will keep the score in the 40s is Steve Sarkisian limiting the offensive game plan. Gotta save some for the Nebraska's and the conference.

Prediction: Washington 42, Eastern 14

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