Dawgman Predictions

The Dawgs open their Pac-12 conference with a home game against California, a squad that has won their first three games. Washington's much maligned defense is expected to improve while the Huskies will try to run Chris Polk against a very stingy rush defense. Here is what the staff thinks will happen on Saturday afternoon at Husky Stadium.


Patrick Thrapp – numbers guru (3-0): Well I was pleased to see last week how well we answered Nebraska's successes. I thought we looked like we have been improving each week. Not sure what to make of this game against Cal though. I think it will be close the whole way. I also wonder if Price will make it through the game. He was sure hobbling last week towards the end. I am really looking forward to a conference game Saturday. The weather should be great – again.

Prediction: Washington 33, California 27
Shane Pahukoa – Former UW safety Extraordinaire (2-1): The Cal Bears come into Husky Stadium this weekend with a very balanced and high scoring offense. Led by QB Zack Maynard and RB Isi Solefe the Bears offense averages a whopping 456 yards and 45 points per game. Once again the defense will have their work cut out for them. Cal has a great offensive line but they have a quarterback that is making his first career start on the road. Let's hope Husky fans get the stadium rocking and the defense gives Maynard a big dose of "Marinovich"! Keith Price will be the key Saturday afternoon. No other Husky QB has thrown as many touchdowns in a 3 game stretch than Price has…..think about that! "Teeth" Price should be smiling about that, right! The offensive game plan should be about the same as the week before, but for the love of GOD… start throwing the ball more to Seferian-Jenkins. He has 5 catches in 3 games. He's a gifted, freakish stud!!

Prediction: Washington 34, California 24
Scott Panitz – Dawgman.com intern (2-1): Can you say "Bounce Back?" Ready? "Bounce. Back." Because that's what I'm expecting Saturday afternoon against the Cal Bears. Sure, the Bears boast two terrifyingly talented receivers in Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones and the UW pass defense hasn't exactly been airtight (understatement alert!), but Cal QB Zach Maynard has completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes against FBS competition. Not saying this will be a shutout, more like shootout; Cal will score. But their defensive ranking, 21st in the nation in yards allowed, is largely due to a plethora of patsies on their early schedule. The one game they played against major conference competition resulted in the Bears surrendering 474 airborne yards and three scores to Colorado QB Tyler Hansen, who may or may not be good. Keith Price will continue to push his name into the conversation of the top QBs in the Pac 12 and at least match Hansen's touchdown total from two weeks ago.

Prediction: Washington 37, California 31
Eric Dore – Dawgman.com Intern (3-0): The Huskies have had their fair share of disappointing losses the last couple of years and the way in which they lost at Nebraska last week was certainly disappointing. The good news is that Coach Sarkisian and his team have shown resiliency – beating USC last year after being throttled at home the game before by Nebraska and infamously coming back from 3-6 to rally for a bowl game win. A lot has been made about Coach Holt and his underperforming defense and Cal is a team in which they can turn the tides. Zach Maynard, Cal's staring quarterback has completed only 51% of his passes (throw out the game against Presbyterian and he's well under 50%). Furthermore, the Huskies won't be facing another Cal running back that is headed to the NFL like they have in seemingly every game this past decade. Cal is starting Isi Sofele, at 5-8 180 pounds who from the look of things thus far is not another prolific small back like a J.J. Arrington or a Justin Forsett. On offense for Washington, the concern has to be keeping Keith upright. If they can accomplish that, the Huskies should overcome any shortcomings of the defense to win at home.

Prediction: Washington 31, California 24
Jay Torrell – Scout.com Creative Print Director (3-0): The "AWESOME" Husky defense leads the nation in...trash-talking. That's right, our nasty 10-yard cushion DB's, pillow soft defensive line, sleeping on the first play of the game, can't force a punt on a 3rd and forever defense leads the nation in trash-talking. You know what trash-talking and losing makes you? That's right, a trash-talking loser. I like this defense and really think the only thing it's lacking is focus. And if you're talking about some WR's sister, you're not ready for the play. The Bears have giant receivers and the best O-Line we've seen this year. If Holt hasn't got them focused for this game, they're never going to be. Offense does enough, defense wakes up, the refs swallow their whistle and the Dawgs pull out yet another close one at home.

Prediction: Washington 35, California 31
Joe Kaiser – Dawgman.com stud (2-1): Defense continues to be the biggest worry in Montlake, and Cal will test the Huskies in that department again this week. But UW has quietly knocked off Cal two years in a row, and has the Husky Stadium advantage on Saturday. So what to make of all this? If Keith Price can find a way to get through the game and can continue to play as well as he has in his first three starts, expect the Dawgs to eek out a W despite a big day from the Golden Bears' dynamic quarterback, Zach Maynard. Erik Folk will be the difference in another high scoring affair.

Prediction: Washington 37, California 31
Dick Baird - former recruiting coordinator and LB coach (2-1): California brings a lot of ammo to Husky Stadium, and they'll be a big challenge for this UW team trying to rebound after taking one on the chin at Nebraska, but they've shown they can score, and score in bunches. The defense will put together an improved performance from last week, and special teams will also be better.

Prediction: Washington by one point over Da Bears
Scott Eklund – Dawgman.com Recruiting guru (3-0): Offensively, I don't think there is a lot to complain about with the 2011 Huskies. The only thing I'd like to see more of are the talented freshmen they brought in -- specifically Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams -- but hopefully that comes in time. Defensively, things need to change and they need to change quickly. Some believe it is scheme, some believe it is coaching...well, I believe this is on the players. They have played scared the past three weeks and it has to stop. They play on their heels, get out of position and are not trusting their teammates to do their jobs. This week, the Dawgs must attack and be relentless in hitting QB Zach Maynard and any receiver or running back that comes into their area. The Golden Bears have talent, but ultimately, this is a game Washington should win and they'd better get it done or things could spiral out of control quickly.

Prediction: Washington 30, California 21
Chris Fetters: Dawgman.com Editor-In-Chief (3-0): I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I think the UW defense picks things up and looks better at home after giving up 51 points to Nebraska. I think their special teams and minimizing turnovers will help them create longer fields, so Cal won't have five drives start in UW territory, compared to what happened in Lincoln. On the other hand, I'm not sure Keith Price finishes this game. Heck, after seeing him try to run around this week, I'm not 100 percent sure he makes it through the first half unscathed. Nick Montana appears to be getting more and more confidence with each practice, and I believe the Huskies are going to need him to pick up where Price left off. This isn't the game where the QB can just hand the ball off to Chris Polk; Cal's defensive line is deep and talented, and they rotate a lot of bodies. I think this game could hinge on Price and how long he can play, and right now I'm not sure Montana is ready to just step in and not miss a beat.

Prediction: California 28, Washington 23
Kim Grinolds: Dawgman.com Business Operations (3-0):

Since I just had oral surgery, I'm going to be a man of few words. Washington comes out and is able to outscore Cal at home to keep the wolves at bay - for the time being. An Erik Folk field goal again is the difference, as the Huskies move to 3-1.

Prediction: Washington 31, California 28
David R. Samek – Dawgman (3-0): The Huskies have their hands full with a defense that is both quick and stout against the run. Washington's offensive line will need to lock onto the Bear's front seven to open holes for Chris Polk, and Keith Price needs to keep taking good care of the ball. The story on Saturday will be the Husky defense. Will Nick Holt be able to turn the defensive woes around and stop the Cal attack, or is he over his head? This game will go a long ways in answering this. I believe Washington will bend and perhaps break a bit, but I also think the offense will score just enough to make the Huskies 3-1, but I also think the defense will get abused enough to where Husky fans will still question that side of the ball's lack of success.

Prediction: Washington 41, California 33

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