Dawgman Predictions

Washington takes to the road when they play the Utah Utes in what promises to be an electric atmosphere in Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. It will be Utah's first home Pac-12 contest and their fans are ready. Will the Dawgs be? Here is what the staff thinks.

Patrick Thrapp – numbers guru (4-0):

This will be another tough game on the road I feel.  Although I am liking what I see each week.  The one thing I notice is the resilience this team exhibits.  Against Nebraska they came right back and scored to tie the game.  Against Cal they did the same thing.  Utah on the other hand looked big in the trenches when I watched them play USC in LA.  So I think the DAWGs will have their hands full.  Both teams look real efficient compared to their opponents.  If you look at my match-up page.  Check the yards & plays per 7 points for both teams.  Pretty impressive compared to the past.  I am going to go out on a limb and go with my heart.  I have too much of the Dick Baird gene in me.

Prediction: Washington 31, Utah 28
Shane Pahukoa – Former UW safety Extraordinaire (3-1):

Thank the heavens Utah is only averaging 193 yards passing per game. Unfortunately, they're averaging 171 yards on the ground. There's no doubt we have to slow down their running attack to be in the game. Utah running back John White is averaging 126 yards a game and has 5 touchdowns. Our defensive front has to play with intensity, get off blocks and run to the ball. With Hau'oli  Jamora out for the season Josh Shirley will have to step up, play hard and make the best of his opportunity.  On offense, I'd like to see Sark get after Utah's defensive front right away. Utah is only allowing 79 yards per game rushing. I say hit ‘em with a big piece of Chris Polk right from the get go. If that fails we always have Keith Price. Price leads the nation with 14 passing touchdown and has a quarterback rating of 176.6, which is 9th overall. Utah's secondary is not that great so look for Price to put up some big numbers on Saturday. 

Prediction: Washington 38, Utah 31
Scott Panitz – Dawgman.com intern (3-1): These two offenses are very similar.  The Dawgs have a slight advantage in passing yards per game, while Utah barely edges the UW in rushing yards.  Washington also puts up slightly over three more points per game.  Point is, these two teams are even...Wait, there's more than one aspect of the game?  You're telling me the Utes give up just 14.3 points a contest, good for 15th best in the country, while the Dawgs  surrender almost as much as they score?  Combine that with the fact Utah will be jacked up for its first ever PAC 12 game and Washington just lost its best defensive end and everything points to the Dawgs dropping this one.  But that Keith Price Kool Aid is too strong.  Maybe someone spiked it, causing my vision to blur, but I see the Dawgies pulling this one out.  The Huskies may not be at home, but I'm going with the homer pick.

Prediction: Washington 33, Utah 28
Eric Dore – Dawgman.com Intern (4-0): How much longer can the Huskies continue to play bend but don't break defense before it catches up with them as it did against Nebraska?  Things better turn quickly in favor of the Washington defense if they expect to pull out a win this Saturday because Utah in their last game scored 47 unanswered points against BYU to win 54-10.  If the defense can't hold up their end of the deal things will fall on Keith Price, as they seemingly have in every game this year.  Can Price be counted on for another otherworldly performance especially on the road?  Give him and the Husky offense credit so far as perhaps an unnoticed statistic shows that UW is scoring touchdowns 72% of the time they are inside the 20-yard line.  It will be tough to continue at that pace as the Utes' opponents only score 50% of the time in total.  Unfortunately, Washington hasn't had much success on the road in a long time.  Throw in the fact that the Utes are third in the country in turnover margin while the Huskies didn't manage one forced turnover at home against Cal last week and the Huskies will be hard-pressed to come out with a win. 

Prediction: Utah 37, Washington 30
Jay Torrell – Scout.com Creative Print Director (4-0):

The Huskies are marching into a hostile, rowdy sea of red...sound familiar? The Nebraska debacle has prepared the young Dawgs for this critical Pac-12 road trip. I expect Utah to come out throwing haymakers (see Nebraska) to get the Dawgs on their heels and the crowd in a frenzy. If Price & Co. can withstand the first punches and answer (see Nebraska), stretch the field (see Nebraska), get some points off a turnover (see Nebraska), get some calls (don't see Nebraska), hit the TE (see ASF), make some critical 3rd down stops (see 1991) and keep their composure when things don't go their way (see Price), then they can get it done. The Dawgs are going to score so it's all about what Holt can get his young pups to do on D (first half Cal-bad, second half Cal-good). One timely turnover will be the difference. Win this game, get some rest, dispatch Colorado at home and then the Stanford game gets really, really big.

Prediction: Washington 34, Utah 30
Joe Kaiser – Dawgman.com stud (3-1): This week's game in Salt Lake City has a chance to be the type of road win that gets Washington over the hump. A win that would push the program to that next level. At 3-1, UW has a better understanding of who they are and what they can do, and some new faces are set to enter the lineup against the Utes. Look for Jamal Kearse to become firmly entrenched in the Huskies' starting lineup after a big-time performance, as Sarkisian gets a huge win in a difficult test away from the friendly confines. The defense will show life, and the offense will continue to roll. Price will throw touchdowns to four different receivers (Kearse, Seferian-Jenkins, Johnson and Williams), and the Huskies win in surprisingly easy fashion.?

Prediction: Washington 42, Utah 27
Scott Eklund – Dawgman.com Recruiting guru (4-0):

A big win over California last week and Husky fans are as excited about things as I've seen since I began covering this team in earnest back in 2004. UW is obviously on the upswing and have improved every week of the season so far and they need to continue that trend this weekend if they have any chance of beating Utah on the road. The Huskies need to win the turnover battle and be solid on D while continuing to be the balanced/dynamic offense we've seen over the past few weeks. That all being said, I just don't think the team, as it is comprised right now, is ready to go into Utah and beat a team that is well-coached and ready for their first Pac 12 home game. I think Washington keeps it close, but in the end, the Utes pull away and win by 10.

 Prediction: Utah 38, Washington 28
Dick Baird – former recruiting coordinator and LB coach (3-1):

Keith Price is the reason the Huskies can win on the road, and they will do it on Saturday. Chris Polk will face tough sledding but he'll pop one in the end zone. This is also another big day for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who will have four huge catches in the game. Look for the Husky defense to bend and to do just enough to not allow Jordan Wynn into the end zone enough. The Huskies improve to 4-1.

Prediction: Washington 23, Utah 21
Chris Fetters: Dawgman.com Editor-In-Chief (3-1): Utah's numbers are daunting; 49-9 at home the last 10 years, 10-0 at home versus their last 10 BCS opponents, haven't lost a game after a BYE week in 15 years...add to that the fact that Washington is walking into a sold-out House of Horrors Saturday night when they travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium.  But I think those numbers are going to have to normalize a bit, and there's no time like the present to see that happen.  UW is going to have to play a near-perfect game: No turnovers; no early emotional letdown; force the Utes into long drives; sustainable offense; red-zone defense that yields field goals instead of touchdowns; clean special teams.  It seems like a tall order on paper, but Utah is definitely beatable.  This game will be a war from start to finish, but I think the Huskies find themselves in a position to win with three minutes left.  Erik Folk once again provides the paddles for a Husky fanbase in cardiac arrest due to suffering through another nailbiter, and they earn a well-deserved week off for their efforts. ?

Prediction: Washington 41, Utah 38
Kim Grinolds: Dawgman.com Business Operations (4-0):

This wont be easy. Special teams, field position, turnovers and big plays are what it will boil down to.  It's going to be a knock down, drag out war. The team that digs the deepest will come out on top. On Saturday evening, that will be Sark's Washington team.

Prediction: Washington 20, Utah 17
David R. Samek – Dawgman (4-0): Washington will struggle in the second half with the elevation. Having done games in Boulder and in Provo, I can tell you that elevation is a very real element and there isn't a lot you can do to prepare for it. The Huskies will need to revolve in a lot of youth to stay fresh, and I fear that mistakes at crucial times by these youngsters will cost the Huskies on the road. The Utah fans are so ready for this game, they've been pointing to it for quite some time. Even though Keith Price and Chris Polk will keep the Huskies in the game, the defense will wear down in the end.

Prediction: Utah 31, Washington 23

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