Dawgman Predictions

Washington is still bowl eligible at 6-3 after getting beat down yet again by the Oregon Ducks, so now the Dawgs take to the road and visits the Trojans from USC. Can the Huskies rebound from a defeat that showed how far the Huskies still have to come to be competitive with the upper tier teams of the Pac-12? Here is what the staff thinks.

Patrick Thrapp – numbers guru (9-0):

Well we are off to USC. Even though they have nothing to play for. They seem to be doing quite well. Barkley is another one of the good QBs we have in this league, and that Woods guy is damn good also. Hopefully our offense gets back on track this game. I don't think we will see the kind of team speed Oregon showed. That I felt just stifled our offense last week. The real question is will our defense be able to get some stops so we can get some offensive opportunities. I'd like to think so, but I just don't think it will be enough.

Prediction: USC 35, Washington 23
Shane Pahukoa – Former UW safety Extraordinaire (6-3):

To win this game UW has to slow down the tandem of Matt Barkley and Robert Woods. They are the face USC. Barkley has grown into a great quarterback and I'm sure will do everything possible not to lose to UW, 3 years in a row. The Husky defense needs to create turnovers and win third downs. The Coliseum in Los Angeles is tough and intimidating place to play and the Huskies will need to bring their A+ game. I expect UW to feed the ball to Chris Polk most of the day. Polk had 80 yards last week against Oregon. I'm sure he's anxious to hit the field on Saturday to redeem himself. UW must limit their mental errors and play BIG…. if they plan on leaving La La Land with a "W".

Prediction: Washington 27, USC 24
Scott Panitz – Dawgman.com intern (8-1):

Sark has had USC's number since moving from Los Angeles to Montlake three years ago, winning both games against his old school on last-second Erik Folk field goals. However, the advantage he and Nick Holt used to have due to their familiarity with the Trojan players and system is waning with every passing year. I take Sark's lionization of Matt Barkley (he said he'd pick him ahead of consensus top NFL draft pick Andrew Luck right now if he were a head coach in the league) as way for him to be able to tell the media "I told you so" after the junior from Newport Beach puts up some gaudy numbers against the Husky defense. Don't expect Barkley to throw for six touchdowns like he did against Colorado, but I wouldn't be surprised if he got at least four. That means Keith Price is going to have to get back to his early-season form in order for the offense to keep up with USC. I hope it happens, but am not confident it will.

Prediction: USC 35, Washington 27
Eric Dore – Dawgman.com Intern (8-1):

When I sat down to look at the team statistics between UW and USC I didn't expect the numbers across the board for both teams to be fairly even as is the case. Purely looking at this from a numbers standpoint one would think the spread would be closer, however USC is playing solid football of late. Three weeks ago they went into South Bend and beat Notre Dame before coming home and nearly pulling an upset against top-ranked Stanford. More than any number that shows how good USC is the fact alone that they hung with Stanford. This should be a major concern for the Huskies. Not to rehash bad memories, but the Huskies were dominated at the point of attack play after play down in Palo Alto. Without the presence of a rowdy home crowd it will be a tall order to pull an upset against what appears to be a very physical team. What is encouraging for the Dawgs is that the defense played one of their best games all season against Oregon's potent offense. If the Huskies are to win, both units will need to be in sync to beat SC for the third year in a row.

Prediction: USC 42, Washington 34
Jay Torrell – Scout.com Creative Print Director (7-1):

Truth be told, between the wood-shedding by another strong opponent and then the Penn State tire fire of a scandal I've barely given any thought to the upcoming USC game. My only real thought is that the Huskies need Keith Price to find his confidence which he lost after the first interception against Oregon. I thought several of the sacks versus Oregon were due to him being unwilling to make the quick decisive throw. If Price can't get back on the rails then the Dawgs have no shot against SC, Polk can't go it alone. Sorry for the Eeyore report, but it's been one depressing week of news and I don't see the Dawgs making it any better for Husky fans.

Prediction: USC 35, Washington 24
Joe Kaiser – Dawgman.com stud (7-2):

USC is a tough test for the Dawgs, probably too tough if you judge the way the teams have been playing of late. The Trojans hung tough with Stanford and nearly knocked off the Cardinal -- the same team that only a week earlier completely did whatever they wanted to the Huskies. Look for the Dawgs' defensive woes to continue in a forgettable game in LA.

Prediction: USC 38, Washington 24
Scott Eklund – Dawgman.com Recruiting guru (8-1):

Washington has to find some consistency on offense and that begins up front where the entire offensive line struggled against Oregon's swarming defense. The Huskies have to get RB Chris Polk going again and keep QB Keith Price upright. If they are able to do that, the Dawgs could come out of the Coliseum with their third win over the Trojans in as many years.

Prediction: Washington 30, USC 24
Dick Baird – former recruiting coordinator and LB coach (6-3):

Washington will defeat USC for the third consecutive year. What the Hell else do you expect me to predict? Polk goes for 150, Folk hits two big field goals, and Nate Fellner comes up with a game sealing interception to send the Huskies to their seventh victory in 2011.

Prediction: Washington 27, USC 23
Chris Fetters: Dawgman.com Editor-In-Chief (8-1):

Where last week was head versus heart, there are a lot of logical reasons to pick Washington at USC. First, UW has shown themselves to be extremely resilient, especially after a loss. The Huskies are 6-2 in 2010 and 2011 following a loss, so they usually bounce back with a strong effort. Secondly, it sure looks like Steve Sarkisian has the Trojans' number, whether it's been against his mentor, Pete Carroll, or against his good buddy Lane Kiffin. Third, Washington's defense has shown signs of coming around and playing like they showed at the end of last year, and I think they'll continue to improve Saturday. And lastly, I've always been a proponent of games being won and lost at the line of scrimmage. UW's offensive line won't be embarrassed by USC's DL, who hasn't shown a great ability to get after quarterbacks all year long. And conversely, Sark said Alameda Ta'amu had his best game of the year against Oregon, and I expect him to build off that performance. All signs point to a tight game where, as it has been the last two years, Erik Folk wins it at the end with a field goal.

Prediction: Washington 31, USC 28
Kim Grinolds: Dawgman.com Business Operations (8-1):

Nobody outside the USC staff knows USC like Sark. he's had their number the past few years. As well as he knows them, it will be tough to pull it off three years in a row, Washington will start off fast and take an early lead. But when it comes down to it, USC and Matt Barkley are just playing too well.

Prediction: USC 37, Washington 28
David R. Samek – Dawgman (7-2):

Washington's offense took a step backwards last Saturday against a defense that was frankly too fast for anything Washington could retaliate with. USC will pose similar problems. Chris Polk wasn't able to break free from the Oregon tacklers enough to put his patented yards-after-contact show on display. He'll suffer a similar fate against an improving USC defense on Saturday and Keith Price will throw two more interceptions as his confidence begins to wane. Jermaine Kearse drops are killing this team at times, and James Johnson isn't 100% healthy. I think Matt Barkley throws for 300+ and three bingos and Washington comes home 6-4, but with still a lot to play for. USC is looking too good right now.

Prediction: USC 45, Washington 23

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