Patrick Thrapp - Numbers Guru (2-0):
I need to get on my game with these predictions. Don’t want to put in another ‘pathetic’ one like last week. This will be the first game Utah State will play outside the state of Utah. They barely beat Southern Utah the first week, then gave Utah a good game the next week. I watched some of that game, and was impressed with their defensive line play. Will that be enough though? The Huskies got into a rhythm after the first quarter. I think this helped the offense get the feel of how to execute their plays. The one stat I like to gauge with is yards per seven points. Utah State is having to move twice as many yards as the DAWGS do. 165 to 81 yards / 7 points. I don’t think the score will be as close as the betting line indicates.
Prediction: Washington 35-16
Luke Mounger - Intern Extraordinaire (1-1):
Utah State is a team that demands respect. The Aggies have won 10 games in two of the last three seasons, and played 24th-ranked Utah tough last Friday night. They’re a defensive minded team that is aggressive in both scheme and effort. However, the Aggies have had issues moving the ball, particularly in the run game. Even with standout wide receiver Hunter Sharp returning from suspension, playing the Huskies at Husky Stadium will be problematic for the struggling Aggie offense. Saturday will certainly be a tough battle between two teams with solid defenses. Running the ball effectively will be key for both teams, and the emergence of Myles Gaskin paired with the talent of Dwayne Washington could give the Huskies the upper hand in that department.
Prediction: Washington 24-16
Jay Torrell - Sports Washington/Scout.com (2-0):
Utah State hasn't produced any kind of offense so far this year, scoring just nine points against Southern Utah and 14 against Utah. They've got no running game and an exciting but turnover prone quarterback. The in-game growth of Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin gives me confidence that the Dawgs will be able to keep the chains moving. More importantly, the defense is legit. The one thing that I heard prior to the season (via Damon Huard) that stuck with me was that the defense was going to be way better than anyone could have predicted. Great linebackers, athletic corners, strong core up front and special teams that, at a minimum, aren't a liability. This is the game that starts to get Husky fans excited to see what the rest of the season will bring.
Prediction: Washington 27-13
Chris Fetters - Editor (2-0):
Watching how Tennessee beat up Utah State last year - and Tennesse was an average SEC team at best in 2014 - makes me believe the Huskies have at least a 38-7 game in them. That was the final score of the USU-Tennessee game. Obviously getting off to a good start is key, but more than anything not getting off to a bad start is more important. You don't want to give a team like USU any more life than they deserve. The Aggies aren't an offensive juggernaut, and Washington's defense has been playing well enough to bottle them up for most of the game. I'd give Chuckie Keeton a lot of credit if he was healthy, but he's not. How will he react the first time he's blown up? How Jake Browning and the Washington offense take their next steps forward is what fans are really looking for, and Utah State's pressure front will certainly offer an initial test. The Huskies should win the turnover and special teams battles, which I'm going to predict should be good for at least 14 points Saturday. The Aggies won't give up too many explosives, so that short to intermediate passing game will be critical - as well as limiting penalties.
Prediction: Washington 38-7
Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor (2-0):
I am leery of this game.I know that Utah State has struggled some and that Washington should be able to win this game pretty easily, but I just feel like Chuckie Keeton is going to give the Huskies fits. A huge key for the Dawgs will be getting some pressure on Keeton early in the play. The secondary is still a work in progress for the Huskies and if the front four can get a good push, that should negate some of the youth that is still being served in the deep patrol. Offensively, the Huskies need to establish that running game and grind things out as Jake Browning continues to grow into the role as the starting quarterback. I see Myles Gaskin and Dwayne Washington putting up close to 200 yards and scoring a couple of touchdowns in this one and I think the Huskies will win, but it will be much closer than some people think.
Prediction: Washington 27-17
Kim Grinolds - CEO (2-0):
Expect a tight game for a while as Utah State's defense will give Jake Browning fits early. Defense and special teams will be the difference. It won't be pretty but a win is a win.