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Dawgman Predictions - Utah

It's that time again - time for the Dawgman prognosticators to put their perfect records on the line. The No. 4 Washington Huskies hit the road to face No. 16 Utah Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. What does the Dawgman gang think about this gang? Are they in sync one more time, or is there some dissent in the ranks?

Patrick Thrapp - Numbers Guru (7-0)

I feel about this game with Utah as I did about the Stanford game. I have a tad bit of trepidation. I think it comes from the lack of confidence developed from prior regimes (Sark, etc). However, with our team speed we will be competitive. I have no doubt about that. Each game the Dawgs win makes the next game that much more exiting as the Huskies march on to what may become a perfect season. What I will be watching for is whether Utah's running back, Joe Williams, will have the stamina to last a whole game. I thought I heard he quit the first time because it was a lot of work, and he wasn't up to it. That may be urban legend. We fans will soon find out.

Prediction: Washington 34-23

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Johnb - Long time Husky fan (7-0)

Despite putting up a lot of points on the board last week against UCLA, the Utah offense has been pretty mediocre this season. I think the Washington defense will shut down the run early and put the game squarely on the shoulders of former UW QB Troy Williams. Troy has been talking revenge all week but his main concern should be getting out of the game healthy enough to finish the season. Washington is going to score early and often in this one just like they have all season. The Huskies have way too much balance on both sides of the ball for the Utes to compete.

Prediction: Washington 42-16

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Luke Mounger - Intern Extraordinaire (7-0)

We've got two teams who play solid defense, run the ball well, and force turnovers. What more could you want? This will be a big test for the Dawgs but I see this falling in Washington's direction. I think the Huskies will do a better job of preventing Joe Williams from breaking off huge runs. I also think Utah will have a harder time forcing bad throws and interceptions from Jake Browning. It will be close most of the way, but I see Washington pulling ahead and winning comfortably.

Prediction: Washington 27-13

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Jay Torrell - Sports Washington/Scout.com (7-0)

Dawgs stop the run...create 3rd & longs...fluster QB Troy Williams...win the turnover battle...force field goals instead of touchdowns...air it out...run it out...and methodically put away a banged up Utah team whose only advantage is playing at home.

Prediction: Washington 41-23

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Chris Fetters - Editor (7-0)

I know Troy Williams is geeked up for this game, but how will that show up when the bullets start flying? Will he try too hard to make plays? Will he settle down right away? How will he react? I expect Utah to go to Joe Williams early to calm things down and keep Washington’s offense off the field. But can the Utes sustain the game plan? Can Troy Williams make plays when down and distance situations get flipped against them? That’s the key. So far Utah is tenth in the league in third down conversions. Washington is first. Conversely, UW and Utah are much close in third down conversion defense - second and fourth, respectively. 

I have a feeling the Huskies will try and impose themselves physically, but will they be able to sustain drives in a hostile environment? In most of their runaway games this year they’ve had a chunk play early that settled the nerves and established a rhythm. And it was usually courtesy of John Ross or Dante Pettis.

Utah should give Washington their most physical test to date. It should be a slugfest. But UW has the depth, especially on defense, to keep coming at the Utes. And as always, the fundamental tenants apply: win the turnover battle, run the ball and stop the run. 

The Huskies won’t stop Joe Williams, but they can limit his effectiveness. In the end, Troy Williams wanted this game, and UW is going to make sure if Utah ends up winning, it’ll be because he beat them. 

I don’t think that will happen. As good as he was at the end of the USC game, Washington’s defense is better, and deeper.

Prediction: Washington 31-14 

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Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor (7-0)

Honestly, I have gone back and forth on this one. I just don't see UW going unscathed through their schedule and Utah is playing well right now, but they are still pretty banged up on defense and they allowed a one-dimensional UCLA team to throw for 464 yards and put up 45 points on them. Washington's offense should be able to put up some points and, as long as their defense plays like we think they can, they should be able to contain Joe Williams who has been Utah's most consistent threat. I'll take the Huskies in a nail-biter on the road. 

Prediction: Washington 34-28

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Kim Grinolds - CEO (7-0)

Another hostile game on the road. Washington better get used to it. When you're ranked in the top-5, you're going to get everybody's best shot. Unless you're Oregon. The hostile crowd won't have that much of an impact. It's not a big stadium at all. Capacity is 45,000. Oregon was pretty crazy and it didn't matter.
I just don't see Utah able to score enough points. Troy Williams is OK at best. Their defense gave up 45 points to a bad UCLA offense. 
The game will be close.........for a bit. UW will pull away in the second half. Jake Browning's Heisman campaign takes another step forward.
Prediction: Washington 34-10

 


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