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Dawgman Predictions - Peach Bowl

It's game day! It's the day Washington fans have waiting years for. It's the No. 4 Huskies traveling to Atlanta to face off against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide in the Peach Bowl. The winner gets to play for the national championship. Have the Dawgman folks reached a consensus in how they see this game playing out?

Patrick Thrapp - Numbers Guru (12-1)

This is probably the biggest game the Huskies have been in in quite some time. However I expect this to become more prevalent with our coach. As an old track coach use to say, "You have to be in the race to win it".  We are going up against a juggernaut, or so say the experts. I believe our defense will hold them in check. I am hoping they can keep it close. What I worry most about is whether we can move the chains against them. I just want us to be competitive, and maybe have a chance to win it in the end. I am expecting a low scoring game.

Prediction: Alabama 28-17

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Johnb - Long Time Husky Fan (12-1)

Nobody thinks Washington is going to win except Washington and that is exactly the way Chris Petersen likes it. You shouldn’t bet against Coach Pete when he has had a month to prepare for an opponent. This however isn’t just any opponent…this is mighty Alabama and they are being touted as the best college football team in the history of the sport. That is heady praise, but when you consider that the Tide have won four national championships since 2009 perhaps the experts are right. I guess you need to be a real homer to pick the Huskies and that is exactly what I am a real purple tinted glass wearing homer. Washington has the definite edge at QB. A rested Jake Browning should be able to exploit the Bama secondary if the OL can give him some time. It’s a big if because Alabama is extremely fast so he is going to need to get the ball off quickly. If John Ross can get behind the Alabama secondary a couple of times for some big plays it can change the dynamic of the game. I feel confident about our defense. The Husky defense has the ability to keep Bama in check and pick up some turnovers. If that happens they should be right, there with them at the end of the game.

Prediction: Washington 31-21

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Luke Mounger - Intern Extraordinaire (12-1)

We'll know what kind of game this will be early. If Bama is able to jump off to an lead and Washington struggles out the gates, the Dawgs will be in for a long day. On the other hand, if the Huskies come out confident and make some noise early, this one could come down to the wire. I understand that turning the ball over is not within Washington's best interest, especially against a defense as capable of making plays as Alabama, but at the same time I think the Huskies need to try to make something happen. Alabama isn't going to give anybody many chances by making mistakes; whether it's a deep ball, trick play, or anything of the sort, it's on Washington to create opportunities for themselves. The Tide are good, but so are the Huskies. It's an uphill battle, but I'm a homer.

Prediction: Washington 24-17

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Jay Torrell - Sports Washington/Scout.com (12-1)

Yes, I think that the Huskies can beat Alabama. No, I do not think that the Huskies will beat Alabama. Just too much has to go right. Create turnovers, get turnovers, run the ball, stop the run, force Hurts to make mistakes, Browning can’t make a single mistake, protect the QB, get to the QB, win the field position battle, get 7 instead of 3 in the red zone, force Bama to get 3 instead of 7 in the red zone, big plays on special teams, give up NO big plays on special teams, etc, etc, etc… The Dawgs have had a beautiful season that I wish I would have appreciated more while it was happening rather than worrying over the playoff rankings and what the SECPN blowhards had to say. Go Dawgs, Beat Bama!

Prediction: Alabama 30-23

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Chris Fetters - Editor (12-1)

What an experience so far in Hot 'Lanta! The hospitality, the sea of purple and gold, Der Biergarten...I could go on and on. This is what I remember about Washington Football growing up in the shadow of Don James. It's back. Who knows for how long, so enjoy it UW fans. As we know all too well, success is fleeting so bask in the moment and enjoy every second of the Peach Bowl.

Alabama is No. 1 in the country for a reason: they are undefeated, and they have a defense that simply is built to overwhelm opponents and win championships. They may be beatable, but no one has figured out that formula yet.

I believe Washington's defense will make it tough for Jalen Hurts to get comfortable. I think they are going to make Bama earn every point they get. I also think they are going to do everything they can to limit turnovers and give Alabama short fields. I also do buy the fact that Alabama is probably overlooking UW to a certain degree. But how long will it take for them to snap to attention? A series? A quarter? A half? Knowing Nick Saban's reputation, I'd expect it to be sooner, rather than later.

And in the end, 'm just not seeing how Washington's offense scores more points than the Crimson Tide. I don't see how they are going to run the ball and I don't see how Jake Browning is going to suddenly come good in the most important game of the year where he has struggled mightily in some of the biggest games up to this point. There's no question he has the ability, but will the offensive line give him time? Will the running backs be able to create some balance that makes the Washington offense tick over when it's at its best?

No one has cracked that code so far against Alabama, and given that this is basically a home game for the Crimson Tide, I don't expect them to to get cracked this close to home. UW will keep it close, they will have their moments, but like they have for most of the season Alabama will keep grinding away and slowly distance themselves to the point where they'll win the game. 

Prediction: Alabama 34-16 

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Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor (11-2)

A segment of the Husky fanbase has been saying "we want 'Bama" for a while...well...you got your wish. The Crimson Tide is big, they are fast and they are physical. Washington is no slouch, but can they handle what the SEC champs and consensus number one team in the country will throw at them? The Huskies will need a big day from Jake Browning, but that doesn't mean he needs to throw for 400 yards and five scores. He needs to manage the game well, not turn it over and he cannot...I repeat...CANNOT...hold the ball too long. If it's not there...throw it away and live for another play. They also need to at least run effectively on first or second down. Stay ahead of the chains and keep the Crimson Tide on their heels. Defensively, I think the Huskies have the horses to take it to the Alabama offense, but I do not like their matchup with Jalen Hurts who is one of the best runners in the country from the QB spot. If they can't keep him in check and limit his effectiveness...they could be in trouble. I think UW keeps it close for three quarters, but eventually Alabama pulls away for a relatively easy win.

Prediction: Alabama 34-17

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Kim Grinolds - CEO (12-1)

This game is nothing new for Alabama. They've been here before. This is strictly a business trip for them or so it seems.  They are big they are talented and they are very well coached. On top of that they're very deep.  Make no mistake Washington is and should be an underdog  this is far and away the best team Washington has faced.

I've said before Washington will not be able to out talent Alabama. In order to win they will need to out-scheme, out-coach, out-execute and out-fundamental Alabama. But again, it's Alabama. That's asking a lot.

Expect Washington to be the team with more emotion. Expect them to want it more. This is more than a business trip for them. 

Expect to see them in Tampa.

Prediction: Washington 27-24

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