Dawgman.com Predictions - Week II

Well, after game 1, the Huskies showed some promise in a lot of areas. They looked well coached and more organized, but the bottom line is that they lost to a very mediocre Air Force team. Game 2 is much more important, as it is a conference opener. How will the Dawgs fare this week? Here is what our crack staff thinks.

Rick Samek, Columnist. Record: 1-0.

I got this funny feeling that the majority of the staff here may lean towards a Husky upset, for all the correctly evolutionary reasons.

But evolution just ain't my shot of Jack. While Cal might be more predictable this week in Ayoob's first go, they've still got a bunch of 350-pounders and one Marshawn Lynch to predicate with. Defensively, even though they've got a horde of new faces, they'll be bringing better athletes at Isaiah than did Air Force. Cal has outscored Washington 96-19 over the last eight quarters. While Ty's first home game will no doubt be closer than that, I think he'll have to look to Idaho next week to get off the 0-fer train.

Prediction: California 23, Washington 17
David Samek, Publisher. Record: 0-1.

While the Dawgs looked more organized last week, they'll need to show marked improvement to beat Cal. Cal won't really know much about Washington, but the Dawgs won't know much about Cal either, as the Bears were super vanilla in their opener where their QB looked very inexperienced. Expect that to change on Saturday, as the Husky secondary will get tested, and often.

Washington will attempt to cheat to keep Marshawn Lynch in line, and it will cost them as Cal opens up the playbook and methodically picks apart the Husky defense. Isaiah Stanback looked great in his opener and I expect him to put some points on the scoreboard, just not enough of them. Louis Rankin is going to be a fine back as well, and will only get better. But his is only game two, and I see a Cal victory.

Prediction: California 31, Washington 19
Max Waugh, Sideline Photographer. Record: 0-1.

What a tough proposition. Hammer the line in an attempt to stop a top-notch running back and put some pressure on a rookie quarterback, or hang back and help out your depleted secondary and protect yourself from the schemes of an offensive genius. That's the dilemma facing Kent Baer and Co. this week.

Nearly as important... how will Isaiah Stanback hold up against a much tougher defense, which is likely to force him into some of the mistakes Air Force couldn't?

Prediction: California 20, UW 10
Derek Johnson, Columnist. Record: 0-1.

I know there has been much talk of Cal's replacement QB Joseph Ayoob struggling mightily last week. Many people have cited this as an advantage for Washington this week. But California coach Jeff Tedford will have his guy settled down and ready to play. The Husky defense will have its hands full with both Ayoob and RB Marshawn Lynch.

Despite the empty feeling of defeat following the collapse against Air Force, I felt better about the team than I did following last year's victory over San Jose State. At least the Air Force defensive line didn't compare the Husky offensive line to female genitalia - as happened last year vs. San Jose State.

The law of averages suggests that the Huskies are due to have things turn their way. But we will see another hard-fought game turn toward Cal in the 4th quarter. There's no escaping that Cal has superior athletes and depth than Washington.

Prediction: California 34, Washington 23
Chris Fetters, Editor. Record: 1-0.

There's no question that Cal's quarterbacking situation means that there is a chance the Golden Bears are ripe for the picking, but there's still a hole in that theory. It means Washington would still have to outscore Cal, and that's just not going to happen. Isaiah Stanback is starting to really take control of the Huskies' offense, and there's no question that weapons are starting to emerge in the passing game to compliment the ground game of Louis Rankin and (the possible return of) Kenny James. But the Golden Bears are much better defensively than Air Force and they will force some turnovers. Offensively, Marshawn Lynch is poised to carve up Washington's defense, as he can catch the ball as well as he runs. And new QB Joe Ayoob may throw some poor passes in the UW secondary, but right now Washington is just not talented enough in the deep-third to make the Golden Bears pay for those miscues. And if Ayoob does get comfortable, Lavelle Hawkins and DeSean Jackson are big-time deep threats and each could have 100-yard-plus receiving efforts against a banged-up Washington cornerbacking corps. The Huskies of 2005 don't know about being down in a game until very, very late. Saturday I predict they will have to deal with the extra burden of having to come back while behind, and maybe early on. Consider this game just another lesson learned on the way to re-building a once-proud program.

Prediction: California 35, Washington 17
Race Bannon, Columnist. Record: 0-1.

Race's predictions each week, as well as his wacky satirical outlook on the rest of the college football world, can be found in his weekly column aired exclusively here on Dawgman.com:

CLICK HERE: Duckfighter Illustrated

Prediction: California 27, Washington 20
Joe Kaiser, Intern Emeritus. Record: 0-1.

I remember back in 2001 when the Huskies were playing in Strawberry Canyon and trailing Cal by a wide margin at halftime. Dawgman leaned over to me in the press box and whispered, "Don't worry, Cal doesn't beat Washington." Sure enough, the Dawgs roared back behind Cody Pickett and pulled out the win, extending their streak of dominance. Boy have times changed - since then, the Bears have beaten the Dawgs three years in a row. I expect that streak to continue when the teams meet up again in Seattle this weekend, despite the Huskies best efforts. UW will try to make Cal one-dimensional, but as last week showed, even if they are successful it won't necessarily translate into a win.

Prediction: California 27, Washington 13
Kim Grinolds, Business Operations. Record: 0-1.

Cal was horrible last week despite beating the powerhouse football school known as Sacramento State. This might give Husky fans a ray of hope that maybe Cal just isn't that good. They weren't last week. Cal didn't bring their " A" game last week. They didn't even bring their "B" game. They just showed up. Expect Cal to show up with their "A" game this week. I'm sure Jeff Tedford is absolutely giddy about his offensive game plan this week after looking at UW's DB's last week.

It's going to be a long day in front of 51,000 strong.

Prediction: California 35, Washington 10
Pat Thrapp, Columnist. Record: 0-1.

Here comes California to town, albeit limping slightly. I am afraid though it won't be enough. I sense it could be a close game. UW needs to get every point it can, plus a special team, or defensive TD to win in my opinion. The Huskies should be able to run the ball some against Cal. The passing game is still a work in process. Cal will be running the ball for sure. At least until the QB gets his feet under him.

Prediction: California 27, Washington 20
Scott Eklund, New kid on the block. Record: 0-1.

After watching the Huskies play much better than I anticipated for over 50 minutes last week against Air Force, I am encouraged this team is heading in the right direction. However, the California Golden Bears are a much different proposition for our beloved Dawgs. The Huskies must stop talented RB Marshawn Lynch in order to have any shot at a win this week. If they can stop him, new QB Joseph Ayoob will have to win the game, something he showed last week is very much in question. The Cal passing game, if Ayoob is better than he appeared last week, should be able to eat the Huskies alive. Offensively, head coach Tyrone Willingham has stated the coaching staff will allow Isaiah Stanback to "express himself" more than they did against Air Force. If that is the case, the Huskies could be looking at a win in their first Pac Ten game. I don't see it in the cards however, as the Bears are too talented in a number of key areas. I see the Huskies playing well, but falling to the Bears.

Prediction: California 35, Washington 24
Dick Baird, Columnist. Record: 0-1

I hate predicting, if you couldn't tell. Why? Because I can never pick against the Dawgs. That is, and always will be my mindset. I coached at this great school, and it's hard to imagine them NOT going into a game with a great chance to win. It's just who I am, and I have never been able to pretend to be any different. Given that, I am predicting a Husky upset. Stanback runs for a TD late to pull of the conference opening win for this team that badly needs it.

Prediction: Washington 27, California 24
To see last week's predictions, CLICK HERE

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