Dawgman.com Predictions

Washington is 2-1 entering Pac-10 play after an exciting win over Fresno State in Seattle. UCLA is 2-0 and features a speedy defense, the most accurate passer in the Pac-10, and the top rusher in the Pac-10. What does this mean? Here is what my staff thinks about Saturday afternoon's match up.

David Samek – Publisher: Tim Lappano needs to find that same magic that worked with Isaiah Stanback last weekend, where his quarterback knew when to run and knew when to hit the turf. The offensive line had to get away from what the do best last weekend – running the ball between the tackles – because Fresno State had two 330-pounders inside. UCLA relies more on quickness, so if Daniels, Garcia, and Walker can hold their blocks and Palaita can clear out the hole, Rankin and James will only need to make one guy miss. Also, the UCLA linebackers will need to spy on Isaiah, further opening things up. I look for Marcel Reece to pose big problems for the diminutive UCLA corners, and also look for Marlon Wood to break a long punt return. Ben Olson passes for over 300 yards but the Huskies win this one to improve to 3-1 and become even more dangerous.

PREDICTION: Washington 23, UCLA 21
Kim Grinolds – Managing Partner: Unless UW can devise a scheme in the secondary or get big time pressure on the QB, Ben Olson will have a big day. He is too accurate and doesn't look like he rattles too easily, being that he's 23-years old. The Huskies will somehow need to get to him, or cover receivers that are faster than they are. That is not a recipe for success that the Huskies have just yet.

PREDICTION: UCLA 35, Washington 10
Chris Fetters – Editor-in-Chief: The Huskies come off a solid win over a tough team in Fresno State, but the Bruins come calling...the one nice thing about this game is that Washington - if they play up to expectation - can hang with the Bruins, especially if they are able to run the ball like they did against them last year. Apparently UCLA's calling card on defense now is toughness, which is kind of funny in one respect and kind of scary in another. I don't think UCLA will play many teams that are as physical as what UW is going to be on Saturday, but I just don't see a defensive remedy for a potent Bruin attack. UCLA 42-28

PREDICTION: UCLA 42, Washington 28
Scott Eklund – Columnist: Washington finally won a close game and didn't let it slip through their fingers and to top it off, they made the play that won it. Have they gotten over the proverbial hump so they can start winning some close games? They've definitely made strides, but I think they still have a ways to go to become consistent enough to do that week-in and week-out. This dynamic UCLA Bruin offense comes to town this week and they've racked 221 yards per game through the air. All this while Washington's defense is surrendering 245 per game. Things could get ugly if the Huskies are unable to generate a pass-rush this weekend, as QB Ben Olson has the ability and weapons to pick them apart. The Huskies should find running the ball easier and that is imperative if they want to win this game. QB Isaiah Stanback must have another error-free game as well. I think the Huskies keep it close, but in the end the Bruins will pull it out.

PREDICTION: UCLA 31, Washington 27
Dick Baird – Columnist: Washington's defense is tackling better than they were last year, particularly late in games. Isaiah Stanback looks much more confident, and should be, after his performance on Saturday. Louis Rankin and Kenny James' carries will go down slightly now that Stanback has been established as a running nightmare, but it will make those carries more quality ones, because the linebackers will be fussing with what #4 is going to do. UCLA's QB is outstanding, but the Bruins will be the team that withers in the end, not the Huskies. Michael Braunstein connects on a late field goal to push the Huskies to victory and a top the Pac-10 standings after this weekend.

PREDICTION: Washington 24, UCLA 21
Race Bannon – Satire columnist: Race Bannon puts out his weekly predictions in his featured magazine Duckfighter Illusrtrated. You can follow Race's zany and clever lampooning of the Pac-10 and the rest of the nation each week here at Dawgman.com.

PREDICTION: Washington 30, UCLA 27
Patrick Thrapp – numbers guy: UCLA is coming to Husky Stadium with what looks like a pretty good defense. At least that is what the numbers say. What does that really mean though this early in the season? Everybody knows they have had our number for some years. Although the Huskies seem to put up a good fight for a while in past games. Now this Husky team appears even better. Will our DAWGs improve from last week to this week? If so this game could very well be a DAWG win. To do that though, they will need to take care of the ball, convert more 3rd downs, and play with more consistency. All very possible. My fear is our secondary getting torched by Olsen. You have to figure most Pac-10 teams feel that this where they can whoop us. With that in mind our defense has got to make Olson uncomfortable in the pocket. Otherwise I fear it could be a long afternoon for our defense.

PREDICTION: UCLA 27, Washington 23
Rick Samek – Columnist: After last week's Pulitzer prize-winning entry (boy, did I woefully over-estimate Fresno State's credentials – and Isaiah earned every accolade for a game well-managed), it's clear that I haven't a clue as to Washington's upcoming football fortunes. In August I boldly predicted a two-win season, and now it's clear that the only way that can happen is if the rest of the PAC-10 referees follow Gordon Riese's lead and take a leave-of-absence for the rest of the season, with no further games being played. But since there will be a game played this Saturday … I'd worry about the "giddy" factor. UCLA won't be the only test this week - the Huskies haven't been above .500 in a long spell, and the trap of suddenly feeling so good about themselves that they lose focus of keeping their nose-to-the-grindstone looms large. And it shouldn't be that way – remember guys, you have won ONE league game since the 2003-2004 season. That's a lot of cellar time. What better way of climbing out than to beat a team that has snatched it from your paws the last two seasons, and has beaten you five straight to boot. I mean, GAWD that was nice to hear the noise again, wasn't it? A long-lost friend returned. Let's hope it's more than just a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am reunion. I'm betting this week that it is.

PREDICTION: Washington 30, UCLA 24
Aaron Beach – Columnist: There's no questioning it. Last weeks victory was a landmark win for this program. The Huskies were the talk of the water cooler Monday morning and you could smell the momentum shifting just as sure as rain falls in Seattle, but that doesn't change the fact the UCLA is coming to town, and they have the Dawgs number. Isaiah Stanback will run all over an underwhelming Bruin defense, but if anyone can make Bruin QB Ben Olson look like a Heisman candidate, it's the Husky secondary. If the Dawgs can stop the run and force Olson to make mistakes, they have a shot.

PREDICTION: UCLA 31, Washington 17
Henry Han – Seattle Times: Nate Robinson's buzzer-beater at Oregon State over three years ago was the point where Washington basketball returned. Could Caesar Rayford's blocked extra point do the same thing for Washington football? That may be a little too much to ask for, but the Huskies are coming in with a world of confidence in their system. That may be enough to edge UCLA, who hasn't exactly looked like their cross-town brethren USC thus far this season. If Isaiah Stanback's up-again-down-again roller coaster performance remains UP, then my gut instinct says that the resurgence of the Huskies will continue. If not, then I'm going to find myself in a UCLA sweater on Sunday, singing the UCLA fight song at the losing end of a bet with a buddy.

PREDICTION: Washington 21, UCLA 17
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