Derek Johnson, Columnist. Record: 5-4: Let's not kid ourselves about improved defensive play. It's not any better. The only thing that made us look better, and that kept UCLA from hanging 40-50 points on Washington, was that UCLA had a pure freshman at QB. If a moderately talented Jr. or Sr. had been at the helm, then many more of those open Bruin receivers would have been hit with completions. At the very start against OSU, watch the body language of the Beaver players compared to UW's players. Even before the kickoff, it will be evident that OSU wants it more. If Beaver QB Derek Anderson can have a good day, then Washington is 7-17 points worse than Oregon State, even at home. In my opinion, the Huskies' only chance to win this game is to BLITZ THE HELL OUT OF ANDERSON. Easy for me to say, yet it seems that we are reluctant to take that risk, constantly.
Prediction: Oregon State 34, Washington 23
Andy Poehlman, Columnist. Record: 5-3: Because the Huskies couldn't beat a mediocre team with an erratic true freshman for a quarterback at home last Saturday, I see no reason that they can beat a decent team with a very good pass defense this Saturday. Are the Huskies improving? Probably, but who cares? With this loss the Huskies will drop to 4-6 and that record doesn't really display how bad the Dawgs have been. However, the Dawgs are probably thanking their lucky stars for the horrendous scheduling earlier this year, or what looks like a bad record could be plain miserable.
Prediction: OSU 31, UW 27
Joe Kaiser, Columnist: Record: 6-3: Can the Huskies really go 4-6 and lose back to back home games in the process? Naw. I don't care how bad this team has played thus far in 2002, it's not going to happen. Somehow, following this Husky team, I have developed the kind of memory that cornerbacks are taught to have - a short one. Each new week and there seems to be new reasons why the Dawgs have a chance to rebound from poor performances the week before. This week, it's the new-found running game. The Huskies found something in the running game last week in the form of sophomore Chris Singleton. Look for Washington to have a more balanced attack this week, and for the defense to have more problems stopping the run than the pass. Oregon State has a future star in tailback Jackson. The Huskies are five-point underdogs at home to the Beavers, and they'll show why that only happens every 20 years or so. Look for the Huskies to battle hard on Senior day, and as a result, salvage a win - even if it's quite possibly their last of the season.
Prediction: UW 28, OSU 24
Rick Samek, Columnist. Record: 5-4: Ah, November -- wet, rainy, and breezy. Definite advantage goes to the team that can run it and keep a lid on the turnovers. OSU thrives in those two categories, Washington struggles because of them. Homecoming and a first-time QB starter didn't help last week. So we can't assume that "Seniors' last stand" will help any, either. What I'd like most to see is a football team having FUN out there, and not worry so much about what's transpired, because they can't do anything about it now - it's in the past. They CAN do something about Saturday, though. There's no sense in caution anymore - tell me, what's there left to be cautious about? A loss in the wake of trying not to lose just won't wash. Sevens instead of threes. Onside kick to start the game. Fourth-and-three at the OSU 40? Go for it. Circumstances might dictate saner options, of course - but you get my drift.
OSU probably senses that Washington will go after Derek Anderson, and so might go to a lot of quick stuff, given the elements, to frustrate the defense. Slants, delays, wide-receiver screens, shovel passes. Washington is basically playing one healthy back, and it is almost essential that they have success running, due to the weather and an OSU secondary that's playing lights out. The lines suggest that bettor confidence in Washington is nil - it opened at OSU -1.5, now it is up to -6. And looking at the past performance charts, it's hard not to follow the flow.
Prediction: Oregon State 31, Washington 19
Dawn Van Diest, Sports Washington. Record: 7-2: The real season is just starting, right ??? I've spent all week trying to "visualize" how the Dawgs are going to win this game tomorrow. When I sport my rose-colored glasses, I can "visualize" the team rallying for the seniors, for the fans, and for themselves. When I take them off, I visualize … well, it's not a pretty picture. I think I'll wear the glasses – the football world is a much happier place with them on. I've got to go call Grinolds now…
Dawgs 28, Beavers 27
Pat Thrapp, Columnist. Record: 6-3: Gosh I just don't know what to think. Is this a death spiral these DAWGs are in? I thought UW played better against UCLA except for one area. That being turnovers, and they have been brutal to this team. There doesn't seem to be any improvement in this area either. This Husky team got even worse in this category after the UCLA game. Will OSU's OL be easier to get push on? Can UW maybe rattle this young QB? I'd certainly enjoy seeing a win. Not for myself so much as just for the whole program. The coaches, the players, and the fans need a win. If this team can hang on to the rock. If Cody can be a tad more accurate. If special teams would perform adequately. If if if. I almost feel there are too many ifs to overcome. I hate to say it, and I am certainly not giving up on this team. But I have got to see gains now to be convinced. My head tells me UW will get clobbered Saturday. My heart yearns to pick the DAWGs. I am going to reluctantly follow my head this week.
Prediction: OSU 31, UW 27
Henry Han, Intern. Record: 5-4: Remember when beating the Beavers, Ducks, and Cougars was EXPECTED and not an UPSET? Oh how I long for those days. There is no doubt that our neighbors are foaming at the mouth to rub salt into these wounded Huskies. The Beavers' defense is the strength, and when Steven Jackson runs, they win. If he doesn't, they don't. With that in mind, I have a few requests. Please stop the run. Please stay healthy. Please remember that Chris Singleton has proven he can run the ball. Please don't gift wrap the footballs for the opposing secondary. And one last and most important request. This Saturday marks the last chance the Dawgs can "right the ship" in front of the home crowd. It'll be the last hurrah for all our seniors. Please, PLEASE win this one. The seniors deserve to at least win their final home game of their careers.
Prediction: Washington 28, Oregon State 21
Edwin Kim, Intern. Record: 3-4: Could the Huskies lose 4 in row? Is that something that we need to even consider? Could things be that bad? Am i really 3-4? Eventually a break will come our way. The crowd desparately wants to get behind this team. If nothing else then for the seniors. Senior day is a special day at Husky Stadium. If the Huskies want ANY shot at a bowl then they must win this game for the seniors. Everyone should remember the whooping that happened last year at potato salad stadium, including the players. If there is any competitive fire on this team they'll come out and start busting heads. What's going to happen? I have no clue, but the Huskies pull it out.
Prediction: Washington 27, OSU 21
Chris Fetters, Editor. Record: 6-3. Oregon State has started to re-discover their groove. In short, give it to Steven Jackson and get out of the way. That allows a lot of the heat to be taken off of Derek Anderson. Jackson scored three touchdowns against the Dawgs last year, and if the Beavs get inside the five, the chances of Steven getting the ball are about as good as a Chuck Nelson PAT. Automatic. It was Ken Simonton and Jackson last year as the Beavs ripped up the Dawgs; this year it's Jackson and Dwight Wright. Just like last weekend, the Huskies' game plan should be simple – limit Jackson and Wright's effectiveness and make the young QB beat them. Well, it would have worked against UCLA if they hadn't beaten themselves with four turnovers and shoddy special teams play. Once again, it will be a familiar refrain as the Washington defense steps up and bends enough to allow the offense a chance to snatch a 'W', but turnovers and special teams will wipe away the opportunities presented.
Prediction: OSU 35, UW 28
Kim Grinolds, Business Operations. Record: 4-5:OK. I've tried everything and I'm out of ideas. I've talked with coaches, players, soothsayers, and witch doctors, and I still don't really know what to think. It's been a strange season and it's bound to get stranger with the three northwest schools coming up next. So to analyze this … oops -- there go two of my cell phones. Gotta run, so I'll just say that I agree with Andy's prediction, whatever it is.
Prediction: OSU 31, UW 27
David Samek, Publisher. Record: 7-2: Oregon State has the finest cornerback (Dennis Weathersby) in the Pac-10 and Washington has arguably the best receiver in the Pac-10 in Reggie Williams. Oregon's defense is just as good as USC's is, maybe better. Washington struggled against USC's defense. Will the Husky OL be able to keep the Beaver pressure off of Cody Pickett? Will they be able to open enough holes so that Chris Singleton can make the OSU linebackers like Richard Siegler stay home and be honest? Also, can Washington's vaunted run defense stop the only smash-mouth running back in the Pac-10, OSU' s Steven Jackson? Jackson runs like Eddie George, and if you don't bottle him up at the line, he'll hurt you. Bad. I don't think Derek Anderson will have a big day against the UW in the rain, but I'm not sure OSU will need him to. Whoever wins the turnover differential statistic wins this game, and Washington has been terrible in that department.
Prediction: Oregon State 23, Washington 21
To read last week's predictions against UCLA, CLICK HERE.
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