Derek Johnson, Columnist. Record: 5-5: The fact that Onterrio Smith is not 100% could actually HURT Washington, as Oregon will turn toward the passing game. The Huskies' own passing attack will strike for big plays, and will keep this contest close, despite no ability to run the ball (much to the delight of the Autzen noise-mongers). Alas, the home field advantage will prove to be too much.
Prediction: Oregon 35, Washington 31
Andy Poehlman, Columnist. Record: 5-4: Gosh darn it I want to pick the Huskies to go down to Eugene and avenge one of the worst losses in school history (the 2000 loss; bad only because it cost us a shot at the MNC). I mean, I feel like I'm 4... I wanna, I wanna, I wanna! However, I can't. Even though it seemed like we played better last week, we did so against a team that played (at least offensively) poorly. I will root like heck, but I don't think it will matter.
Prediction: Oregon 38, UW 24
Joe Kaiser, Columnist: Record: 7-3: Following last week's strong performance against the Beavers, I think the Huskies have some confidence for the first time in a long time. The fact remains, however, that they cannot play on the road. Look for this game to be a constant struggle. Oregon won't be able to contain Washington passing, and the Huskies will have tremendous difficulty stopping the Ducks Onterrio Smith to short yardage. They say that Autzen isn't as loud as it used to be, but I think there will be plenty of cheering for Ducks fans on Saturday. It'll be close, but Oregon wins with a strong fourth quarter.
Prediction: Oregon 35, UW 27
Rick Samek, Columnist. Record: 5-5: Hmmm, I'm 5-5 in this segment. Amazing that they even ask for my pick anymore -- my "expert opinion" (better known as "flatulence") falls somewhere in between Popular Mechanics, who in 1949 bravely and successfully predicted that computers would someday weigh no more than 1.5 tons, and Decca Records, who in 1962 figured that guitar music was on the outs and so wanted no part of The Beatles.
So we find Mercury aligning with Uranus, which we all know acts disruptively to such influence. At the same time, Mars conjoins with Juno, which is passing over the mid-point of the Mercury/Pluto arc, thereby calling for a day of free left turns. Tomorrow the Moon enters Taurus to begin its astral conjunction with Venus, so avoid macaroni, macramé, and the Macarena at all costs (though a change of deodorants might be a good idea).
Saturday is also Emperor Nero's 2044th birthday, who never played a violin in his life. It all adds up to one thing.
Prediction: Washington 24, Oregon 23
Dawn Van Diest, Sports Washington. Record: 8-2: Just do it!!! I just CAN'T do it !! I don't even know how to predict an Oregon victory over the Dawgs, not even for the sake of trying to protect my lead in the infamous dawgman.com prediction standings. I am a believer that Autzen is haunted with the spirit of countless Husky greats and I like our chances on Saturday. If the Huskies can have fewer turnovers than the number of billboards in Eugene, they will find a way to keep the winning streak alive.
Huskies 31, The Dreaded Ducks 27
Pat Thrapp, Columnist. Record: 6-4: Last week I lost faith. I bought into the nay Sayers, the moan & groan crew, the doomsday crowd. At the OSU game I saw a persistence that had been missing. Even some patience was displayed during the game. This week I feel like UW has the best chance to finally get a win on the road. The matchups are the DAWGs passing machine (#1 Pac-10/#4 nation) against a poor passing defense (Pac-10 #9). Oregon's running attack (Pac-10 #2) against the DAWGs stingy run D (#3 Pac-10, #10 nation). If the Ducks play to defend the pass, I think UW gets a good day running the ball. Finally looking like a balanced offense. If Oregon plays to stop the run UW goes up top for what could be a track meet. Still the single most important part of this game is to protect the ball. UW has to play near error free ball again to have a chance. Stopping Onterrio Smith would have to be #2 though. For the superstitious Derek will NOT be at my place to watch the game where he is 0 for 7.
Prediction: Washington 34, Oregon 33
Henry Han, Intern. Record: 6-4: This could have been a "spoiler" game where we could have gone down to Eugene and spoiled Oregon's chances of going to Pasadena. But then again, that has already taken place. With Oregon's history of giving up the yardage through the air, this is the game where Cody Pickett will go to the air not because he has to, but because it's the opposing team's weakness. Records will fall at this game as Reggie Williams and Cody Pickett will more than likely take over first place in many offensive categories. But that does not mean much unless they get the win. I'm holding out hope. Watching the Huskies play a generally mistake-free game last week gave me more hope in this team. But it's going to be hard to win in Autzen. I want to be wrong. . .
Prediction: Oregon 31, Washington 24
Edwin Kim, Intern. Record: 4-4: This is a tough, tough game to pick. My intuition tells me that the Huskies should be able to torch the duck secondary for a lot of yards. My intuition also tells me that the Husky run defense is good enough to contain Onterrio Smith. My brain tells me that the Huskies haven't won a game on the road in over a year. My brain also tells me that the ducks haven't beaten anyone significant this year. The ducks are a little dinged up and the Dawgs are relatively healthy. When my brain fights intuition my brain usually loses. I will not under principle pick the ducks to win this game. My intuition says Huskies anyway. A win this week would feel sweeter than any other. I'll be there, loud and purple clad.
Prediction: UW 31, Oregon 20
Chris Fetters, Editor. Record: 6-4. I had a talk with a local beat writer during the second half of the UW-CWU exhibition game Tuesday, and we were hashing out the UW-UO football game. I told him, 'Once again, it's going to be a case where special teams, field position and turnovers are going to be the key.' He countered with, 'And those are things the Huskies just aren't that good at this year.' He's right. And add onto that the fact that the Ducks are hungry and angry after a bitter loss in the Palouse, I just don't see how the Huskies will win. They will compete hard, like they have all year, but this Oregon team has done a good job in the turnover area. Washington has doubled them up (22 to 11) this year. Add to that the fact that the Ducks did an incredible job bottling up UW deep in their own territory numerous times in 2000, showing Bellotti can play the field-position game as well as anybody. The 'x-factor' here is Jason Fife. Will he have a 'Drew Olson' day against the Dawgs, or a 'Derek Anderson' day? Onterrio Smith should be able to provide enough offense and take enough of the spotlight away from Fife that Andy Ludwig should be able to give him easy, safe throws. Oregon wins it late on a big Keenan Howry-return to start their final drive and a Jared Siegel FG in the waning moments to seal the deal.
Prediction: Oregon 31, UW 28
Kim Grinolds, Business Operations. Record: 4-6: Keenan Howry will give the Huskies fits on punt returns, particularly on low punts. He's a dangerous weapon. Washington counters with my favorite quarterback in the country. Paul Arnold, Reggie Williams, and Eddie Jackson will drool when they see the height of the Oregon defensive backs. CB Marques Binns is listed at 5-11. OK, and I can dunk a basketball and Vince Weathersby was the fastest Husky tailback of all-time. Pickett lights up Autzen and leads the Huskies to their second victory in a row.
Prediction: Washington 31, Oregon 28
David Samek, Publisher. Record: 7-3: OK. I blew last week's game, and I LOVE being wrong. It takes all of the pressure off, you know? It can't be fun to have to be right all of the time, and I enjoyed the HELL out of being wrong last week. Standing on the field as the happy players and coaches filed past reminded me of just how fun it can be to be wrong. But this week, I'm going to be right. Take it to the bank. Why? Because Oregon is feeling a bit down right now and Washington is feeling pretty good about itself after a win last week. The defense is getting it figured out, Nate Robinson has been a real shot in the arm in the secondary. Onterrio Smith is not healthy and Washington's run defense will bend a little for Terrence Whitehead but they won't break. Duck QB Jason Fife has shown a penchant for getting happy feet and not standing in like Joey Harrington did. I think UW will find a way to get pressure on him and force him into a couple of mistakes. Washington will not run well against Oregon but Cody Pickett will torch that Duck secondary for 350+ yards and if he can limit the turnovers to one or less, Dawgs win. I say he does it.
Prediction: Washington 27, Oregon 21
To read last week's predictions against Oregon State, CLICK HERE.
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