Dawgman.com Predictions

The opener is here Dawg fans! The Huskies travel south to pay a visit to the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Oregon has perhaps the best offensive line in the conference and two pretty big time running backs. Washington will need to slow the rushing attack and make a new quarterback beat them. Here is how the staff sees the first game unfolding tomorrow night.

Dawgman: Openers are a lot like a box of chocolates. You never really know what you are going to get. Washington will unveil a brand new defensive look and scheme that features more speed up front and more size in the back. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be successful in stopping the run. Oregon will no doubt attempt to run it right up the undersized Husky front line. The one guy Oregon won't have an answer for is Jake Locker. Locker will prove to be much more of a threat with his arm in 2008, and I believe that he'll show that tomorrow night by not throwing interceptions, keeping his throws crisp, and methodically moving the offense with short throws to the tight end and flankers. Upset in the opener, says the Dawgman.

PREDICTION: Washington 24, Oregon 20
Kim Grinolds – Managing Partner: Playing at Autzen is tough enough, but playing at Autzen with young guys is asking a lot. There's talented youth at WR and RB, but you need them to step up and do things they've never done at arguably the toughest place top play in the Pac 10. Jake will have his moment, but at the end of the day, youth, turnovers, and special teams will be the story line for the game.

PREDICTION: Oregon 38, Washington 17
Chris Fetters – Editor-in-Chief: With so many young variables and so much to put in the 'unknown' category, instinct tells me to fall back on a predictable pattern; so I'll predict a loss. What's the DL rotation like? Can they stop an Oregon offense that ran for 10,000 yards last year? Who is going to catch the ball? Who is going to run the ball? Is 'Baby Bush' really Reggie Bush, or he just another true freshman (one of too many) taken from the frying pan and thrown into the fire? The offensive line and Jake Locker will keep things close and bust the spread, but six on 11 usually isn't a winning formula, especially on the road.

PREDICTION: Oregon 37, Washington 28
Scott Eklund – Columnist: Washington and Oregon facing off in week one? In the age of T.V. dictated schedules and the need for the almighty dollar, unfortunately you see heated rivalries like this earlier and earlier. Hopefully, this won't happen again, but either way we need a prediction. Jake Locker will be better at throwing the ball and with their offensive line, they should be able to run on Oregon pretty well. The problem is, Oregon can say the same thing about their offensive line against Washington's defensive front four. With 230-pound JC transfer LaGarrette Blount likely to see the bulk of the carries at running back, the Husky defense will have its hands full. The Dawgs are double-digit "dogs" and they should cover the spread, but sadly, I don't see them winning the game.

PREDICTION: Oregon 33, Washington 28
Dick Baird – Columnist: Washington's defense is going to surprise a lot of pundits, starting this Saturday. And Chris Polk is a man-child in the Husky backfield. He is very fast and a tough runner that will surprise Oregon. Oregon turns the ball over three times, Jake throws for two touchdowns and runs for one and Polk goes for just under 100 yards but scores the deciding touchdown in the fourth quarter.

PREDICTION: Washington 28, Oregon 17
Patrick Thrapp – Number cruncher extraordinaire: I feel the DAWGs will play Oregon tough. I even think they will keep it close for most of the game. Yet I think some of our youth will make their customary mistakes. Although Oregon has some areas that might also make mistakes. To me this is a litmus test of how this Husky team has progressed (or not) from last year. I kind of have the feeling we may run the ball more this year.

Prediction: Oregon 35, Washington 27
Derek Johnson – Columnist: A common argument put forth by many UW fans is that it's good to catch Oregon early in the year, before their offense gets on track. I am not sold on that notion. While Duck QB Justin Roper may be skinny and relatively immobile, he's got a great arm with which to throw to a talented stable of receivers. Roper's also complemented by a solid offensive line and two good running backs. In addition, Oregon is playing for the memory of their late teammate Todd Doxey. Conversely, a giant question mark hovers over Washington's Jake Locker's health status. When you combine that with so many freshmen making their debuts in the noisiest stadium in the Pac-10, a long night is at hand for the Dawgs.

PREDICTION: Oregon 38, Washington 27
Chris Scott - Columnist: This game will be won in the trenches on both sides of the ball. A hungry, veteran O-Line that has never beaten Oregon will finally get its "W" in Autzen. An inexperienced interior D-Line for Oregon will leave big holes for Chris Polk to run wild, which in turn will open up the option for Locker. I expect the Huskies to utilize the TE like the old days and stay away from the daunting Duck secondary. This game has the makings of a shootout and the first victory over Oregon in 5 years.

PREDICTION: Washington 41 Oregon 28


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