Dawgman.com Predictions

Seattle, WA – The #3 USC Trojans come to town for a visit to play the 1-1 Washington Huskies. The Trojans are coming off a huge win at Ohio State while the Huskies are coming off their first win in over 600 days. Here is how the staff sees it going down on Saturday afternoon.

Derek Johnson – published author: Heading into the LSU game, a friend contemplated betting a decent sum of money on the Dawgs. But he decided not to, after getting my opinion among some other factors. I told him that LSU would crush the Huskies 45-13. After the Huskies lost but covered the spread, he was grumbling. "I did bet a fair amount," he said, "but you cost me some money." Now heading into the USC game, he's wondering what I'm thinking. So I say it now with all of you as witnesses: Jake Locker and team enthusiasm will keep the Huskies in the game for the first half. But regardless of who's quarterbacking USC, the Trojans possess too much firepower and discipline for the Huskies to match. The second half will be a methodical dissection of the UW defense. Take the Trojans and give the points!

USC 45, Washington 20

Pat Thrapp – numbers guy: It sure was sweet watching a Husky team get a win finally. Now on to the USC game. This game should tell us just how far this team has come, or how far they have to go. I expect this team will score over 20, but I expect USC will score plenty more. Although 22 more seems like a lot. Against Ohio St USC's defense was hitting hard. Idaho certainly controlled the ball against our DAWGs with their good passing offense. That surprised me. If USC can that with their superb running game, the Huskies will have their hands full this Saturday afternoon. With that said I think this team will keep it less than the current spread.

USC 45 - UW 23

Aaron Beach – Dawgman.com hoops guy: UW must pull a shocking upset in 2009 in order to punctuated the return of UW football and to properly introduce the Steve Sarkisian era at Montlake. Could it happen Saturday against the men of Troy? Absolutely. Will it? Probably not. The Dawgs feature the best player on the field (yes including Taylor Mays) and a huge advantage at the QB position. Sarkisian has been game planning for this rivalry since the day he accepted the UW Coaching position and we will see plays that may only be called for this game. Locker will play a spectacular game and do everything in his power to keep the Dawgs close. However, this game will be won or lost in the trenches and I do not expect a Husky win. Chris Polk will eat humble pie from the team he decommitted from and the Trojan o-line will run the ball well over 30 times. Do not leave early as this one is a nail-biter.

USC 31 UW 28

Jay Torrell – Scout.com Executive Editor: This game will be decided in the red zone. Both teams will be able to move the chains, but it will come down to what kind of points can be produced inside the 20. To do so, each team will need good decision-making by the quarterbacks and that advantage should go to Jake Locker. It appears first-timer Aaron Corp will get the start for USC and if he tries to do too much to impress Uncle Pete then USC might be settling for 3 instead of 7. ... On the other side of the ball, SC's defense (even if Mays is out) has a decided advantage over the young and big-play prone Husky defense. ... Also, the Huskies can't afford to give the Trojans a short field, so punter Will Mahan must have a big day to keep the game competitive. ... The Huskies must play a perfect game to have a chance to win and I just don't think they have that in them yet. Ultimately, I see this as a twin of the LSU game with SC's depth and athleticism just being able to do enough to pull away from a very prepared Husky squad.

USC 33 – UW 23

Scott Eklund – Recruiting Editor: Finally!!! UW gets off the schnide and pulls out a decisive win over a lesser opponent to end a 15-game losing streak. Now, with some confidence and success, the team is actually starting to believe they can play with anyone. This week they get the chance to prove how far they've come. With Matt Barkley possibly out, I think USC will rally around Aaron Corp, should he get the start. I think the Trojan defense will do everything it can to lay hits on Jake Locker to knock him off his game and they will load the box, trying to keep the running game from getting going. On offense, USC will try to hit some big gainers using their speed at running back and wide receiver, so it's up to UW's corners, safeties and linebackers to play a near perfect game. If they do that, they have a chance to sneak up and beat the Trojans, but I just don't see it happening this year, although I believe they will keep it close.

USC 34 - UW 24

Chris Fetters – Editor in Chief: With a healthy Jake Locker, there's no question Washington should be more like the 2007 team that barely lost to USC at home, as opposed to the club that got shellacked on the road last year. This Trojan team is beatable, especially since they are banged up at key positions - but they are a reflection of their head coach, and Pete Carroll won't let them lose. They showed the heart of a champion last Saturday at Ohio State, and while the Huskies will give USC all they want for the second week in a row, Joe McKnight has emerged as a Reggie Bush-like go-to guy, and that's huge. McKnight, like Locker, is a chain-mover. If Aaron Corp has to make his first start at Husky Stadium, it could be a rough go. But between McKnight, Stafon Johnson, Allen Bradford and C.J. Gable, USC has enough firepower to make it easy for Corp to manage a game in a tough atmosphere.

USC 27 – UW 17

Molly Waldron – Dawgman.com Intern: I'm calling the upset. It's always dangerous to play a motivated team with a coach that knows all the tendencies of an opponent's offense first hand. If Taylor Mays and Matt Barkley are healthy enough to play Saturday, they won't be at 100 percent. As much as Pete Carroll will try to convince his team not to look over the Huskies as a competitive opponent, it will naturally be hard for USC after coming off a big win and a 56-0 blowout victory against Washington last year. Stranger things have happened at Husky Stadium; and besides, Quinton Richardson GUARANTEED a win.

Washington 31 – USC 28

David Samek – Dawgman: This game got more intriguing by USC's injuries. Even before USC had to make a change at quarterback, I felt Washington could hang with them for the first half. Now I'm wondering if they can hang around long enough to get it to the fourth quarter close. If that happens, all bets are off. Sarkisian is a play caller, and GOD is it nice to have one of those on your sideline. I think Sarkisian will out-coach his OC counterpart, and if the Dawgs can somehow find a way to keep from getting manhandled in the trenches, this game could be a real shocker. I'm calling it that way. USC will not be able to get up for this game after their huge win in Columbus. Locker's touch and accuracy have improved and this will be his coming out party. He throws for 250, runs for 50, and Chris Polk breaks a long one to the house in a victory that will have the students rush the field.

Washington 24 – USC 23

Kim Grinolds – Business Operations: don't think USC can really come back this week with the intensity they had last week against Ohio State. I expect them to show up a little flat and I expect UW to hit them in the mouth right away. Don't be surprised if UW is ahead at the half, but……USC is just too talented. It'll be all Joe McKnight in the second half.

USC 34 - UW 24

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