Dawgman.com Predictions

Washington heads to South Bend, Indiana, to take on one of the most storied football programs in history – the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Here is what the staff thinks.

Scott Eklund – Recruiting Guru: "Back to life, back to reality" is the phrase from a song that kept running through my head once the clock struck zero on Stanford's 34-14 beat down of Washington. The next obstacle on the road to recovery for the Huskies are the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame who have yet to play a complete game while going 3-1. Jimmy Clause is gimpy, but Golden Tate is about as dynamic a playmaker as there is in the country. He's someone UW's defense has to account for at all times. Washington should be able to move the ball and Jake Locker has to be more consistent and careful with his decision making, but I think the Huskies will come out and play well this weekend in a rebound game. I don't expect them to win, but I certainly expect them to keep it close.

Notre Dame 27 - Washington 21

Patrick Thrapp – Numbers guy: I just don't know what to think. Last week I think we ran into a real good team playing real good football. If that continues Stanford will certainly be in the mix for the Pac title. So on to this week. Another road game. The competition of the 2 teams is fairly even. The homer in me thinks ours is a tad better. I believe we have to be able to move the chains. Long drives. Low scoring game. Much like the Marcus teams. I always felt they played way more offense than defense on those 1999 & 2000 teams. I feel this team can do the same. Although this week I am the camp that they won't be able to garner that first road win. I will say I think stay close with some shots to pull out a win.

Notre Dame 25 - Washington 20

Aaron Beach – Hoops guru: The USC game revitalized the Husky nation like no other game in the past decade. It made believers of the entire Dawgman staff (myself included), who went on to unanimously choose the Dawgs to upset Stanford, who proceeded to club the less physical Huskies like a baby fur seal. I learned that it doesn't take much to plunge Husky Nation back into the depths of pessimism, that Jake Locker may benefit from staying around for his senior season, and that Jim Harbaugh is building a great program in Palo Alto. Are the Huskies capable of playing like a team that nearly beat LSU and shocked the world by upsetting USC, or are they a team that loses to a bunch of smart kids by 20 on the road? Would the real Slim Shady please stand up? Truth is, I still think the Dawgs find a way to win a minimum of 5 games this year, and a victory on NBC, the Notre Dame Broadcasting Company, in front of the entire nation would put an indelible stamp on the identity of this coaching staff as they preach the gospel of reconstruction to recruits. Truth is that Darrion Jones, Cameron Elisara, and Big Meda Ta'amu really aren't Pac 10 caliber defensive lineman, and neither is Greg Christine, Coby Habben, or possibly even Ben Ossai. The Stanford game proved that our skilled position players and "smoke and mirrors" coaching strategies can only get us so far against a physically superior football team. Look for the Dawgs to put up points but wilt under the pressure of trying to win a physical football game on the road. I think Locker ensures that we put up at least 24 points, but that won't be good enough to win with our defense. Weis will win this game in spite of himself.

Notre Dame 34 Huskies 24

Chris Fetters – Editor In Chief: Well, since people have been known for taking my predictions, flipping them, going to Vegas and putting their kids through college with the proceeds, take my prognostication for what it's worth. UW tries hard to get back on the horse with a visit to Notre Dame, a place they've never won, to play a team they've never beaten ever. Clearly the odds are against them. They aren't looking for that signature win anymore; they earned that against USC. But they still need to prove they can win when the environment is totally against them. I don't think they are quite there yet. As long as the Irish can keep Jimmy Clausen and Armando Allen upright, Notre Dame should be able to do what they want on offense. Defensively, they'll bring pressure on nearly every snap, forcing Jake Locker to improvise. Normally, that would play right into UW's hands, but Locker is still very much trying to get comfortable with his new role in Steve Sarkisian's offense. Saturday will be another learning experience for the very talented Locker.

Notre Dame 28 - Washington16

Dave Samek – Dawgman: Last week was a disappointment. But do you know what? It felt GREAT to care again. It felt GREAT to actually get pissed because it matters. Thank you Steve Sarkisian for giving me that back. Husky football is fun again! It is relevant. And this team that is in South Bend has a good chance at winning. Chris Polk is a good outside runner and Notre Dame's defense is slow on the outside. Jake Locker is ready to break out on the national scene, and this will be his game. He will throw for 250 yards, run for 45 more and a TD and Washington will get back to over .500. And everyone is going to know the name James Johnson after Saturday.

Washington 27 – Notre Dame 23

Kim Grinolds – Business Operations: Which team will show up at South Bend this week? Will it be the team who beat USC or the one who got thrown around like rag dolls at Stanford? South Bend is still an intimidating place for a young team and a tough place to win. UW will keep it close but in the end, just won't have enough to put them over the top.

Notre Dame 27 – Washington 23

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