Dawgman Predictions

Let the football season begin! Washington opens their 2010 season amid much hope and fanfare on the road against the BYU Cougars in Provo, Utah. Coach Steve Sarkisian would love to open the season with an all-important road win against his alma mater and set the tone for a successful year two in his tenure. Here is what the Dawgman.com staff feels will happen on Saturday evening.

Dick Baird – former UW coach and recruiting coordinator
Season record: 0-0
Want to know how to beat BYU? Run the ball, play good defense, be solid in the kicking game and don't turn the ball over: Same formula as always, and Polk will help in three of those four areas and he will also play hurt if he has to. It is his toughness that reminds me so much of Corey Dillon. He will turn a loss into a two-yard gain, he will go low and under tacklers to get that extra yard, and he will use the spin, the stiff arm, and his shoulders to run over, through, and around would-be tacklers. BYU only returns one starter in their defensive front seven. That means they are just as questionable up front as Washington is. If the Huskies can get a lead and then turn the ball over to Polk in the second half, they will leave Provo a winner. Which is what I'm calling for on Saturday.

Prediction: Washington 17, BYU 10

David Samek – The Dawgman
Season record: 0-0
Washington has not won a road game in two years, but this one sets up as a primo opportunity for Sark and the boyz to get off to an amazing start. If they can win this one and then win in week two, it will set up for a huge game with Nebraska in week 3 that will surely see ESPN Gameday visit Seattle for the first time. I see Saturday night as Jake Locker's big bang beginning to his senior year. Jake will throw for two touchdowns, run for another, and Chris Polk will also score on a long run. The Husky defense will bend plenty but they won't break as often as the hometown Cougar fans would like. Washington takes their opener on the road and ruins Jake Heaps' home debut.

Prediction: Washington 28, BYU 23

Kim Grinolds – Business Operations and Managing Partner
Season record: 0-0
When you go to practice and look at all the weapons UW has , it becomes pretty obvious that one thing is a certainty…………..The Dawgs are going to score. The OL looks great, the WR's are deep, Chris Polk may be the best RB in the conference, and then there's some guy referred to as Montlake Jake. He doesn't suck. They're going to score early and often as BYU attempts to break in a new QB. Playing from behind won't be easy when trying to protect the young guys. BYU will score late to make it respectable and the media hype for Jake's Heisman campaign begins.

Prediction: Washington 38, BYU 27

Scott Eklund – Recruiting Editor
Season record: 0-0
Will this be another season of futility for the Dawgs or are they ready to go bowling for the first time since 2002? We will find out a lot Saturday when they take the field against BYU in what will be a raucous crowd. Jake Locker should be able to put up big numbers against a defense that lost most of its defense and has historically struggled against mobile quarterbacks. The key is, can this defense get the Cougars off the field on third down so they can't play keep away from Washington's explosive offense? If they can pressure Riley Nelson or Jake Heaps and keep BYU from methodically going up and down the field against them, they should win this one going away.

Prediction: Washington 31, BYU 20

Chris Fetters – Editor in Chief
Season record: 0-0
I've been hemming and hawing about this all week, because I do think both teams will score, and as always this game will come down to who executes and can stay away from miscues. Ultimately I think the Huskies win, not just because they are going to ride the hot hand of a senior quarterback and a sophomore running back bent on proving this team can win on the road - I think they win because they win the line of scrimmage. The offense line shows up and the defensive line rolls in enough guys to stay fresh and fast. UW will make their share of mistakes, but last year they showed they could take any team on the road to the wire; this year they win those games in the fourth quarter, starting at BYU.

Prediction: Washington 30, BYU 27

Pat Thrapp – Numbers Guru
Season Record: 0-0
Just what kind of year is this going to be? I can sense the vibe in this year's team. I am excited for what could be. I heard Bronco Mendenhall, BYU coach, on KJR the other morning. He was talking about all the offensive starters that are new. About them losing their best RB ever, starting center & QB. Will our D be able to contain this seemingly young BYU team? I think our offense is going to smoke ‘em. I think they will try to force Locker into the deep stuff, take away as much of Polk & short patterns as possible. Maybe stack the box a little. I just see Jake hitting a nice deep route to one of many WRs on this team early. Then after that Polk, WRs & Co will be off and running to our 1st road win since Nov 3, 2007 against Stanford.

Prediction: Washington 35, BYU 23

Jay Torrell – Creative Director, Sports Washington Magazine
Season record: 0-0
It's been one long, hot, dry sports desert of a summer. The Mariners were out of it weeks after the Dawgs fouled out of the Sweet 16. World Cup was good for a few euro-flops and one minor miracle run by the Yanks. Tiger fell off the rails after chasing tail and after that should anyone care about the NBA in Seattle? I officially was on the Fall college football clock starting with spring practice. So with all that time to think about the UW-BYU game here's how I see things. The defense is better than I thought it would be...I think. The offense is as potent as I thought it would be...I think. But in recent years we have learned the perils of relying upon the results of a team practicing/playing against itself. We do know that BYU has a new starting quarterback and running back. I don't care if their offensive linemen average 500 pounds and 30 years of age, it won't make up for the newness of key skill positions. It will actually hurt their starting quarterback playing under the pressures of home expectations. The number one thing I don't know is if the game has slowed down for HEAD COACH (not OC) Steve Sarkisian. His inability to see the whole game cost the Huskies at least 2 games last year. I equate it to a Rookie NFL QB who has all the tools to be great but just can't slow down the game enough to execute on the fly. This is the game when what we think becomes what we know: the offense can score; the defense is a pleasant surprise; Sark can manage the whole game and Locker deserves all the hype. Thank every god that football is back and that the dark decade of Husky football is behind us.

Prediction: Washington 35, BYU 17

Sabrina Kelly Squires – Dawgman.com Intern
Season record: 0-0
Our D-line is going to surprise analysts this year. Nick Holt is raving about the improvements and depth for this year. A healthy Chris Polk, one of the most underrated running backs in the country, is going to surprise the country this season. In addition, Jake Locker and Co. will be putting up big numbers. Only concern is the youth of our O-line. Watch out for a high scoring game.

Prediction: Washington 31, BYU 17

Scott Panitz - Dawgman.com intern
Season record: 0-0
While this is Jake Locker's team, and the UW's success is predicated on his ability, Saturday is going to be about Chris Polk. The redshirt sophomore's extra 10 pounds of muscle and visible confidence will wear the Cougar defense down and open things up for at least one long touchdown pass. Look for Polk to go well over a hundred yards in a dominating display on the ground. Also, look for the old guys on the defense to step up and, while they won't stop the dual-QB attack of the Cougars, they should be able to force the inexperienced young signal callers into a couple key mistakes that will swing what should be a fun-to-watch shootout. I haven't been wrong yet…

Prediction: Washington 34, BYU 24

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