Washington football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Huskies will do this year.
Head coach Chris Petersen has the hot team going into the Pac-12 season, but does Washington’s schedule work out well enough to make this the breakthrough year? Check out the preseason predictions for every game.
Sept. 3 vs. Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights will be better than expected, but not right out of the gate. Washington’s crowd will be jacked up for the start of the season with a big-time defensive effort. The Huskies will give the fans exactly what they want.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 38, Rutgers 14
Sept. 10 vs. Idaho
The Vandals will have a fun and exciting offense in their final year at the FCS level. They’ll be dangerous, they’ll let it all loose, and they’re going to be interesting at times. It’s just not going to work out in this game.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 52, Idaho 13
Sept. 17 vs. Portland State
The Vikings shocked Washington State last season, and came up with a big year on the way to the FCS playoffs. This year’s team should be talented enough to keep it interesting, but the Washington secondary will do the job to get by in a tougher-than-expected battle.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 31, Portland State 17
Sept. 24 at Arizona
The Huskies will get the job done on the road with a brilliant defensive game. Arizona’s attack will have its moments when the running game breaks free, but Washington will clamp down in the second half while the offense hits the Wildcats hard. A big run will put the game out of reach in the third.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 38, Arizona 21
Sept. 30 vs. Stanford
Washington will be unbeaten and national darlings going into the big Friday night showdown, and it’ll look the part – up until the mistakes start coming. The Huskies will outplay the Cardinal, but they’ll be -3 in turnover margin and blow their shot at a statement win.
Preseason Prediction: Stanford 26, Washington 20
Oct. 8 at Oregon
Very, very soon – if not now – this will be the key matchup in the Pac-12. After losing a heartbreaker to Stanford the week before, the Huskies will come up with another terrific effort in another brutal loss. They’ll show enough to win, but they won’t be able to get the job done late.
Preseason Prediction: Oregon 27, Washington 23
Oct. 22 vs. Oregon State
After two tough losses and a bye week, the Huskies will come out roaring defensively. The UW front line will suffocate a Beaver backfield that won’t be able to get anything going – this will be over in the first quarter.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 30, Oregon State 13
Oct. 29 at Utah
This should be one of the key games and moments in the maturation of the Huskies, but the Utes will still grind their way to the key victory. The Dawgs won’t necessarily do anything wrong, but Utah will come up with one of its best games of the year.
Preseason Prediction: Utah 23, Washington 20
Nov. 5 at California
Talk about a contrast in styles. The week before, the Huskies were pounded on in the loss at Utah. The week after, they’ll get dinked and dunked on against a desperate Cal team in need of a win. UW’s D is way too good to get blown away, but the Bears will be just that sharp.
Preseason Prediction: California 31, Washington 27
Nov. 12 vs. USC
After losing four of their last five and reeling badly, the Huskies will respond in a big, big way with their best and most focused effort of the season. USC will be on the road after dealing with Oregon at home – and with UCLA and Notre Dame up next – and it’ll get steamrolled. This is the first game for the rest of Washington’s life.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 38, USC 17
Nov. 19 vs. Arizona State
The USC win will be a gateway moment. A renewed confidence will show through against a Sun Devil team with a decent offense, but not enough pop on D to hold up once the UW balance gets working.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 30, Arizona State 20
Nov. 25 at Washington State
As always, the Apple Cup will defy logic with Washington coming in red hot and Wazzu reeling a bit after the loss to Colorado. The Cougars will stun the Huskies early on with a surprising lead, only to see it wilt against a powerful ground game that’ll be just enough to lead to a game-winning field goal in the final moments.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 31, Washington State 30
2016 Prediction: 8-4
2016 Pac-12 Prediction: 5-4