Washington at Washington State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, November 23
Game Time: 8:30 ET
Venue: Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
Washington (8-3) vs. Washington State (10-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Washington Will Win
And here’s the defense Washington State hasn’t had to face.
The Cougar offense has been amazing, and it’s all real, and it’s all effective, and it all hasn’t had to deal with a D as good as what the Huskies are about to bring.
Cal’s is close. The Golden Bears gave up 334 yards to the Cougars, but there weren’t many big plays, and the defense held tough allowing just 19 points. That’s the blueprint.
Let Gardner Minshew connect on his throws, but keep the yards after the catch to a dead stop with a sure-tackling back seven, and hold firm in the red zone.
Even more than that, stopping – or slowing down – the Cougar offense is to keep it off the field. Washington State is able to take over games by owning third downs and keeping the ball close to 33 minutes per game. But Washington is amazing at controlling the clock, too, with a veteran quarterback in Jake Browning who hits his third down passes.
Play tough defense with an attitude, don’t turn the ball over, don’t get flagged, and come up with enough third downs to keep Minshew from being Minshew. Washington can do that.
One Reason Why Washington State Will Win
Minshew is too good and too quick with his decisions for a pass rush to matter all that much, but it’s nice to generate a little bit of pressure. As good as the Washington defense is, it doesn’t do enough to get into the backfield and it doesn’t come up with a whole slew of sacks.
And the Cougar offensive front doesn’t allow a lot to happen behind the line. It comes from the design of the offense, but the line is just that good, too.
Yeah, Washington is amazing on third down conversions. Washington State is better, connecting on 45% of its chances.
Yeah, Washington is terrific at controlling the clock and the tempo. Washington State is better.
Yeah, Washington doesn’t have a problem at turning the ball over. Washington State is tighter with the ball and doesn’t give up a slew of key mistakes.
This isn’t some gimmicky junk ball pitcher type of team with a funky offense. The Cougars have a pass rush – they lead the Pac-12 in sacks and the run defense has been air-tight at times.
They can match the Washington physicality, and they can crank up the offense early on and put this away – the Huskies don’t have the pop and firepower to win this in a shootout.
Minshew is just that good.
What’s Going To Happen
On the first drive of the game, USC lined up and blasted away on Washington State with the running game. The Trojans weren’t able to keep it going on the ground, but that set the early tone in the win.
Utah was able to run for 204 yards in a loss, and Stanford averaged over five yards per carry, but no one has lined up and slugged this Cougar team. That’s what Washington is going to do from the start.
Washington State will strike quickly, the crowd will be in it, and it’ll look like everything will be going perfectly, and then …
Washington will slowly stay in it with a few methodical drives to hang around.
The Huskies have been in plenty of games this year when they’ve had problems on third downs, got hit for too many completed passes, and and struggled a bit to get points on the board, and yet they’ve still been able keep games tight and the score low.
All of the pressure will be on the Cougar side of the field, and it’ll show late as Browning comes up with a fourth quarter scoring drive to take the lead, the D will stop Minshew twice, and it’ll be the Huskies taking the Apple Cup and going off to play in the Pac-12 Championship.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Washington 27, Washington State 24
Line: Washington State -2.5, o/u: 49
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1
Must See Rating: 5
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