After a tough loss to open the season, the Beavers have to get on the road to face an even tougher opponent. The Washington Huskies had their first game of the season cancelled due to COVID-19, giving them extra time to prepare for Oregon State. It appeared the game against OSU was also in jeopardy of being cancelled, but it seems like the game is still on. Here’s what the Huskies look like this season.
Like many of the teams the Beavers face this season, the Huskies will be breaking in a new Quarterback. Jake Browning, who led last year’s team, is now a Minnesota Viking. Washington has had a fierce camp battle to determine Browning’s successor, and it appears that they haven’t settled on a starter.
Redshirt Sophomore Jacob Sirmon has the spent the most time in the system, but the Huskies brought in grad transfer Kevin Thomson from Sacramento State. Thomson is probably the front runner for the job, but nothing is set in stone. The Huskies also have a pair of freshman quarterbacks, redshirt freshman Dylan Morris and true freshman Ethan Garbers, who are competing for the job.
Whoever wins the starting spot, they’ll have a reliable stable of weapons, with running back Richard Newton expected to step into a larger role, despite limited carries last season he finished with 498 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Wide receivers Terrell Bynum and Puka Nacua should be able to become top targets. Both flashed lots of potential last season, and with last years top receivers now in the NFL there’s opportunities available. The team also returns a key pair of O-Line starters in Jaxon Kirkland and Luke Wattenberg. There aren’t a lot of stars on this side of the ball, but there’s been a lot of consistency.
Defense is where the Huskies have made their name for the past few seasons, and that should continue. Head Coach Chris Petersen has departed, giving up the seat to Defensive Coordinator Jimmy Lake. The Huskies return several starters on this side of the ball, though some of their bigger names will be absent.
The biggest is Defensive Tackle Levi Onwuzurike, who has elected to sit out the season and focus on the NFL Draft. Linebacker Joe Tryon did the same. Defensive back Isaiah Gilchrist is also sitting out due to concerns about Covid.
There are still some big names remaining. Outside linebacker Ryan Bowman is the team’s best returning pass rusher, with 6.5 sacks and 34 total tackles last season. The team also has a reliable lineman in senior Josiah Bronson. Jackson Sirmon and Edefuan Ulofoshuio give Washington an experienced pair of Inside Linebackers.
The secondary looks very good. Nickelback Elijah Molden is the biggest name here, coming off of All-Pac 12 honors, but the team also has Defensive Freshman of the Year runner up as a starting corner. Senior Keith Taylor rounds out an excellent set of defensive backs. Passing is going to be hard against this team.
The Vegas line for this game is Washington -14.
Despite a solid fourth quarter, the Beavers did not look good against Washington State. Its hard to feel great about them going into this game. Washington has similar questions on offense a the Cougars did, and we don’t know who their starting QB is going to be, but the Beavers D does not look like its in place to capitalize against an offense still coming together.
The Huskies D is going to be tough. The secondary is going to be hard for Tristan Gebbia to deal with, and while their front 7 has lost some of its bigger names, it should still be tough to run against. I don’t think the Beavers will have much luck offensively. I’ll give this one to Washington, but a good margin. Let’s say 34-17.
- Time: 8:30 PT
- Date: Saturday, November 14th
- Location: Husky Stadium, Seattle WA
- Broadcast: Fox Sports 1