Arrived in Utah earlier this afternoon. Very warm, and expected to reach 94 or 95 degrees Saturday (take in account the thin air, too, at elevation).
Seems as if the UW is the trendy "upset special" to upend a young BYU squad. Which begs the question – would it really be an upset, anyway?
Here is the Huskies-Cougars Game Day:
WASHINGTON (0-0)at BRIGHAM YOUNG (0-0)
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Kickoff: 4 p.m. PDT, LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah.
TV: CBS College Sports. Radio: 950-AM.
The series: UW leads, 4-3. The last meeting was 2007 when the then-15th-ranked Cougars eked out a 28-27 victory in Husky Stadium. BYU also won the last game in Provo – 35-28 in 1999 – snapping the UW's four-game win streak in the series.
What to watch: Which group needs to make the bigger statement to start – the Huskies' offense or defense? Jake Locker and company should move the ball, so this is a golden chance for the defense to hold up its end – especially against the run, facing a mammoth offensive line and a running back in J.J. Di Luigi who is Jacquizz Rodgers-lite. … What is the best way to attack the BYU defense? Deep in the pass game against inexperienced free safety Steven Thomas, and with tailback Chris Polk against a linebacking corps with no returning starters. … How much will former Skyline High great Jake Heaps play for the Cougars? It's a time-share position at quarterback, and Heaps arguably had a better fall camp despite being named the backup. But last season, the UW had its issues against mobile quarterbacks such as Stanford's Andrew Luck and Oregon's Jeremiah Masoli – so expect junior Riley Nelson to take 60 percent of the snaps, to Heaps' 40.
What's at stake: Eyes nationally will be on the much-hyped Locker, who went on a Huskies – and Heisman Trophy – publicity blitz this summer. If he can't hold up his team's end of the bargain in early September, and help end the UW's 12-game road skid, he easily could become the forgotten candidate.
TNT pick: Huskies, 34-28. PRIME NUMBERSWASHINGTONNo. Name (position) Height/Weight Year01 Chris Polk (TB) 5-11/214 SophomoreEnded last season with four 100-yard rushing games in final five Pac-10 games.10 Jake Locker (QB) 6-3/230 SeniorRemember, Jake, hand – don't flip – the ball to the referee after touchdowns.13 Will Shamburger (FS) 6-0/190 FreshmanDefense needs his ball-hawking eye, even if most time comes in nickel coverage.15 Jermaine Kearse (WR) 6-2/205 JuniorLikely target on Locker's aggressive deep passes in play-action calls.74 Alameda Ta'amu (DT) 6-3/330 JuniorInterior of BYU's line has issues – and could be exposed by bull-rushing beast.
BRIGHAM YOUNGNo. Name (position) Height/Weight Year06 McKay Jacobson (WR) 5-11/190 JuniorMost dynamic threat in deep group, he averaged 24.2 yards per catch in 2009.07 Brian Logan (CB) 5-6/185 SeniorKey veteran in Cougars' growing trend of recruiting JC defensive backs.10 J.J. Di Luigi (TB) 5-9/190 JuniorReplacing workhorse rusher Harvey Unga, Luigi runs with same surprising power.37 Vic So'oto (DE) 6-3/261 SeniorSixth-year senior is team's top pass-rusher; originally came in as a tight end.70 Matt Reynolds (LT) 6-6/322 JuniorBeen switching around each tackle spot, depending on which QB is playing.