Huskies Insider Blog

The pick: Washington 31, Hawaii 28

Well, some idiot forgot his power cord to his laptop at home. But the good folks of UW are trying to find me a temporary one.

I have this game as being close. I believe that Washington will come out with more intensity, more aggressiveness and more enthusiasm than they did last week. I think we can all agree thought that Hawaii is a better team the Huskies played last week.

After an awful showing last week, the Huskies get Quinton Richardson back in the secondary. He'll line up as the nickel back and play inside with Greg Ducre and Desmond Trufant on the outside. How much will Richardson's presence help? Well, he can re-route the slot receivers since he's so physical. And some of Hawaii's best stuff comes from inside routes against zone coverage. Richardson is also one of the team's better tacklers so that will be important.

Can the Huskies generate a pass rush? It can't be always Hau'oli Jamora. It just can't. Andrew Hudson will play at the other end. Steve Sarkisian said he'd use Josh Shirley and Talia Crichton as well. They need something. I also think Sione Potoa'e could see some time. It's going to be hot, the Huskies need to have a rotation to keep guys fresh.

I don't think the Huskies will stop Bryant Moniz. They may slow him down. But I think  the inexperienced offensive line and new receivers will also slow him down some. Moniz is going to compete. He's going to make throws. And he's going to run. It's just a matter of UW making tackles on short route so 4 yard gains don't turn into 8 or 14 yard gains.

Offensively, Washington will be aggressive and take some shots down field. But I think they need to go smashmouth style and ride Chris Polk. The best thing they can do is keep Moniz off the field and limit Hawaii's possessions. You do that by controlling the line of scrimmage and running the football.The last thing Washington wants is to get into a shoot-out with Hawaii.

Hawaii's front seven is physical, so this could be an interesting matchup. I didn't think UW's offensive line was particularly good against Eastern, but I don't think they were bad either. But a so-so effort just won't cut it against Hawaii.

Hawaii traditionally doesn't play well away from Aloha Stadium. But it's going to feel like Hawaii today in terms of weather.

I expect Washington to come out and set the tone early and get up. But like Eastern last week, Hawaii isn't afraid of being behind on the scoreboard. The Warriors know they can score quickly. They will answer Washington's initial surge. And this will be a closer game than Husky fans will  like.

In the end, the Huskies will pull it out. They won't cover the 5.5 point spread. But it will still be a good win. Hawaii is a good football team. Washington is just a better team and will play like it today.

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