Simply put: This is a game the Washington Huskies should win and win easily. They are better than the Colorado Buffaloes. And if they consider themselves to be an upper echelon Pac 12 team then they should win and cover the 15.5 point spread.
From head coach Steve Sarkisian:
"The teams that are the best at being successful and continued success is they understand this is where they are supposed to be, and it's not an arrogance that way, but just that this is where they are supposed to be. We've known all the great teams for years and years and years in all the team sports, or individual athletes for that matter, they don't get surprised to be in that moment, and they also don't beat themselves up and say 'we're not supposed to be this good' and knock themselves back down.”
The Huskies believe they are good. Now they have a chance to show it by getting a decisive win in a game where they should win decisively.
Realistically, the few things that Colorado does well - the screen passes to Rodney Stewart, the exotic blitzes on third down - will play a role in this game, but it shouldn't stop Washington from winning.
Go through a comparison
Offense? Huge edge Washington
Speical teams? Edge Washington
Defense? Yes, even Washington has the edge in defense. It might be a slim edge. But its still an edge.
Even at the specific position groups, Washington has more talent and depth than the Buffaloes.
It all adds up to an easy win, a likely Top 25 ranking and a showdown with Stanford next weekend.
COLORADO (1-5, 0-2 PAC-12) AT WASHINGTON (4-1, 2-0)
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m., Husky Stadium
TV: Root Sports. Radio: 950-AM.
The series: The two teams have met 11 times and each has won five times with one tie. The first meeting was in 1915, while the most recent meeting was in 2000, when the Huskies, under former Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel, defeated the Buffaloes, 17-14, in Boulder. That Washington team would go on to beat Purdue in the Rose Bowl.
What to watch: Two teams headed in very different directions. The Huskies, under coach Steve Sarkisian, have quickly returned to the upper echelon of Pacific-12 Conference teams. Not only has Washington started 4-1, but sophomore quarterback Keith Price also has been outstanding, completing more than 68 percent of his passes and throwing 17 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Colorado (1-5) has struggled in its inaugural Pac-12 season. Its only win came against Colorado State. The Buffaloes played California and Washington State down to the wire before losing. But they are in the midst of a brutal stretch that included last week’s 48-7 pounding by Stanford, followed by Washington today, Oregon next week, then Arizona State and USC. Despite the Buffaloes’ struggles, they are not without talent. Senior quarterback Tyler Hansen has thrown for 1,527 yards and 12 touchdowns, including 474 yards and three touchdowns against Cal. His best target – Paul Richardson – missed last week’s game with a knee injury. His status remains uncertain for today. But Hansen has a solid receiving threat out of the backfield in running back Rodney Stewart. The 5-foot-6 dynamo is particularly dangerous in screen-pass situations. Also, wide receiver Keenan Canty has shown some speed and the ability to get downfield. Washington’s secondary hasn’t exactly been dominant this season but has looked a little better of late.
What’s at stake: For Colorado, a win, any win, in the Pac-12 is important because looking at their upcoming schedule, it’s apparent the Buffs might not win another game. For the Huskies, this could be a “trap game,” where they look past the reeling Buffaloes to next week’s showdown with No. 7 Stanford. But Sarkisian and his players are adamant they will be ready to play, having learned their lesson in the season-opening scare against Eastern Washington. A win for Washington likely would mean an appearance in the Top 25 and some momentum heading to Palo Alto.
The pick: Washington, 42-10