Football season is right around the corner. As the hype for the UW Huskies reaches a fever pitch, which games on the schedule will define this season?
Looking ahead to UW Huskies football this season, it’s hard not to get excited. They had the best defense in the Pac-12 Conference last year and their offense was unstoppable at times with Chris Petersen and offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith’s schemes appearing to come together. Jake Browning, who passed for the fifth-most yards in UW Huskies football history for a season last year as a Freshman, plans on improving on those numbers this year with more experience.
As many writers have pointed out, however, the UW Huskies will also have to beat a few teams they famously haven’t been able to take down in years. If the UW Huskies are going to make noise in the Pac-12 Conference and on the national scene this year, they’ll have to win these three games:
- Stanford Cardinal. 9/30/16 Husky Stadium. This game will likely be the first true test for the UW Huskies in 2016, who start with three home games and a road date with Arizona, which went 3-6 last year in the conference. Stanford won the Pac-12 North Division last season with an 8-1 Pac-12 record. Getting a win at home against the Cardinal will be the first sign that the UW Huskies have arrived. This game is slated for a primetime kick-off slot on ESPN, allowing the nation (and everyone on the East Coast who wants to stay up late) the chance to see the Huskies and decide for themselves if they’re the real deal.
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- at Oregon Ducks. 10/8/16 Autzen Stadium. The week after the Stanford game, the UW Huskies travel down to Eugene to take on their hated rivals the Ducks. A win in Autzen Stadium following a victory at home against Stanford will tamp down most competition for the Pac-12 North Division title early. And it will serve to quiet those Duck fans to the south.
- at Washington State Cougars. 11/25/16 Martin Stadium. The Apple Cup this year could decide who wins the Pac-12 North. Mike Leach’s team also has high expectations for 2016 and could give the UW Huskies a run for the regular season title even if the Huskies knock off both Stanford and Oregon.
The UW Huskies will be in the midst of a tight Pac-12 race this year, especially in the North Division. The above three games are against the three teams most likely to stand in the Huskies’ way in their bid for the conference title game and national glory, something that has eluded the UW Huskies football team for over a decade.