The UW Huskies continue their cupcake early-season schedule against Portland State University this weekend at Husky Stadium.
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Don’t get me wrong, Portland State has a good football team. This team beat the Washington State Cougars last year, who went on to go 9-4 in a tough Pac-12 conference. But they are not on the same level this year as the UW Huskies, who come into the game ranked number eight in the country. Washington coach Chris Peterson has built an early-season schedule heavy on cupcake batter and sprinkles, the mark of a rising program trying to rack up wins and get some experience and confidence in before the true tests begin.
The UW Huskies should easily handle Portland State, which is led by senior quarterback Alex Kuresa, who struggled so far this season, tossing three interceptions in PSU’s loss last week to San Jose State 66-35. Nonetheless, the PSU Vikings finished 9-3 in the Big Sky Conference last season and have reportedly caused coach Peterson and company to review the game film of their defeat of Washington State last year.
The UW Huskies have plenty to prove to their home fans at Husky Stadium tomorrow despite the mismatch on paper and Portland State coach Bruce Barnum gushing about Washington’s chances for a national title. For one thing, against two inferior opponents, the UW Huskies have only averaged just over 108 rushing yards per game. Across two blowouts, you’d think they would have rolled to about 300 yards rushing a game. Yet their 3.62 yards-per-carry average ranks 101st in the country. Running back Myles Gaskin has yet to be challenged to put a close game to bed and be involved as sustained weapon in the offense, but that YPC average is concerning.
I don’t expect the UW Huskies to have much trouble with the Portland State Vikings, nor do I expect a change in play-calling that strays from quarterback Jake Browning‘s capable hands to try to prove they can run the ball. I predict a 55-10 demolition of PSU at Husky Stadium tomorrow while we all circle our calendars for September 24th, when the UW Huskies meet some real competition against Arizona.