I’ll be brief because I know that I’m posting this a little too late, with kickoff less than 4 hours away. The Huskies are going to win, in my opinion. Yes, they have been bad on the road, with three straight blowouts this year, but 2 of those 3 blowouts were against top-3 teams in LSU and Oregon, and the third against Arizona, while certainly a low point this year, was as much about the spread attack of Arizona and the momentum possessed by the team at the time of the game than it was about road failures.
Cal is not Oregon and LSU. Cal is not even Arizona. They are actually fairly bad, especially on offense, where they will pretty much have to rely entirely on the run game due to the mediocrity of Zach Maynard and the loss of top wide receiver Keenan Allen to injury. Not to mention, the offensive line cannot pass protect. This may be a game in which Washington’s disappointing pass rush comes alive just based on how poor Cal’s line has played lately.
The Bears are better on defense, but they are no better than average on that side of the ball either. The Husky offensive line is improving steadily, so we know Bishop Sankey will be able to go to work today. Based on that, this is also as good a time as any for Price to try to jumpstart his season down the final stretch. It is really only important that he avoids costly turnovers, but hey, a vintage 250+ yard game isn’t necessarily out of the question. Of course, all of what I’m saying is predicated on the idea that the Huskies will not entirely flop because they aren’t at home. Based on what I talked about earlier about strength of other road opponents, I think they will do fine, but we cannot know until we see the game.
So, to the actual prediction: Sankey will establish a run, which will eat clock and give Price the chance to take a few shots down field to his star tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and wide receiver Kasen Williams. Nothing too fancy, but it will be enough to allow the defense to beat up Maynard and Co for four quarters without feeling like they can’t give up a single score.
Washington 27, Cal 17