There hasn’t been a lot written on Colorado over here this week. Part of that has been the chance to really cover husky basketball, part of that has been my own crazy midterm-influenced workload here at school, and last, there’s the fact that Colorado isn’t really that interesting of a team to break down and analyze. Why? Because they are either mediocre, below average, or terrible in almost every facet of the game. So I haven’t felt like you, as readers and fans, really need all that much in depth information. As long as you understand that Washington is heavily favored, and that Colorado is historically bad, you’ve pretty much known what you need to know. The rest will become clear Saturday morning at 10am when you watch the game itself. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth going into a bit of detail for my prediction.
If you are a regular reader with a decent memory, you might remember that in the week before the Portland State game, I wrote extensively on the idea that everyone needed to take any success on the field with a grain of salt. While it’s a little embarrassing for Colorado, a major conference team with a decent history, to be compared to Portland State, it’s a fact that the same thing applies here. If Washington struggles, or even loses, they will be lambasted, and the reaction will be valid. A loss to Colorado would be a disaster and would fully undue all the good vibes of progress following three straight wins. However, no matter how well Washington does, the success comes with a bit of a mental asterisk based on the idea that Colorado is so bad that dominance over them doesn’t indicate future dominance over tougher opponents.
However, the game is still valuable because it gives the Huskies a chance to prove that they are capable of dominating weak competition on the road like they are supposed to. Even if winning 56-10 wouldn’t necessarily mean that UW is ready to take on elite teams on the road, considering the current 1-3 road record for the year, but it would still show progress and maturity from a team that has been fairly inconsistent this year. A blowout win would show that perhaps this team can be expected to take care of business against mediocre opponents, even on the road.
Though, even if any huge stats must be taken with a grain of salt as far the bigger picture goes, that doesn’t mean it isn’t really wonderful to see your team dominate, and you should be prepared to see some eye-popping numbers if Washington performs at the level I expect them to. The most likely player to perhaps break a few records, and at worst put together a very good performance, is Bishop Sankey.
He has already eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and scored more rushing touchdowns in his first 10 games as a starter than Chris Polk ever did in 12, and that was against defenses that are light years ahead of Colorado. I mean, the Buffaloes can’t stop anyone. Through ten games, they have allowed a total of 2276 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns. That is just absurd. Their defense line gets pushed around, and the linebackers, while experienced, aren’t effective in their efforts to fill the gaps. Personally, I expect Sankey to run for at least 200 yards and two scores. If Washington develops a huge lead early, he may not get enough carries to do that, but it’s also possible he has a Kenjon Barner type bonanza and breaks some records.
From Keith Price, I expect him to build on the solid performance against Utah and at least play efficiently. I think Sark will lean on the run game, simply because he knows it will be there for him, so Price may not rack up the yards, but there is also the chance that the Colorado defensive backs are completely overwhelmed by the talent and athleticism of either ASJ or Kasen Williams, or both, leading to some wide open deep throws. I look at the Colorado roster and I see no one with the ability to cover Seferian-Jenkins.
This game will also be a chance for the improving Husky offensive line to try to keep Price as clean as possible against a fairly anemic pass rush. They haven’t been able to stop good defenses from pressuring Price, so it would be encouraging to see them use this game to achieve, for the first time, a sackless game.
On defense, look for the hyper athletic, super dominant Husky defense backs to have a party back there, and possible in the Colorado backfield as well. Shaq Thompson has been playing great, and he’s the kind of NFL-level athlete that a team as devoid of talent as Colorado may really struggle to handle. Same goes for John Timu, whose intelligent route jumping could lead to another interception or two. Also look for a possible appearance from the Husky pash rush, which is tied for second-worst in the conference in sacks this year, against a horrifically bad CU o-line.
Overall, while I may be assuming to much from Washington, I think the issues on the road just won’t matter against a team as bad as Colorado, especially considering that Washington has been improving significantly each week. Sankey will dominate early, opening up the passing game in the process, and besides the possibility of decent running from Christian Powell, Wilcox’s defense will go off.
Washington 42, Colorado 17