Washington Huskies Football: Illinois Game Preview

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Aug 31, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Keith Price (17) fights off the tackle by Boise State Broncos linebacker Jonathan Brown (32) during the 1st half at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies received a lot of praise after their 38-6 win over Boise State in Week 1. Now, they have to prove it was deserved. They’ll be tested on the road against a surprisingly tough Illinois team.

If the Huskies go into Soldier Field and roll over the Illini, they’ll almost certainly jump into the top-15. If they still struggle away from home and lose, the hype after the Boise State win will prove to be unwarrented and we could be looking at another seven-win season.

The Storylines:

1. Can the Huskies win on the road?

Washington has a record of 6-16 on the road in the Steve Sarkisian era. While this game isn’t technically a road game, it’s a neutral site game in the same state as the school the Huskies are playing. It’s essentially the distance between Seattle and Portland. Losing nearly 75 percent of road games is abysmal, especially when your home record is a shiny 20-7. For the Huskies to finally eclipse seven wins, they have to win on the road.

2. Will the real Keith Price please stand up?

One game in, and it looks like Price is back. But it was only one game, at home for that matter. Illinois doesn’t exactly have a top-notch defense, but to see Price do well two weeks in a row would certainly be a sign of good things to come. If Price doesn’t carve up the Illinois defense, it isn’t the end of the world, but we could be in for more uncertainty the rest of the season.

3. How will the Huskies utilize Austin Seferian-Jenkins?

The offense rolled against Boise State, especially in the second half. A lot of it was due to well-exectuted screen passes and another solid running effort from Bishop Sankey. That’s not exactly ASJ’s game, though. It will be interesting to see if Sarkisian sticks to what worked last game or if he changes the game plan to incorporate his All-American tight end.

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