This Saturday the Dawgs will square off with the ASU Sun Devils in Tempe. Both teams are 4-2, both teams have had looked very good at times (Washington against Boise St, ASU against USC) and both teams have looked like they’ve left a possible win on the table (UW against Stanford, ASU against Notre Dame). Either way, this is a defining game for both teams. Both are considered second-tier teams in their respective divisions, Washington under Oregon and the Sun Devils under UCLA, yet both have flashed top-15 potential.
For the Dawgs, it seems as though they have done the exact same thing each of the last three seasons. They will win a huge game, but lose to too many mid-tier teams and drop one inexplicably to a bad opponent, resulting in a mediocre season overall. This year the Huskies have taken care of business against all mid and lower tier teams. They look way better talent wise on offense and defense, and they have not had road woes like they have in the past. This year is supposed to be different, and it has been. They crushed Boise State, disposed of Arizona handily and won convincingly on the road against Illinois. They lost to Stanford on the road but at times looked to be the better team, out gaining the Cardinal by over 200 yards. That was followed by a loss to Oregon, but the Huskies went into the fourth quarter only down 7 and Oregon looks to be hands down the best team in the nation. It stings to say that as I’ve had a life-long hatred for the Ducks, but they look better than Ohio State, better than Florida State, better than Alabama.
I feel that Arizona State will be a chance to prove the Huskies are a top-15 team. The Sun Devils are not great but they are very good, an 8-9 win caliber team. The Huskies would be able to beat this type of team in the past at home but absolutely not on the road. The Huskies are finally consistent with their performances, they have it together on offense and defense for the first time in the Sarkisian era. If the Huskies win, they are set up for a possible 10 win season. If they lose, I could see them spiral to a 7-8 win season. They’re good enough to win, we’ll just have to see if they have the resolve to beat a good opponent on the road after a tough loss.