The Washington Football team (6-1, 3-1) hopes to rebound with a win as they host UCLA (4-3,2-2) and QB Josh Rosen. Here’s how to catch the game today, October 28, 2017
The 6-1 Washington Huskies fell from the nation’s top ten and remained there through their bye week. Now at 12/11th in the nation in both the AP and Coaches poll respectively, the Huskies must not only win, but hope for help along the way. While they do not face a nationally ranked team in UCLA, they do face the proficient passing of Josh Rosen at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Leading the Pac-12 is no small feat, but Rosen has already shown his finesse by carving up the Texas A&M Aggies for 28 points in the fourth quarter to pull out a miraculous victory. No lead will be too great.
On one hand, much of the questions about this Washington Football team focused upon the ability of defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake to prepare new players for the 2017 season. So far, those questions have been answered. But the team has lost not only three NFL caliber DB’s, but are down two starters with both Byron Murphy and Jordan Miller. And so, once more the team relies upon new faces in the backfield. Today, we find out how good they are.
But the offensive line will be tested today like never before. With left tackle Trey Adams out, the team must rely upon venerable senior Andrew Kirkland to hold down the blind side. Freshman Luke Wattenberg will get some reps at the position as well.
Defensive backs have never faced a passing attack like this
So far, the Washington defensive backs have delivered better than expected. In fact, it’s been the effort of the entire defensive unit so far. The team’s front seven, led by Vita Vea and Greg Gaines, applies tremendous pressure to opposing quarterbacks.
That pressure also helps to keep running backs in check. With little time to get set, quarterbacks can make mistakes. The Husky DB’s are right there to make them pay.
While the recent trend for interceptions has waned somewhat, you can look for a pick or two against Rosen. He lives by the passing game. So he will likely have some passes he wishes he could get back today as well.
Special teams need to be special again
Wide receiver Dante Pettis ran three punts back for touchdowns this season to tie the NCAA record. Since that time, the special teams has felt less than special. While Dante Pettis‘s punt returns have positioned Washington atop the Pac-12 for punt returns, kickoff returns stand eighth of twelve teams.
On the flipside, Washington kicking game is not just a vulnerability. It’s hemorrhaging. The team is a paltry 5-12 in field goal attempts. Despite the “they looked good in practice” discussions, the team needs to practice those kickers until the don’t think anymore. Loud music, hypnosis, whatever it takes. Games can be decided by one point. Washington cannot afford to lose three at a time.
Keys to the game for Washington
The Washington Football team needs to deliver today on all cylinders. While the team has a 6-1 record, the feeling of the team is… vanilla. Yes, Jake Browning throws touchdowns. But ASU stopped his TD streak at 20 games.
Offensively, the Huskies need a new plan for the offense. Defenses have figured out to double up Dante Pettis and shut down the running game early. To counter that, the Washington Football team needs to shake some things up. Offensively, try a three tight-end set for about 20 percent of the offensive plays today. To win, Washington must control the game clock. That means committing to the running game and sticking with it.
Defensively, the team faces the best passing offense in the Pac-12 . While that places tremendous pressure on the defensive backs, the team can help them out. Toss the kitchen sink at Rosen via blitz packages. Keep him guessing. The less comfortable Josh Rosen is in the pocket, the better the chances of getting a very needed win today.
Keys to the game for UCLA
UCLA is on the road against a tough opponent and they have lost seven consecutive road games. . But they have three things in their favor. Right off the bat, the pressure is all on Washington. Secondly, they have a great passing game. That will force the Washington defense to overcommit to stopping the pass. Much like Arizona State, UCLA can mix in enough running plays to throw the Husky defense off. Thirdly, UCLA needs only to follow the Arizona State script.
On offense, the Bruins need to take chances on third and fourth downs to continue to move the sticks. And if they can get the passing game going, sprinkle in some misdirection running plays to test the Huskies pursuit and edges.
Defensively, the Grizzlies need simply to follow the ASU blueprint for four quarters. Rush four, drop seven. Get pressure on Jake Browning early. Stop the running attack. Blitz on third downs.
I called this game 33-27 over four months ago and I’ll stick with it. The Huskies have a lot of factors lining up today. Most of all, Coach Petersen has to do a better job with the team’s offense today.
The Washington running game needs to shine brighter than it has before. After a stinging and unexpected loss, the Washington Huskies had two weeks to prepare. Now they must deliver. A second consecutive loss not only derails them from NCAA playoff hopes, but derails their hopes of defending their Pac-12 championship.
UCLA – Washington game time, details:
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Time: 12:30 p.m. PT
Location: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington
What TV channel is UCLA-Washington on?
The Washington versus Montana game is televised via ABC/ESPN2.
Will the UCLA – Washington game be broadcast via the radio?
The UCLA- Washington game will make the radio on either 1000 KOMO-AM or 97.7 KOMO-FM in the Seattle area, or on the Sirius Satellite Radio channel 98.
Coaches and Players
Weather – Seattle, WA
At kickoff (projected): Temp – 59 F, Rain – 0%, Humidity – 70%, Wind – SW 2 mph