Calling the contest
The fateful meeting will take place on Saturday, September 1, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. That time of year will undoubtedly be a hot day in “Hotlanta”. And as such, the early advantages of familarity, weather, and time zone all fall squarely to Auburn University. Temperature wise, Seattle runs in the low to mid 70s, while Atlanta, Georgia bakes in the mid to upper 80s. It’s safe to assume that the Washington Football team will be fighting the heat.
The Huskies must also fight off the challenge of the time zone difference. Last season, the opener against the Rutgers Scarlett Knights began slowly as Washington struggled to catch up to the three hour time difference. A similar beginning against Auburn could lead to a devastating outcome. So you can be sure the team will plan accordingly.
Not so neutral Neutral Site
Finally, that “neutral site” location of Atlanta, Georgia will most definitely be out in full force to cheer on the nearby Auburn Tigers. So Washington will be up against three non-football opponents to the game before we even experience a bad call by the referee or the first kickoff. Winning this game will require a great deal of focus, a superior game plan, and the ability to adapt the team’s offense and defense to what the team sees on the field.
Even with all these factors opposing a good Washington Football team showing, I expect the Huskies will be well prepared. They will have the Fiesta Bowl game to draw upon. And many players from this team had a trip to the east coast to familiarize themselves with time change last season. So the question is whether this coaching staff can adapt to previous lessons learned. I believe they can.