Last game, the Washington Huskies faced a confident and surging team in the Oregon State Beavers and grinded out a 19-7 victory.
On the season, the Huskies improved to 6-4 (3-4), which finally has them bowl eligible with just two games left in the regular season.
The Huskies were able to control the game defensively from the outstart and produced its finest performance of the season.
Defensively, the Huskies had a superb game plan of getting constant pressure in the backfield and taking away the Beavers rhythm.
On offense, the Huskies were able to run the ball efficiently in the second half but the passing game was anemic at best.
The Colorado Buffaloes are currently 4-6 (2-5) on the season, and last week they beat the Stanford Cardinal 16-13 at home.
After enduring a five-game losing streak before the Stanford game, the Buffaloes are looking to build off their momentum this coming weekend.
“I’ve been impressed with those guys! They play hard!” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said in regards to what he sees from the Colorado Buffaloes.
The Buffaloes are entering this game in last place in the Pac-12 South Division, and are trying to find their way under first year head coach Mel Tucker.
Here are some keys, the Huskies must do to put themselves in a good position to win this game…..
Come Out Of The Tunnel To A Fast Start
With another tricky road game on deck for the Huskies, it will be imperative for them to come out of the tunnel and start fast! The game will kickoff at 8:00 p.m. MT and after sitting around all day waiting to play, the players must get their minds right and not come out flat. The Huskies play much better as a team when they are able to impose their will and play at the type of pace that they prefer. It all starts with a mindset as an entire team from the coaches and all the way down to the players. Night games haven’t been the Huskies strong suit this season and opposing teams have been able to take advantage of the Huskies slow starts and stay in games early on. It’s time for the Huskies to “put it on them” from the first snap and put the pressure on the Buffaloes in their own stadium!
Take Some Shots Down The Field
One of the big reasons that Colorado is struggling this season is because they are giving up 32.3 points per game on defense. More specifically, the Buffaloes defense is allowing 308.9 points per game through the air. This may be just what the doctor ordered for a Husky passing game that struggled during their last game against the Oregon State Beavers. The Huskies should be able to move the ball in the passing game and get some “big chunk” yardage plays along the way. Washington quarterback Jacob Eason has a strong arm so let him showcase it against a defense that can’t defend the pass on a consistent basis. By getting some big plays down the field, it will soften “the box” and allow the Huskies running game to have their way throughout the course of the game.
Force The Buffaloes Offense Into 3rd And Long Situations
The Buffaloes offense has an experienced leader on the field at quarterback in senior Steven Montez. He has an uncanny ability to elude pressure and extend plays and drives. The Huskies can have some huge success is forcing Colorado into some 3rd and long situations, where the Buffaloes have struggled mightily this season. On the entire year, Colorado is only converting 43% of its 3rd down conversions, which has caused them to leave points out on the field. With an aggressive and swarming to the ball style of defense that the Huskies like to play, look for them to force the Buffaloes into some long yardage conversions. If the Huskies can put Colorado behind the sticks and bring pressure on 3rd down conversions then advantage to the Huskies all night long!
Husky Defense Needs To Set The Tone Early
Last game against the Beavers, the Husky defense was absolutely sensational with the way they dominated the line of scrimmage the entire game. After coming off a dominant performance like that, the Husky defense will need to carry that momentum into Folsom Field and dominate the struggling Buffaloes early on. Nothing puts a road team in a better position to come out with a win then bringing the physicality on the defensive end. If the Huskies can force some early turnovers and give the spotty Husky offense some good field position, then the odds stack immensely on the side of the Huskies. With the Husky defense applying pressure from the outstart, the Buffaloes will be forced to take chances, which will provide opportunities for forced turnovers down the stretch.
Make A Statement
It’s been quite a while since Husky fans have seen it, but they are clamoring for a statement win and dominating performance. They have gotten it from one side of the ball but it has been a while since the team has produced a complete performance. Last game against the Beavers, the Huskies won, but they didn’t destroy a team that they should have handled much easier on the scoreboard. Against a “bottom dweller” like Colorado, the Huskies should and need to come out and make a statement on the scoreboard. Don’t just get by and win by 10 points, but rather blowout them out and send a message. The Huskies have it in them to win in grand fashion but it will require a full performance for 60 minutes in all three phases of the game. It’s time for the Huskies to “push someone around!”
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