#22 Washington (2-1, 0-1) vs. BYU (2-1, 0-0)
Saturday, September 21st @ 12:30 p.m. PST
Lavell Edwards Stadium (Provo, Utah)
Line: Washington -6.5
Radio: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7
The Washington Huskies will face off against the BYU Cougars at Lavell Edwards Stadium as they tackle their first road test of the season.
During the game last week, the Huskies rebounded in grand fashion with a commanding 52-20 win over the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
This week, the Huskies are facing an opponent that is tough to beat at home, because of the raucous and passionate BYU crowd.
So far this season, BYU is off to a great start with notching two impressive wins against Tennessee and USC in back-to-back weeks.
“They get a good crowd and it’s an awesome place to play a college football game” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said.
The Huskies have a young roster headed to Provo, and for many of the players it will be their first experience at a hostile environment.
Defensively, the Huskies will have to win the “big plays” battle and find a way to get off the field on third and fourth downs.
Offensively, the BYU Cougars like to create a ton of pre-snap confusion with their motion and personnel groupings.
Something has to give in this contest between the highly confident Cougars and the young and talented Huskies.
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
QB – Jacob Eason
The transfer from Georgia bounced back last week with a spectacular performance. He finished the game with 18 for 225, 262 yards, 3 TD’s and 0 Int. Eason was decisive on his reads and delivered some darts down the field.
DB – Myles Bryant
Heart and soul leader of the defense, Bryant was simply sensational last week against Hawaii and was the difference maker on defense. He came away with the first two interceptions of the game and also notched a sack. Bryant earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of The Week honors for his effort.
TE – Hunter Bryant
An absolute difference maker in the passing game, Bryant has led the Huskies in receptions in every single game this season. This past weekend against Hawaii, he had 5 receptions for 115 yards and 1 TD. Bryant earned the John Mackey Tight End of the Week award for his performance.
KEY PLAYERS: BYU
QB – Zach Wilson
Sophomore Zach Wilson is coming off a season a year ago where he set the BYU Freshman efficiency rating record of 157.2. He is a multi-talented quarterback who has a knack for making plays. He was named to the preseason Davey O’Brien Watch List.
RB – Ty’Son Williams
Redshirt senior Ty’son Williams is coming off a week where he rushed for 100 yards on 19 carries against the USC Trojans. Williams has been a solid pickup for the Cougars as a graduate transfer from South Carolina. He ran in from 5-yards against Tennessee for the game winner earlier this season.
LB – Kavika Fonua
Redshirt junior Kavika Fonua has been the biggest force on defense for BYU all season long. He cuurently leads the team with 30 total tackles on the season and 1 int. The talented and physical linebacker is constantly swarming around the football.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
– Washington and BYU will be meeting for the 11th time ever this Saturday. To date, the Huskies hold a 6-4 advantage in the 10 games, including wins in the last two. The Huskies are 4-1 at home, 1-3 in Provo and 1-0 in bowl games vs. BYU.
– Washington’s roster remains on the young side. Of the 106 current players, more than half – 55 – are freshmen or redshirt freshmen, due in large part to the fact that every freshman on last year’s team preserved their redshirt season. Washington’s roster includes 18 seniors, 20 juniors, 13 sophomores, 25 redshirt freshmen and 30 true freshmen.
– Washington hasn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 35 points in a game since a 44-30 loss at UCLA in 2014 – one of only three games in Chris Petersen’s UW tenure that an opponent has scored more than 35 points. That’s a streak of 59 games in a row that the Huskies’ opponent has failed to score more than 35.
– After three interceptions against USC and one against Tennessee, BYU ranked No. 8 nationally in passes intercepted with a total of four.
– The Cougar offense spread the ball around to 11 different receivers last week vs. the Trojans. Gunner Romney, Micah Simon and Aleva Hifo each had three apiece while Moroni Laulu-Pututau, Dax Milne and Lopini Katoa all had two. The other pass catchers were Talon Shumway, Ty’Son Williams, Matt Bushman, Emmanuel Esukpa and Zach Wilson on a special play.
– The Cougars are facing the third of three Pac-12 teams on the schedule with No. 21/22 Washington this week. After falling to No. 15 Utah in the season opener, BYU bounced back to beat No. 24 USC last week. BYU is 74-128-6 against the current Pac-12.
Tysen Allumbaugh [“Dawg Thoughts” Show Host] (1-1)
Jeff Wright (2-1)
There are a lot of contributing factors going into this contest that points to this matchup being a cautious game for the Huskies. Going into Lavell Edwards Stadium and trying to pull out a victory is never any easy task. They have a passionate fan base and the atmosphere brings with it a certain aura and mystique to it. The Huskies are heading into their first road test of the season and it just so happens to take place at a hostile environment. With youth all throughout the roster for the Huskies, it will be a first time experience for some of the players. The Huskies did a great job of rebounding last week and getting back on track against Hawaii. The offense found some rhythm to it and some positive momentum was gained from it. Defensively the Huskies came away with their first turnovers of the season which helped ignite the crowd and the Husky sideline. BYU is coming into this game with supreme confidence. They are coming off two impressive wins against Tennessee and USC and will be relying on the emotion of the Cougar fan base to pull them through. The Huskies still have the more talented roster on paper but as we know, these games are not won on paper, but rather between the lines. I expect the Huskies to continue to sustain a productive running game and control the clock while imposing their will on BYU’s defensive front down the stretch. The Husky offensive line will get enough push to control the line of scrimmage and help keep the Husky defense off the field in the altitude. The Husky defense will come away with a timely takeaway down the stretch and the Huskies will come away victorious and ride off into the Provo sunset. It will be a “Dawg FIght” though.