Washington vs. Utah prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Saturday’s battle between the Huskies and Utes.
Utah is 7-1, but that’s a bit deceiving considering it has been living dangerously with close wins the last two weeks. Washington’s last three games all have been laughers, and Jake Browning looks like the real deal. Only the fact that he plays on the West Coast will keep him from getting more Heisman votes. Salt Lake City will be buzzing for this one, but Browning and the Huskies will be too much for the Utes.
Utah’s only loss of the season, against Cal, was due to stalled drives, special teams gaffes and the inability to score touchdowns rather than field goals. The Utes outgained the Golden Bears by 80 yards, snuffed out the opponent’s running game, committed fewer penalties and won the turnover battle. It was one of those frustrating games where everything went in Utah’s favor except the final score.
In Washington, Utah will find the toughest defense it has faced all season – by far. Washington is the nation’s most complete team, with no glaring weakness outside of, maybe, the kicking game. This will be a great Pac-12 battle, a preview of the conference championship game, and one that the CFP committee will weigh heavily when unveiling its rankings on Tuesday.
There’s a 52-point over/under for this game, and it’s ridiculous. Jake Browning will lead the charge for more than half of those points. He’ll throw for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns. Myles Gaskin will add a rushing touchdown or two. The Huskies are going to put up a ton of points on what is, in fact, a very talented Utah team. But Washington is also too stout defensively for the Utes to get past. The Huskies win this one, 42-16.
This could be a preview of the Pac-12 title game because both teams are capable of winning their respective divisions. The Huskies have won 10 consecutive games, which ties Western Michigan for the nation’s second-longest active win streak. Chris Petersen’s squad has only given the football up five times this season, while the Utes defense leads the Pac-12 in interceptions (14). Huskies signal-caller Jake Browning will make a rare mistake through the air, but the Utes can’t win a shootout. Running back Joe Williams is contained, and the Huskies steal a huge road win.
When Stanford traveled to Washington in Week 5, most viewed the game as a toss-up, and then the Huskies turned it into a blowout. Jake Browning is the best player in the conference, having put up 15 touchdowns in his last three games. Utah showed major flaws last week in giving up 45 points and 464 yards passing to the Mike Fafaul-led UCLA Bruins. Browning won’t make the same mistakes that kept Utah in the game last week in Los Angeles, and Huskies will top the 50-point mark as they roll past the Utes.
Chris Petersen looks like a father from a 1950s sitcom that sells insurance door-to-door and teaches his son Randy life lessons in each episode after the boy causes a little trouble – like stealing the neighbor’s newspaper, or getting a B on his grammar test. Petersen is also a good coach with a good team. The Huskies will be tested though, as Rice-Eccles Stadium is a tough place to play. U-Dub is a complete team and will outlast the Utes. Now Randy, go to your room and think about what you did.