Opener for both teams. Time: 7:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field TV: Pac-12 Network Radio: 950 KJR AM The line: UW by 14 ½ The setup: It's...
Opener for both teams. Time: 7:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field
TV: Pac-12 Network Radio: 950 KJR AM The line: UW by 14 ½
The setup: It’s the season opener for both teams, and for UW that means the debut of its remade defense under new coordinator Justin Wilcox, taking over for the fired Nick Holt. Huskies need a comfortable win to build momentum for a rugged trip next week to Louisiana State.
Key matchup: UW offensive line vs. San Diego State’s 3-3-5 defense. SDSU coach Rocky Long is among the coaches who helped innovate the 3-3-5 defense, which likes to create confusion in the offense about which defenders are lined up where. UW’s offensive line, meanwhile, features first-time starters at right tackle (Ben Riva) and left tackle (Micah Hatchie). Identifying the right players to block will be critical.
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What to expect: The Aztecs like to take chances on defense, so there could be lots of big plays in both directions when the Huskies have the ball. Expect SDSU to try to test UW’s pass defense with QB Ryan Katz, an Oregon State transfer, and a talented group of receivers.
Notes: UW is 2-0 all-time against the Aztecs, the wins coming in 1982 (46-25) and 1997 (36-3). … UW is playing the entire 2012 season at CenturyLink Field while Husky Stadium is renovated. This will be UW’s third game at CenturyLink. … Quarterback Keith Price is tied for fifth on UW’s career TD list with 35. Damon Huard is fourth with 36. … UW beat Eastern Washington 30-27 in its opener last season, its first season-opening win since 2007.
Injuries: UW — DE Hau’oli Jamora (knee), RB Deontae Cooper (knee), LB Nate Fellner (foot), WR James Johnson (wrist) and LB Jamaal Kearse (leg) are out; SDSU — OL Garrett Corbett (leg), WR Osmond Nicholas (knee), DL Kenny Galea’i (leg), QB Chad Jeffries (arm) and DB J.J. Whittaker (arm) are out.
Upset brewing? SDSU has a QB who won’t be awed by the surroundings and some talented WRs. Its passing game figures to take some shots early on UW’s remade defense, and if it has some success, the Aztecs could make it a game.
Prediction: UW 41, San Diego State 20.