Kickoff between the Huskies and North Dakota in their second game of the season is set for 2 p.m. Saturday on the Pac-12 Networks.
UW GAME DAY
No. 9 Huskies (0-1) vs. North Dakota (1-0)
2 p.m. PT Saturday at Husky Stadium
TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: KOMO-AM 1000/FM-97.7
LATEST LINE: There is no line.
UW KEY PLAYERS
QB Jake Browning: 296 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT vs. Auburn
RB Salvon Ahmed: 7 carries, 40 yards
LB Ben Burr-Kirven: 13 tackles
CB Myles Bryant: 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 break-up
NORTH DAKOTA KEY PLAYERS
QB Nate Ketteringham: 225 yards, 3 TD
RB John Santiago: 17 carries, 101 yards
DE Mason Bennett: 3 TFL, 2 sacks
LB Noah Larson: 7 tackles
What to watch for
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Against Auburn last week, the Huskies had four offensive linemen make their first career starts at their particular position — senior right tackle Kaleb McGary being the only returning starter at his regular position. (Junior Nick Harris shifted over from right guard to be the new center, and sophomore Luke Wattenberg shifted from left tackle to left guard). Coach Chris Petersen said he was generally pleased with the offensive line’s performance against Auburn’s stout front seven, and praised the play of new left tackle Jared Hilbers and redshirt freshman right guard Jaxson Kirkland. “Physically, it was what we expected,” O-line coach Scott Huff said. “I think we’re going to be pretty good. It was the mental stuff that we’re working on. Some of it is just settling in, some of it’s coaching. Some of it’s, ‘Hey, good job, we’re really proud of you.’ But at the same time it’s, ‘Hey, this is big-time football and we’ve got a high standard and that’s what we expect.’”
North Dakota will use more of a traditional downhill running game — think of an undersized Stanford offense — featuring multiple running backs and, yes, even a fullback (remember those?). North Dakota senior running back John Santiago was a second-team FCS All-American in 2017 after leading the FCS with 1,780 all-purpose yards. “I’m anxious to play these guys because it’s a completely new challenge,” Petersen said. “They use a fullback, they use multiple tight ends. They’ve got three big wide receivers. I can’t wait to see our guys line up against this.”
Season tickets on the rise
Washington has sold out Husky Stadium for just five games in the five seasons since the 2013 renovation of Husky Stadium was completed. The Huskies likely will come up short of a sellout for home opener Saturday; UW reported selling about 64,000 tickets as of Friday (capacity is 70,083).
The good news for UW is that season-ticket sales are on the rise for the fifth season in a row. The Huskies have sold 44,944 season tickets this year. Here’s how that compares to recent seasons:
2012: 41,193 (at CenturyLink Field)
PREDICTION: Huskies 48, North Dakota 12.