The no.6 ranked University of Washington Huskies ( 2-0) will be looking to continue their winning streak when they take on the Fresno State Bulldogs (1-1) Saturday Night ( 6:30 p.m.) at Husky Stadium. If all goes according to the script, the Huskies will win their third nonconference game of the season and be primed for their Pac-12 Conference opener at Colorado on September 23rd.
While one game does not a season make the rematch of last years Pac-12 Championship game between the Huskies and Colorado will have a significant impact for both teams. With the Colorado game just up head, the question is will the Husky be more focused on the Buffallos or will they be present and in the moment Saturday against Fresno State.
CALM AND RELAXED
Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford was on the UW staff as a consultant last year and the experience will ensure that his team will not be intimidated by the Huskies. The Bulldogs are coming off a 41 to 10 loss to No. 1 ranked Alabaman in Tuscaloosa and will enter Husky Stadium with a carefree nothing to lose attitude. The relaxed attitude should help the Bulldogs in the execution of their game plan. The Huskies superior size and talent will prevail especially if the Huskies play four complete quarters something they have yet to do.
The Bulldogs are led by Sophomore quarterback Chason Virgil from Mesquite Texas. Virgil completed 21-of 34 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown in the Bulldogs loss to the Tide. The Bulldogs had 216 passing yards and 57 rushing. Junior wide receiver Junior wideout KeeSean Johnson had eight receptions for 55 yards while senior Da’Mari Scott had a career-high seven catches for 67 yards, Scott had 94 kickoff return yards and 10 yards rushing to give 171 all-purpose yards to match his career best.
The Huskies strategy against the Fresno State offense and pretty much anyone they play this year will be to stop the run and make the opposing offense one-dimensional. There is no doubting the Huskies defensive line that is anchored by preseason AP All-American 2nd team Vita Vea. The Husky Linebackers led by AP Preseason All-America first team Azem Victor and 2016 second-team All-Pac 12
The Husky Defensive backfield led by Taylor Rapp a Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the year in 2016 has shown after two games that new kids on the block are just as good if not better than last years unit that had three players drafted by the NFL.
Fresno State gave up 497 total yards in the Alabama game. 305 of those yards were on the ground while 192 were through the air. This should be the week the Huskies ground game gets rolling. The Huskies had 213 rushing yards against Montana. Salvon Ahmed led the Huskies with 55 rushing yards on nine attempts with quarterback Jack Browning just behind him with 50 yards on 5 attempts. The Huskies will need to give Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman some work if they are to face Colorado with a balanced offense.
The Huskies will need to give Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman some work if they are to face Colorado with a balanced offense. Except for a tipped pic-six against Montana Jake Browning has been nearly flawless in the first two games throwing for 543 yards scoring four touchdowns.
DANTE PETTIS WATCH
One of the games in the game will be the Dante Pettis watch. Pettis has returned a punt for a touchdown in each of the games played by the Huskies this season. Pettis needs one more punt return for a TD to tie the NCAA record of eight which is shared by Wes Walker ( Texas Tech) and Antonio Perkins ( Oklahoma)