The Washington Huskies ( 2-0) have an opponent and Husky head coach Jimmy Lake no doubt prescribes the old adage of if you want to be the best then you play the best. The Apple Cup is one thing playing the two-time Pac-12 Southern Division winners is another. Saturday on Primetime the Washington Huskies will take on the Utah Utes ( 0-1).
A 21 point unanswered run by Utah last year saw the Utes claim a 33-28 road victory at Husky Stadium. Saturday matchup will pit the Conferences longest-tenured coach in Kyle Whittingham ( 16 years ) against first-year head coach Jimmy Lake. Despite the game, in head coaching experience both coaches team physical, aggressive, and smart football on all three phases of the game.
With no great surprise Saturdays game will be about defense. Both teams will be out to play some hard nosed defensive football.
TOUGH RUN DEFENSE AGAINST A TOUGH RUN OFFENSE
Utah’s defense held USC to just 93 rushing yards in a 33-17 loss. In regular season play, the Utes have now held their last six Pac-12 opponents to under 100 yards rushing, dating back to their game against California on Oct. 26, 2019 (23 yards).
The Utes have the no.1 ranked rush defense and no. 2 overall while the Husky offense has gained 521 rushing yards in its first two games. The Huskies have the no. 1 ranked rushing offense and the 5th best offense in the Conference. The Huskies have the top-ranked defense in the conference.
A big key to Saturdays game will be which offense is able to move the ball in the air. Both teams are near the Conference bottom when it comes to passing the ball. The Huskies are 10th and the Utes are one spot ahead at number. Utah quarterback Cameron Rising gave way to graduate transfer Jake Bentley after suffering an injury in the first quarter in the Utes loss to the Trojans. Bentley finished the game 16-of-28 passing for 171 yards and a touchdown (2 INT). It was the first time he has seen action in a football game since Aug. 31, 2019 when he suffered a season-ending injury with South Carolina.
Lake has been praising the play of redshirt freshman Dylan Morris decision making, execution and ball handling in the first two games. UW is the only team in the nation that has played a game this year and not committed any turnovers . Morris has completed 29 of 29 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns.
BIG TAKE AWAY
Both teams will be ready to play with the advantage going to the Huskies because they gambled and correctly guessed on their opponent early in the week. The gambit by the Huskies coaching staff gave them an extra time in which to prepare for the Utes. The Husky wide receiving unit could be the difference maker in the game. The young and talented receiving corps has shown signs of greatness but has yet to make an impact in a game as a unit.