When Washington has the ball:
Jake Locker is suffering from the flu and a quad bruise this week. The flu situation will be better fine by game time but the quad bruise concerns me. Last years stretch of losses after the USC game was exacerbated by a Locker quad contusion which limited his mobility until the last two games of the season. As we saw last week against ASU when Jake isn't mobile Washington doesn't win football games.
Chris Polk and Jessie Callier averaged over 6 yards per carry last week against ASU but fans questioned why they didn't get the ball more during the game. A 14 point deficit at halftime was the biggest reason according to Sarkisian.
Washington's receiving corps led by Jermaine Kearse have put up some good numbers this year but one number they want to eliminate is dropped passes. Drops have been killing the Husky offense over the last three games.
The Huskies have been experimenting with a revamped offensive line this week in practice. Christine is at center, Tolar and Porter are the guards, Kelemete and Schaeffer have been manning the tackle spots. Three year starter Cody Habben has been working with the second unit.
When OSU has the ball:
Ryan Katz has become special over the first half of the season just like I expected him to be. Katz is peaking right now and if the Huskies don't get some decent pressure in him he is going to pick them apart. Katz was 30 of 42 passes for 393 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Arizona.
All American WR James Rodgers is out for the season after blowing up his knee last week. Markus Wheaton become the go to guy in the passing offense and on special teams. As Sark says there isn't much of a difference between Rodgers and Wheaton...they are both good. Wheaton is a little banged up too and has swelling in one of his knee's.
Jacquizz Rodgers has turned in good numbers this season but he commented earlier this week that the OSU running game wasn't performing up to expectations and he needs to start running harder to counter that. He has rushed for 481 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season.
Keep an eye on TE/HB Joe Halahuni who always comes up with big plays on third downs. Just once you think you have the Beavers stalled on a third and long he turns nothing into a big play.
The loss of James Rodgers is a big one for the Beavers in this area. He is one of the most prolific kick returners in the country. OSU kicker Justin Kahut is coming off a game where he missed two missed extra-points and several short kickoffs against Arizona.
Washington has been getting better every week in this area. Kicking has been solid all year. Washington is doing much better in the coverage and return games. Kevin Smith won't be able to return kicks this week because of the broken thumb but Jessie Callier has shown some spark. He has a 51 yard return against ASU.
C Alex Linnenkohl (ankle) and OG Grant Johnson (neck) are both questionable.
Mike Riley quotes:
The Huskies are 104th in the FBS in total defense, yielding an average of 429.6 yards, and tied for 95th in scoring defense, allowing 30.8 points per game.
Oregon State is averaging 28.0 points per game this season.