First let me be clear that I'm an alum so I'm biased toward the Orangemen.
I get to the statement above by realizing the following:
- After the tough loss last week, UW has a pretty decent amount of pressure to win this game
- According to 90% of experts, Las Vegas and most fans, UW should win this game
- SU hasn't won on the west coast in years, is playing in a very hostile environment and has less talent then UW
- If UW wins, they should win so it's nothing special. Jake stays in the Heisman race, maybe improves his positioning, team is on track.
- If UW loses, lordy lordy this would not be good. 0-2 to start a season, non conference or not, is not ideal. Jake's candidacy takes a hit but more importantly this loss would be a huge black spot for Sark.
- Syracuse effectively has no pressure in this game, they want to win this game but are not expected to for numerous reasons and factors. They have absolutely nothing to lose.
- For Washington, who really needs to win this game, playing a team with nothing to lose can present be very difficult.
- And with this assumed pressure going into the game, any mistake by UW, any big play by SU, or simply if UW does not get out ahead comfortable early, the pressure will build, younger players might try to do too much, over think things, and stress would be compounded.
Now I'm not saying UW to fold into a fetal position and cry by any means. It's incredibly likely they come out firing and none of this is an issue.
I do believe though, a slow start to this game for UW could be very bad and while SU doesn't have superior talent, home field advantage or history on their side, if they can withstand the first assault by UW, in game pressure favors them rather significantly. And this is what represents their best chance to win.
Thoughts from da Pound?