This is the biggest non conference game of the year and perhaps the best home game on the schedule. Count on it being sold out and extremely loud inside the stadium. That type of noise can easily disrupt an offense led by a RS freshman. So I think the crowd (home field advantage) is actually worth 7-10 points in this game rather than the usual 3 that Las Vegas usually assigns. I think that noise will lead to some Nebraska turnovers which will even up the game even more.
Special teams have been a big problem for Washington the last two weeks. If the Huskies continue to make the same type of mistakes in the same quantity this week they will lose this game. You may have been able to overcome that against BYU or Syracuse but coming from behind against Nebraska will be very difficult.
The coaches and players have put a lot of effort into special teams over the last couple of weeks and you have to think there will be considerable improvement especially when you factor in that the frosh have a couple of games under their belts. I am going to go out on the ledge and predict that the Huskies will eliminate the majority of special teams mistakes this week.
This is a game which features strength vs strength going head to head all over the field. I think Chris Polk and Jessie Callier are going to pick up close to 200 yards on Saturday. I also think that Jake will have approximately 250 passing yards and have a completion ratio of around 57%.
The Kearse vs Amukamara match up will be fascinating but I count on Jake being able to deliver the ball where it needs to go to keep the offense moving. I think catches will be made but yards after catch will decrease because of the Nebraska coverage and pursuit.
The most important match up as usual is in the trenches. The Washington offensive line needs to run block better in obvious running situations. They need to pick up those tough third and two's on the ground. We need better push to be able to do that. Expect Erik Kohler to be one of the starters at OG this week as the coaches search for the best combo.
Offensively the Cornhuskers are dangerous because in some ways they look like Oregon. The Husky defense hasn't done well against this type of offense in the past. Despite what happened against Western Kentucky and Idaho this isn't a high scoring offense even though they racked up a lot of yards against inferior opponents. I think the Huskies will be able to hold the Huskers to 24 points or less.
If you haven't guessed it by now I am going with a Washington victory. Something tells me that the Huskies are going to be very ready for this game and they are going to play well. I also think this game will go down to the wire and it will be in doubt until the last series.
If Washington can grab the advantage early and make Nebraska chase them good things will happen on Saturday.
Washington 27 Nebraska 24