Washington faces a pretty decent San Diego State squad on Saturday night. This could end up being one of the better games on this weeks schedule because the Aztecs have been pretty good as of late. They even administered a beating (like who doesn't) to Washington State last season.
SDSU's Rocky Long is one of the better coaches in the region. He inherited some decent talent from Brady Hoke who moved onto Michigan and produced an 8-5 record last season. That resulted in a second straight bowl bid for the Aztecs who had struggled for a number of years until Hoke and Long arrived on the scene.
This season Long is in more of a rebuilding than a reloading mode and I expect the Aztecs will struggle a bit on the road against this level of competition.
OSU transfer Ryan Katz will start at QB on Saturday night. Katz who is very familiar with Washington threw for 2,737 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his career with Oregon State, with only one year as the full-time starter. He lost his job in the first game last season and decided to transfer to SDSU.
Katz will be lining up behind a rebuilding offensive line that will likely struggle with the speed of Washington's defensive front. He will be looking to pass the ball to WR's Colin Lockett and Dylan Desno.
TE Gavin Escobar has been described as a guy who will be playing on Sunday's next season. He is a big target that Katz will be dumping the ball off to quite a bit during the night.
Defensively SDSU only returns three starters from last years team. Washington's running game should be able to pound them early and often setting up some great opportunities for the arm of Keith Price as the game goes on. Price will be facing off against one of his old buddies from HS in CB Leon McFadden who is one of the better coverage corners on the coast.
Washington is a young squad which has developed a lot of talent and depth over the past four seasons since Steve Sarkisian took over the program. This is a program that should be competitive in every single game and they need to be because they play the second toughest schedule (behind Notre Dame) in the country this season.
Look for the Washington offense to pick up where they left off in the Alamo Bowl by scoring early and often against the Aztecs. Look for the revamped Wilcox defense to shut down the SDSU running game and hurry Ryan Katz into mistakes all evening.
Too bad the majority of the country won't be able to watch the game because the Pac 12 Network doesn't have nationwide distribution in place prior to the first weeks events (Shame on you Direct TV, Comcast, and Larry Scott).
You would have thought that the conference would have put together a fail safe pay per view internet option in case of this scenario but they didn't think of it in time.
Washington 41 San Diego State 10