Players to watch
QB Justin Arias, RB Xavier Finney, WR Cameron Richmond
Idaho State has opened their year strongly with two home games against Dixie State University and Western State Colorado University, going 2-0 and outscoring their competition by a margin of 69-17. That's notable improvement, because the Tigers went just 1-10 last year, including a 10-77 loss against a Portland State squad that UW beat 52-13. Their run of early-season good luck looks to end on Saturday on Montlake, where (at the time of this writing) the Dawgs are pegged as 53-point favorites.
Starting quarterback Justin Arias is off to a hot start this season, having thrown for 868 yards and four touchdowns against no picks while completing 66.3 percent of his passes. He's done a good job of distributing the ball, with four different receivers accounting for each of his touchdown passes, and six players logging receptions of more than 20 yards. However, he has a definite favorite target in fifth-year senior Cameron Richmond, who has caught nearly one-third of Arias' passes in 2013. Shutting Richmond down will likely be the primary goal of UW's secondary.
On the ground, Idaho State operates a two-man committee rushing attack that is headlined by Xavier Finney (25 attempts for 144 yards and a score). He is followed distantly by Aaron Prier (16 attempts for 47 yards).
I'd write more, but really, what's the point? On a pure talent level, the Huskies' third-string players would be double-digit favorites against this squad. The only way the Dawgs don't win this one walking away is if they get caught napping, and if that's the case, they've got bigger fish to fry than merely beating Idaho State.
As always, thanks to College Football Statistics, ESPN and USA Today's College Football Injury Report for the relevant data that went into this article. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking below.