We have had some very nice people from LSU visit the site this week. One of them suggested we get a prediction thread rolling.
I have my Pac 10 predictions coming out on Thursday this week but there is no reason that everyone else can't start chiming in about what they think will happen on Saturday night.
My feeling is that it will be closer than most people around the country think. I also am of the opinion that Washington needs to be at least plus two in the turnover category to have a chance of pulling the upset. In addition to the plus two they need to show that they can convert on those opportunities.
LSU suffered last season because of turnover ratio. I think if we can get pressure on their young QB good things can happen. I am not buying that the problem is solved in game one with a young QB with limited experience
LSU fans who are coming to Seattle to watch a game for the first time are in for a surprise. Husky Stadium is a fantastic venue to watch a game at. It gets very loud in the stadium because of the way it was constructed. The two upper decks reflect the sound back down onto the field. When it really gets rocking you simply can't hear your self think.
The SEC has some very loud stadiums. I have been to Knoxville and it is extremely loud. I have been to many stadiums across the country but I am pretty sure that I have never been to a venue as loud as Husky Stadium when the fans are participating.
Anyway this is your chance to make your predictions and debate them with the visiting fans from LSU!
Bill Schwartz on KIRO
Bill Schwartz who covered the Huskies on radio with Bob Rondeau for many years questioned yesterday if Jake Locker was buying into the new coaching staff. He made that observation after listening to interviews Jake has made with the media that seemed less than enthusiastic.
For those that didn't hear it, he said that based on his impressions of Jake's body language and tone of voice at the press conference it was his interpretation that Jake has doubts about Sark's offense working with the current players, and that possibly Jake is not buying into the new system. He gave the example of Jake being very measured in his responses.
Bob Condotta who knows the team better than anyone has a different theory. He feels that Jake is tired of answering the same questons over and over again. Kim Grinolds over at Dawgman thinks Jake is just doing what he was trained to do under Tyrone for the past three years. Both of these guys think Jake is 110% in by the way. I have heard and read a lot of these interviews and I haven't gotten a negative impression. I think Jake wants to get out on the field, start winning some games, and let the his play do the talking.
Ted Miller of ESPN thinks Jake and Sark are a perfect fit. everything he has heard has been positive.
I don't think anyone has anything to worry about when it comes to Jake Locker.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has an excellent interview with strength and conditioning coach Ivan Lewis. It is just a great read!
"I don't know why guys buy into one thing and not another when you are getting paid to go to school," says senior defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim of Lewis' conditioning regimen. "But they bought into that."
A couple of things surprised me such as rating the offensive line as high as seventh which I think is too generous and rating the linebackers ninth which I think is a crock. Quality depth is an issue but ninth when you have three potential all conference performers starting?
How about defensive end where the Huskies have talent three players deep at each position. Depth is not an issue here. How can you rate any unit 9th that includes Daniel Teo Nesheim?
WSU ahead of UW at both safety and cornerback? I find that hard to believe.
I hate to be critical of Ted because in the end he is usually pretty spot on with his pre-season observations. I think the key for most of us including the media is actually seeing how these guys perform in a couple of games. Without that I think it is impossible to guage whatever type of progress they have made since last fall.
Safety - 10th
Nate Williams is a solid strong safety and redshirt freshman Greg Walker has flashed ability at free, but the Huskies have a long way to go in the secondary.
Cornerback - 10th
Speaking of terrible against the pass... the Huskies allowed opponents to complete 67 percent of their passes and surrendered 24 TD passes with just seven interceptions in 2008. Quinton Richardson will man one side while the uncertain health of redshirt freshman Justin Glenn means true freshman Desmond Trufant or junior Vonzell McDowell will start on the other side.
Linebacker - 9th
The Huskies have a solid triumvirate. E.J. Savannah returns after missing all of 2008 due to a suspension. He'll play outside opposite Mason Foster with Donald Butler in the middle. Depth is an issue.
Defensive End - 9th
Daniel Te'o Nesheim was second-team All-Pac-10 in 2008 after posting eight of the defense's 16 sacks in 2008. Senior Darrion Jones returns at the other end and youngsters Kalani Aldrich and Everrette Thompson have potential.
Defensive Tackle - ?
(Ted hasn't rated the tackles yet but I think we all know where this is headed.)
Offensive Line - 7th
Tight End - 9th
Sophomore Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki were two of the Huskies' more heralded recruits over the past couple of seasons. Both have the ability to be strong contributors. JC transfer Dorson Boyce is a good blocker and will see plenty of action.
Wide Receiver - 8th
D'Andre Goodwin, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar combined for 100 receptions last year. The bad news is they scored only three touchdowns. Toss in freshman James Johnson, and this is one of the Huskies strongest positions. They may well be better than eighth, but they've got to prove themselves.
Running Back - 9th
This is a strange one. Three of the Huskies top four running backs from 2008 are gone for various reasons, and the fourth, Willie Griffin, appears to be No. 3 on the depth chart. So what's up? Chris Polk, a touted 2008 recruit who was injured last season, and Johri Fogerson, who played safety in 2008, have looked good during preseason practices.
Quarterback - 2nd
Point out the injury that ended his 2008 season after four games, or his lackluster completion percentage, but know that Jake Locker scares defensive coordinators. And early returns are he and Steve Sarkisian might make beautiful music together. Backup Ronnie Fouch has looked much better during the preseason.
Ted's Season Key for Washington
A team coming off an 0-12 season has a lot of critical areas, but the biggest one in 2009 is playing better in the secondary. The Huskies ranked 115th in the nation in pass efficiency defense last year, with opponents completing 67 percent of their throws, 24 of which went for touchdowns. The first priority -- because you can't magically create better speed -- is playing soundly and not blowing coverages.