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Oregon State at Washington Game Preview

When Washington has the ball:

Jake Locker is suffering from the flu and a quad bruise this week. The flu situation will be better fine by game time but the quad bruise concerns me. Last years stretch of losses after the USC game was exacerbated by a Locker quad contusion which limited his mobility until the last two games of the season. As we saw last week against ASU when Jake isn't mobile Washington doesn't win football games.

Chris Polk and Jessie Callier averaged over 6 yards per carry last week against ASU but fans questioned why they didn't get the ball more during the game. A 14 point deficit at halftime was the biggest reason according to Sarkisian.

Washington's receiving corps led by Jermaine Kearse have put up some good numbers this year but one number they want to eliminate is dropped passes. Drops have been killing the Husky offense over the last three games.

The Huskies have been experimenting with a revamped offensive line this week in practice. Christine is at center, Tolar and Porter are the guards, Kelemete and Schaeffer have been manning the tackle spots. Three year starter Cody Habben has been working with the second unit.

When OSU has the ball:

Ryan Katz has become special over the first half of the season just like I expected him to be. Katz is peaking right now and if the Huskies don't get some decent pressure in him he is going to pick them apart. Katz was 30 of 42 passes for 393 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Arizona.

All American WR James Rodgers is out for the season after blowing up his knee last week. Markus Wheaton become the go to guy in the passing offense and on special teams. As Sark says there isn't much of a difference between Rodgers and Wheaton...they are both good. Wheaton is a little banged up too and has swelling in one of his knee's.

Jacquizz Rodgers has turned in good numbers this season but he commented earlier this week that the OSU running game wasn't performing up to expectations and he needs to start running harder to counter that. He has rushed for 481 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season.

Keep an eye on TE/HB Joe Halahuni who always comes up with big plays on third downs. Just once you think you have the Beavers stalled on a third and long he turns nothing into a big play.

Special Teams:

The loss of James Rodgers is a big one for the Beavers in this area. He is one of the most prolific kick returners in the country. OSU kicker Justin Kahut is coming off a game where he missed two missed extra-points and several short kickoffs against Arizona.

Washington has been getting better every week in this area. Kicking has been solid all year. Washington is doing much better in the coverage and return games. Kevin Smith won't be able to return kicks this week because of the broken thumb but Jessie Callier has shown some spark. He has a 51 yard return against ASU.


James Rodgers had seven catches for 102 yards with a touchdown and added 50 yards on two kickoff returns against Arizona before he was injured. The Beavers are going to miss him going forward no matter who steps up.

TE Brady camp is out with a sore back. John Reese and Colby Prince will share the position this week.

C Alex Linnenkohl (ankle) and OG Grant Johnson (neck) are both questionable.

DE Dominic Glover has moved into the starting role for Taylor Henry. Henry had been slowed by a back injury from training camp and hasn't gotten on track.

UW QB Jake Locker has sat out of the team portion of drills this week. "I'll be alright. Kind of a head-congestion type thing," I don't know what it was. I just at times, I felt more tired than I ever felt." - Jake Locker on having the flu last weekend against ASU.
Washington WR Devin Aguilar is listed as questionable but has not practiced this week. RB Johri Fogerson is still out with a hip flexor injury. Erik Kohler still hasn't been cleared to practice and is listed as questionable. TE Chris Izbicki is questionable with a bruised back.

Position Matchups:
Quarterback: Even
Running Backs: Even
Receivers: Washington
Offensive Line: Oregon State
Defensive Line: Oregon State
Linebackers: Even
Defensive Backs: Even
Special Teams : Even

Steve Sarkisian quotes:

"I'm not even looking at that. (UW bowl hopes) I think we get in trouble as a football team when we start looking at the 'what-ifs' down the road and the consequences of a loss or the what-ifs if we win."

I think the world of Coach Riley. He does a tremendous job coaching his football team in all three phases. They play hard. They execute well. They've got better players, I think, than people think. They're a good football team. I'm not surprised. They played TCU and Boise both very tough. They were in a hard-fought game versus Louisville, they were in another hard-fought game versus Arizona State, they were in another hard-fought game versus Arizona. They've been in really tight ball games; every one of them have come down to the last possession or two possessions in the fourth quarter. They're showing the mental toughness to continue to execute in those situations, regardless of what happened early in the year. So I'm not surprised at all.''

Mike Riley quotes:

"It's a big blow to the Beavers," Riley said concerning the loss of James Rodgers. "What we've got to obviously find in the football end of it is who's going to gain all these yards."


Oregon State has won six straight over the Huskies since a 38-17 loss in 2003.

The Huskies are 104th in the FBS in total defense, yielding an average of 429.6 yards, and tied for 95th in scoring defense, allowing 30.8 points per game.

Oregon State is averaging 28.0 points per game this season.