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Syracuse at Washington Game Preview

Washington’s 2010 home season kicks off this Saturday when Syracuse travels cross country for a 4:00 p.m. PT game at Husky Stadium.

The Washington-Syracuse game will air live on FSN-Northwest with Tom Glasgow, Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, and Jason Stiles providing the commentary.

When Washington has the ball:

Washington scored only 17 points and was shut out in the second half at BYU, but we all know the Huskies are a completely different team at home. The Washington offense should be able to bounce back against Syracuse.

The key to this contest is how Jake Locker and Chris Polk perform against the Syracuse front seven. The Orange won't be a push-over on defense --10 starters are back from 2009. Syracuse runs a 4-3 defense; expect them to implement some of the same schemes BYU used last week to contain Locker in the pocket and keep Chris Polk bottled up.

That type of vigilance at the line of scrimmage should create opportunities for Locker to exploit the leaky Syracuse secondary. Washington should be able to take advantage of man to man coverage. When Locker drops back he’ll have Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar as his primary targets, who combined combined for more than 1400 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in 2009.

When Syracuse has the ball:

Syracuse doesn't have a high scoring offense, relying upon their defense to keep it close. The Orange attempt to control the tempo with the running game and selectively pass the ball when the defense creeps up to stop the run.

Delone Carter is a talented running back who will get the ball early and often. Washington needs to stop him and force the Orange to attack from the air, which could force them into mistakes. Syracuse had problems handling the ball last week at Akron, so UW needs to take advantage of that and create turnovers.

Sophomore QB Ryan Nassib earned Big East player of the week honors with his 229 yard, two touchdown performance last week. Seven different players caught a pass against Akron, led by Van Chew and Alec Lemon with eight catches and 128 receiving yards combined.

The Syracuse offensive line has some holes and lacks experience. The Washington defense--which had problems last week with BYU's veteran offensive line--may find the going a bit easier this week. The Huskies need to prove they can bring the pressure from the ends.

Special Teams:

Washington is coming off a terrible week of special teams play, a situation was exacerbated in practice this week when punter Will Mahan seriously injured his non-kicking knee and is now out for the season. Expect Syracuse to come after the Washington punter (Kiel Rasp) all afternoon.

The Orange muffed several punts, neither of which resulted in turnovers, and had some trouble snapping the ball on PATs, costing themselves two points on missed kicks last week against Akron.


The Orange gave the ball away three times, on two fumbles and an interception last week against Akron. Syracuse put the ball on the ground four times in the first half and lost possession only twice.

Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib fumbled twice in the first half, both on hits he took after being chased from the pocket.

Washington didn't pick up or commit any turnovers against BYU.

Position Matchups:

Quarterback: Washington

Running Backs: Even

Receivers: Washington

Offensive Line: Even

Defensive Line: Even

Linebackers: Even

Defensive Backs: Washington

Special Teams : Even

Steve Sarkisian quote:

"They are (Syracuse) an extremely well-coached football team'' and that they are very similar to UW in terms of offensive scheme. "They have a nice mix of two-back and one-back stuff, their play-action is deadly and defensively they are an active, fast-playing football team. They get after the QB. They are immensely improved on both sides of the ball from last year to this year. I was really, really impressed looking at the Akron game.''

Doug Marrone quote:

"It’s a difficult task for our football team (playing at Washington), but it’s a great challenge for us. We will be tested because Washington has at least three good, quality receivers who will test our corner play."

Bulletin Board Material:

On how to control Jake Locker - "Contain him and hit him in his mouth," Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas said. "First play, hit him in his mouth."

"We are going to hit him: sacks, smacks, knock him out of bounds - Change his mind."

"Why can’t we be the No. 1 defense in the country?" Thomas said. "We watched BYU on defense. I think we are better than them on defense. We fly to the ball better, we cover better."


Syracuse is 1-11-1 playing on the West Coast or in Texas since 1964.

The teams last met in 2007, with Washington getting the win 42-12.

Last season, the Orangemen went 4-8, including a 1-6 Big East Conference record.

RB Delone Carter rushed for over 1,000 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2009.

SU returns 10 starters from a defensive unit that finished first in the Big East in rush defense last year.

Syracuse is playing 10 true freshman this season.

Washington is playing 14 true freshman this season.

Washington has played against only four of the eight current football-playing members of the Big East Conference: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, U-Conn, and Syracuse. The Huskies are 4-5 all-time against that trio.