Santa Clara, CA - This is how it should be every year. Two top-10 teams meet in the Pac-12 Championship game, with at least one of them hopeful to land a bid in the annual College football playoff. A lot is at stake this weekend as the Huskies and the Buffaloes hit the field. Both programs have long and storied histories, and both programs are hitting resurgences after some extremely long droughts.
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
When: Friday, December 1, 2016 @ 6:00 p.m. Pacific/9:00 p.m. EST
TV Info: FOX - Joe Davis (play-by-play), Brady Quinn (color) and Jenny Taft (sidelines) providing the commentary.
Radio Info: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7; Sirius (84) and XM (84)
How to Watch and Listen to the Huskies:
Audio Stream: TuneIn Radio
Video Stream: FoxSportsGo
This will be the 15th meeting between these two teams. If you can believe it, the first meeting was in 1915. In just over 100 years ... 101 to be exact ... these two teams play each other ever seven years, give or take a year or so.
During that The Buffs had the unfortunate happenstance of playing against a Gil Dobie coached UW Squad. The final line in that game was 46-0. Since then, the Huskies own this series, leading it 9-5-1 all-time. They also currently have a 6 game winning streak that dates back to 1999.
1 - the difference between Colorado and Washington opponents’ average points scored per game (UW is at 17.8 and CU is at 18.8).
1 - UW’s conference rank in Scoring offense (44.8 points per game).
1 - UW’s national rank in turnover margin per game and total turnovers forced (+1.5 and 30 respectively). Colorado is ranked 8th and 6th in those same categories at an impressive +.83 and 26.
2 - The number of times the Huskies have played a team with a mobile quarterback.
2 - The number of times the Huskies have struggled on defense whey they played against a mobile quarterback.
3 - UW’s national rank in scoring offense (they’re behind only Oklahoma and Louisville).
4.67 - UW and CU’s average yards allowed per play ... yup, they’re tied.
55 - UW’s national rank in time of possession ... that’s impressive. They’re third in the country at points per game. For some reason the word efficiency comes to mind. The Huskies score 1 point every 8 minutes, 12 seconds. Compare that to Wisconsin who leads the nation in time of possession. They score a point every 14 minutes, 49 seconds. That is a huge difference.
Putting it all Together
These two teams are in the conference championship for a reason. Both of them field a top three defense and and top three offense, at least as far as conference rankings go. They both have elite secondaries, great runningbacks and receivers, and very good quarterbacks.
If the Huskies have an advantage over the Buffaloes, it’s that they are better on offense and defense. Those are some very important places to be better than the other team, in case you were wondering.
However, the Buffaloes appear to have the Husky D’s Kryptonite in Sefo Lufao and his ability to extend plays with his legs, and gash the defense for long runs. I have a feeling he’s going to be a thorn in UW’s side, unless they can somehow manage to keep a spy on him to limit his ability to pick up yards on his feet.
There is going to be a lot of physical play on the line of scrimmage this evening, as both sets of big uglies have proven to play big, play mean, and have their way with opposing lines. This is the last key battle the Huskies need to win if they’re going to come away with a W at the end of this game.
The Huskies are favored at 7.5 favorites to take this game (courtesy of VegasInsider). I’d take a victory by more than a touchdown, as long as the Huskies take the lead early, and keep Colorado at a reasonable distance. The last thing I need is more stress. The O/U is 56 points. With to amazing defenses playing, I can’t imagine this game going too far above that, though I have occasionally been wrong in the past.
Read the game notes, especially the quick slants, depth charts, and history between the two teams. There may be typos, but I have those all the time. Just get past them, and get on to the good stuff.