After previewing Portland State’s offensive, defensive, and special teams capabilities, it’s time for the UW Dawg Pound staff to make their picks for tomorrow’s game. The FCS Portland State Vikings round out Washington’s non-conference schedule, and Vegas expects a Washington blowout so large that they haven’t even assigned the game a betting line. Do our writers agree?
Despite knocking off a Pac-12 opponent in the first week of the 2015 season, few observers will give Portland State the benefit of the doubt as they take on No. 8 Washington tomorrow evening at Husky Stadium. The reason for that seems simple enough: through two games this season, the Vikings have surrendered a combined 92 points to Central Washington and San Jose State, including five total touchdowns — three passing, two rushing — to SJSU Spartans quarterback Kenny Potter. (Another shoutout is deserved for Washington alumnus and San Jose State running back Deontae Cooper, who rushed for 126 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries against the Vikings.) The Dawgs currently own the nation's longest streak of games in which they have scored 40 or more points; based on what Portland State has shown so far, that streak figures to extend at least one more game.
Defensively, Washington’s starting units have surrendered a grand total of three first-half points in this season’s two games, and it seems hard to believe that Vikings quarterback Alex Kuresa will find success against Washington’s elite secondary a week after throwing three picks against the Spartans. At worst, this is a game in which the Huskies need a quarter or so before finding their footing and rolling over an outclassed opponent. With apologies to Dick Baird, the Pac-12 opener at Arizona can’t come soon enough. Washington 56, Portland State 6.
This is gonna be pretty short. I wanna give credit to Portland State; they're good. But in 2016 they're not Eastern Washington-level good where they should legitimately scare many FBS teams, last year's Wazzu game notwithstanding.
Somewhere on the Times (Percy Allen's blog?) there was a prediction of 70 - 0, which is kinda ridiculous unless we kept our first string in the whole game. I will say a lot of second- and third-string guys should get a looot of reps once the first string gets things comfortably rolling. We've seen enough of PSU ruining dreams to know that they won't roll over, but for that reason I expect the Dawgs wouldn't dare underestimate them, consistent with their first two games against lesser opponents. Thus it should end up pretty much like Washington's first two games except maybe even more drastic, and if the Dawgs have any aspect of their game noticeably struggling, I'll raise an eyebrow.
Prediction: Washington 63 - 10 Portland State.
Dawgs win a nailbiter, 52-13.
Hard to imagine PSU having much of a chance in this one. A running QB will offer a new challenge to the Husky defense, and the intensity could slip a bit with the Pac-12 season looming in a week, but really this UW team has shown so far that they can get themselves ready for a lesser opponent. Maybe the Dawgs start fast, maybe they start a little slow, but Saturday should provide plenty of reps for the backups once again. UW 51, Portland State 13.