We have made it to the end of the 30-Day Countdown. Those who have followed closely know that a big part of the series has to do with predictions. No prediction is more important than what the scoreboard will say at the end of each Husky game, so we save the best for last. Here we go with the predictions for the 12(+) Husky games this season.
UW vs. Boise State
You can read more on this prediction in the game pick post. Suffice to say that I don’t think Boise’s rebuilt secondary has the talent or experience to keep up with Washington’s outstanding receiving corps. As long as the offensive line can keep Michael Penix reasonably clean, the explosive plays will tilt heavily in UW’s direction. Boise will keep it reasonably close with a persistent rushing attack, but the Dawgs will win by two scores.
UW 38 - BSU 24
UW vs. Tulsa
Tulsa isn’t an FCS opponent or even a bottom-dweller in FBS. They’re a middle-of-the-pack team in the AAC. It’s the kind opponent the Dawgs would’ve had to look at a bit more seriously three years ago. With the offense that’s now in place against a defense that gave up 40+ four times last year, this game will be more of a tune-up.
UW 52 - Tulsa 20
UW @ Michigan State
The Huskies handled the Spartans in Seattle last year and MSU has lost numerous key offensive players from a team that was disappointing overall in 2022. Still, the one thing that sends me to the edge of panic is that little “@” sign between the team names. Traveling cross-country to play in a raucous Big 10 environment is never easy, and Michigan State still has a deep and talented roster. Ultimately, I think the talent drain will be too much for the Spartans to overcome, but it will be much too close for comfort.
UW 35 - Michigan State 30
UW vs. California
Justin Wilcox might be coaching for his job after a couple of disappointing seasons. Then again, maybe Cal will not be in a financial position to be paying any buyouts next year. Either way, the Bears are not clicking on all cylinders. This year, they are hoping a return to an Air Raid-style offense gives enough juice to support the normally solid Wilcox defense. There might be a skill mismatch, though, as the RB room looks like the most exciting offensive group. Cal will put up a fight here, but won’t have anywhere near enough offense to keep up with the Dawgs at home.
UW 37 - Cal 23
UW @ Arizona
Speaking of games that feel different when they’re on the road, Washington virtually never wins in the desert, whether the opponent is Arizona or Arizona State. The Wildcats still have a lot of work to do to in rebuilding the defense, but they the Huskies saw how dangerous the offense can be in a near-miss last season. I’m still taking the Dawgs, but would not be remotely surprised to see it go the other way.
UW 35 - Arizona 31
UW vs. Oregon
The Dawgs took care of business in Autzen last year. Both teams return most of their key personnel, except for Oregon’s OC Kenny Dillingham. It’s worth noting that Bo Nix’s two best college seasons, by a wide margin, came under Dillingham’s tutelage. Nix is still dangerous. Troy Franklin is still a menace. Last year, this match-up gave Peyton Henry his career redemption moment. This year, it’s going to be Devin Culp catching a late TD to make up for his crucial drop against Oregon early in his career.
UW 44 - Oregon 38
UW vs. Arizona State
This schedule has been full of close wins and big challenges. This week will not be one of them. The team that beat UW in Tempe last year will look very different, from QB to coaching staff, to defensive personnel. Dillingham has work to do to build the program back. Perhaps Jaden Rashada will develop into a premier QB in the Big 12 in a few years, but growing pains are on the horizon.
UW 42 - ASU 24
UW @ Stanford
My opinions about Stanford are so dissimilar from my opinions about ASU. I like the coach. I like the offensive creativity. I don’t see the top-end talent or depth to be able to compete in the short term. Stanford is in an even tougher position with their transfer portal limitations. It will be fun to see an entirely different approach in Palo Alto than what we’ve become accustomed to, but it won’t be too competitive out of the gate.
UW 37 - Stanford 20
UW @ USC
If you have been following along closely, the Dawgs have now stacked up eight wins to start the year. This showdown with USC could pit two top-10 teams against one another. The Colosseum is not UW’s greatest house of horrors, but it’s not an easy place to play. The bigger problem is that the Trojans feature the most electrifying player-makers UW will see all year- Caleb Williams, Zachariah Branch, Dorian Singer, and more. UW’s defense has done enough to this point to let the offense carry the team. That trend ends here.
USC 37 - UW 30
UW vs. Utah
Bouncing back from a loss to USC is difficult. Doing it against yet another great Utah team is even more difficult. It’s clear that there is enough talent in the QB room even without Cam Rising with excellent running backs and a Whittingham defense. On the positive side, Husky Stadium has been a boogeyman for the Utes in much the same way that UW has struggled in Arizona. Let’s make it one more confounding victory before the programs go their separate ways.
UW 28 - Utah 27
UW @ Oregon State
Oregon State has put together some very good seasons under Jonathan Smith, but one of the things that has kept them from getting over the hump to the top of the conference is unlucky breaks against the Dawgs. The Beavers have made it their calling card to fly around the field on defense and run the ball effectively with a stable of good running backs. On paper, it’s a good recipe to slow down UW’s explosive offense. If DJU can avoid mistakes and make enough plays to extend drives and keep Michael Penix off the field for long stretches, they might be able to win this last match-up for the foreseeable future.
OSU 27 - UW 24
UW vs. Washington State
The Dawgs got back on the right track in last year’s Apple Cup and they will put a bow on this version of the series with a dominant win. Washington State is trying to get back to their high-flying ways from the Mike Leach years, but we need to see more consistent performance from Cam Ward before that becomes a winning strategy. The defense also lost a good deal from the surprisingly strong unit last year. The Cougars will be fine, but it feels more average on both sides fo the ball.
UW 45 - WSU 28