It’s a “show me” week for Steve Sarkisian and his unbeaten Huskies.
Sure the Dawgs are off to their first 4-0 start since 2001, but aside from the rout of Boise State in Week 1 the schedule don’t look all too impressive.
That’s about to change with a win against the #5 ranked Stanford Cardinal.
Stanford (currently) is a 7.5 point favorite on its home turf against #15 Washington. The Cardinal doesn’t boast any big time wins this season, with a couple of less than impressive performances against Army and San Jose State. They’re nervous, and they are going to play like it.
The Huskies are primed for a big upset, not because of their new-look up tempo offense – but because of their vastly improved defense led by second year coordinator Justin Wilcox. Who we can directly thank for arguably the most exciting player on that side of the ball: sophomore LB Shaq Thompson. He’s coming off a career high 13 tackles against the Wildcats, and looks ready to help Washington take the next step. His skillset at linebacker creates mismatches for opponents (he has the speed and knowledge of a defense back) which should prove invaluable for UW on Saturday.
I was ‘cautiously optimistic’ we’ll say when the season started, but the new no huddle offense and the hard nosed defense has me believing. This doesn’t feel like a team on the cusp of greatness anymore, they feel like a team that can and will turn heads. And win the big games.
Lane Kiffin’s release at USC had the rumor mill abuzz with talk that Steve Sarkisian could be the next head coach in So Cal. He won’t. There’s no reason to start rebuilding a program again when he’s got Washington just about where he wants them. I do think the talk will give his guys something extra to play for. UW will have a chip on its shoulder, and will look to take it out on Stanford.
Back when they were really good in 2000, the Huskies got better later in the game and into the 4th quarter. It felt like they had the swagger to come from behind late in any game. Though they haven’t played from behind much yet in ‘13, they have that confidence back with Coach Sark at the helm. The Huskies are a physical, well trained football team that practically lived in the weight room during the offseason. Years past have seen Stanford dominate the line of scrimmage – but not this year. Not this time. The Dawgs are ready, they’re eager, and they’re coming for you Stanford.