UW Husky Football Preview: Ute Gotta Be Kidding

 

My prediction of a University of Washington (4-4) loss last week was a little off. What a game by the Huskies in absolutely destroying one of the best offenses in the country, in the Arizona Wildcats. These Dawgs came to eat.

Now it’s a new week with a new foe. The University of Utah Utes (7-1) come to Husky Stadium to play in what should be a defensive battle.

Kyle Whittingham’s Ute squad is deep, physical, and well coached. Despite Utah being 7-1 and ranked #12 in the country, the Utes are underdogs on the road. Do the Dawgs have another big win in store?

Ute Offense

The Utes won’t wow you with their scheme or trick plays. But they will grind and keep coming at opposing defenses. The Utah OL is big, physical, and unrelenting. They’ll put a lot of pressure on the UW front 7.

Devontae Booker is a star RB for Utah, and they will feed him…a lot. Expect Booker to get around 25-30 touches, as the Utes will attempt to attack the Huskies and set up play action opportunities. Booker isn’t a big RB, but he is a tough runner that initiates contact.

Britian Covey is a true Freshman WR and KR for Utah, and the Utes will use him in a similar fashion as Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. The diminutive playmaker is a threat to take it to the house whenever he touches the ball. Covey will work the underneath routes, which work like extended handoffs, but he’s also capable of making plays down the field.

QB Travis Wilson is a gangly and awkward looking player, but don’t sleep on him; he’s more athletic than he looks at first glance. Wilson has been inconsistent with accuracy in the passing game, but he can really hurt defenses by tucking the ball and running. Although he’s 6’7″, Wilson is certainly not the traditionally dropback QB. The Huskies doesn’t need to sack Wilson a lot, but they need to keep him in the pocket.

Ute Defense

This is where the Utes are strong. Utah doesn’t have any stars on defense, but they have a lot of good players on that side of the ball.

The Utah front four is big–NFL big. And they have lots of vowels in their names. The Utes are great at stuffing the run up front and they rotate in lots of talented young players. The front 4 is probably the strength not just of the defense, but of the entire team. The matchup between the Husky OL and the Utes DL will be a lot of fun to watch if you like old school football.

As is the case with most Ute teams, the secondary is also very talented. Whittingham has a long history of putting his best athletes in the secondary, and he’s done a great job of coaching them up. This year’s squad is no different. They have a P12 leading 13 INTs on the season, so they will be looking to capitalize on any mistakes by Jake Browning.

Ute Intangibles

Travis Wilson. Both defenses will come to play, so the difference maker will be the Utah QB. If he can run and pick up first downs, then the Utes will be tough to beat on Saturday. The problem for Wilson has been his inconsistent accuracy and turnovers, so if Wilson can play mistake free ball it will put a lot of pressure on UW.

For the Huskies to win, they need to:

Run the ball effectively. The Utes are no joke when it comes to defending the run, so Myles Gaskin and Co. will have a tough road ahead.

SSU Prediction

Utah 23, UW 17.

Defense vs defense. Old school football. In what should be a really fun game to watch for fans of defense, it will come down to who makes the big plays. Both teams have players capable of busting this thing wide open, but Utah is just a little more experienced and physical than this young UW squad. It’s a battle, but Utah gets its first win against UW in a tough game.

Follow me at @SSU_BrentG on twitter

Broadcast

Saturday, November 7th @ 4:30 pm (PST) on ESPN.

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