WASHINGTON HUSKIES (3-0)
at COLORADO BUFFALOES (3-0)
Folsom Field– Boulder, CO
Kickoff: Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET
Line: Washington -10.0, Total: N/A
Colorado will be hoping to pull off a major upset at home over #7 Washington on Saturday.
Both Washington and Colorado enter this game at 3-0, but it’s clear that nobody is really taking the Buffaloes seriously entering this one. The Huskies are currently sitting inside the Top 10 in the AP Top 25 Poll, but the Buffaloes are nowhere to be found on that list. They have received plenty of votes to crack that group, but nothing yet. One would think that the season they had last year would have earned them some respect, but Colorado can use all of this as motivation. The Buffaloes will also be playing with revenge on their minds here, as they lost 41-10 as eight-point underdogs against the Huskies on Dec. 2, 2016. That was last year’s Pac-12 Championship Game, so it had to have left a mark on Colorado’s returning players. The Huskies also happen to be 7-1 both SU and ATS when facing the Buffaloes since 1992, so Colorado has more than enough bulletin board material here. The Huskies, meanwhile, know that the Buffaloes stand in their way of making it back to the College Football Playoff. That means that they will also be playing with some serious intensity when the two programs take the field on Saturday. One trend that does stand out when looking at this one is the fact that Washington is a miserable 3-12 ATS since 1992 in road games versus teams that allow 14 or fewer points per game.
QB Jake Browning (798 yards, 8 TD, 1 INT) is in his third year under center for Washington, and the team should be a contender as long as he is around. Browning is one of the best pocket passers in the nation, as he is extremely accurate with the football and is also capable of it throwing deep. Browning did, however, have some trouble against this Colorado defense a year ago, when he was just 9-for-24 with 118 yards, two touchdowns, and no picks in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Huskies clearly had no trouble winning that one, but Browning will still need to be a lot better this time around. It would definitely help the junior if WR Dante Pettis (12 rec, 209 yards, 3 TD) were to come through here. Pettis is his go-to in the passing game and just caught five passes for 92 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Fresno State last week. It wouldn’t be surprising if he had a big game here. The same goes for RB Myles Gaskin (153 yards, 3 TD), who just might be the most explosive player on this Washington team. While the Huskies have other guys that get their fair share of handoffs, Gaskin is the one that can make something happen almost any time he gets the ball in the open field. The Huskies will do everything they can to get him touches against this tough Colorado defense. As for Washington’s defense, the focus will be on stopping the run. If the team can do that then this will be a rather easy victory.
The Buffaloes are not getting much respect heading into Saturday night’s game, but they’re going to be pumped up and ready to go here. Colorado’s best chance in this one will be riding RB Phillip Lindsay (387 yards, 3 TD) as much as possible. Washington has a good defense, but Lindsay is one of the most talented backs in the country and should be able to find a few holes in this one. When the teams met last year, Lindsay rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown and also added three catches for 19 yards. The Huskies are not as good on defense as they were last year, so expect some improvement there. Colorado should also find more success in the passing game, where QB Steven Montez (858 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT) is a bit better as a thrower than Sefo Liufau was. Montez is more of a risk-taker than Liufau was, but that can be a good thing for this offense. The Buffaloes were a bit more predictable last season, but their offense is actually not the concern here. Colorado was one of the nation’s best teams defensively last year, but this unit has taken a step back this season. If the Buffaloes don’t show up on that side of the ball on Saturday then the Huskies are going to beat them pretty easily.