The dominant performance from last week at Husky Stadium lived up to the initial hype. All three phases of play: offense, defense and specials teams looked strong and worthy of being ranked 8th in this weeks AP poll. The Huskies relied on their passing game to take advantage of a slow Rutgers secondary. The defense looked as good or better than the top ranked Pac-12 defense from last year. It was obvious Rutgers was outmatched and they did not have the talent or playbook awareness to slow the Huskies down. This week the Huskies get an easier opponent than even Rutgers with the Idaho Vandals coming to town. Episode 2 is a short episode as the Huskies are favored by 38 points and there is not much that we can determine from this upcoming gam barring a mysterious collapse by the Huskies. Still, let's take a look at the matchup and see what the candle reveals.
The Idaho Vandals finished 4-8 last year in the Sun Belt conference. Starting in 2018 the Idaho program will move down to the FCS level in the Big Sky conference, which is a more appropriate level of play for this team. Even though Idaho has many returning starters from their best season in five years none of them were first team in the conference. The Vandals come in to Husky Stadium having beaten FCS Montana State by only 3 points . Quarterback Matt Linehan went 8 for 22 against an FCS squad. It is hard to imagine he will have a much better outing with Budda Baker and Sidney Jones covering the field. Though Idaho has a veteran secondary there is little chance they will match the speed of Ross, McClatcher and Pettis. Idaho's best player is arguably their punter/kicker Austin Rehkow who is on both kicking and punting preseason watch lists. The most likely scenario is the Huskies come out hot and run up the score quickly in the first half. I don't think its a stretch to see a 35-0 score at halftime. Myles Gaskin barely broke a sweat last week so we can expect the Huskies to use Idaho for some run game practice and continue mastering the playbook for upcoming games. Next week, the Huskies play Portland State who might actually be better than Idaho. Portland State proved themselves last year by beating the Washington State Cougars despite being an FCS program but are still a far inferior team compared to UW’s program. The Huskies will not see any threat until their Pac-12 opener on the road versus Arizona. Arizona looked weak against BYU last week but not nearly as bad as Rutgers. So the Huskies will have to use the next few weeks to really hone in on their skills to avoid an unnecessary upset in Tucson. On September 30th the Huskies host Stanford at home in Seattle and we will finally get to see what the Huskies are really made of when playing top 10 talent. Until then enjoy the open road on the Husky Hype Highway as it looks like a smooth ride for the next few weeks.
Husky Hype Predictions for UW vs. Idaho
-Huskies force 5 turnovers against Idaho
-Huskies win by 40+ points
-Huskies score over 30 points in the first half
-Gaskin rushes for over 100 yards
-We see two more special teams touchdowns
Final Score: 49-6