We’re three days away from USC vs. Washington, the Pac-12’s most historical non-geographic football rivalry. To get ready for the Dawgs, we sat down with Jesse Kennemer of the The Husky Haul for some good ol’ fashion Q&A.
Q: UW has had a horrific schedule so far. Do you think that makes the Huskies more likely or less likely to be prepared vs. USC?
A: I would say it helps. UW has faced two teams that are ranked above USC, so even though the Trojans are the favorites to win, it’s just another week for the Huskies.
Q: Who is better: LSU or Oregon?
A: Oregon. I know LSU beat down Oregon awhile back, but this year, the Ducks play pretty big on defense, and the offense is just as lethal as ever. I don’t see anyone, USC included, beating them this season. LSU, on the other hand, has already lost to a Florida team that basically doesn’t have an offense.
Q: What’s up with Keith Price?
A: If I really had a 100% correct answer, I’d probably be consulting for the Huskies. It’s something everyone, Keith Price included, is scrambling to figure out and to solve. The default is to blame the run game and the offensive line, two elements of the offense that struggled early in the season. Yet, as the season has gone on, Bishop Sankey, Washington’s starting running back, and the offensive line have improved greatly, and yet Price has continued to look shaky and inaccurate. It has been brought up that Price is just forcing things, or something of that vague, mental sort, and if that’s the case, it’s really up to Keith and Keith alone to get it together and start playing like it’s 2011.
Q: Do the Huskies lose anything by playing at Century Link?
A: Yes. Husky Stadium has such a grand tradition. The terrific tailgating, the boats watching the game from Union Bay, and of course the location on-campus. CenturyLink is a great facility, but it is an NFL venue. There is not the same level of tailgating, the location in bustling SoDo is not as convenient for older fans and students alike, and it still says Seahawks in the end zones every week. So, while the environment was certainly amped up against Stanford, and it looks like a close to capacity crowd against USC, it still isn’t quite the same. Everyone will be happy to be back at Husky Stadium next year, but it will certainly do for now.
Q: What’s the biggest advantage that UW has going for them right now?
A: The defense. Obviously that unit gave up ridiculous points last week in Eugene, but just like the LSU game, things simply got out of hand as the offense gave away the ball again and again and the defense eventually broke down. In games that do not come against top-3 teams, Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox has developed a perfect game plan, and the Husky defenders have executed. I will not be at all surprised if Barkley has a tough night.