Week 12 – Washington at Colorado

Posted Nov 15, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction – Washington at Colorado

Washington (6-4) at Colorado (1-9) Nov. 17, 1:30, FX

Here's The Deal: It looks as if it's going to be a tale of two seasons for Washington, the first seven games and then everything else.

Through the first seven weeks, the Huskies were a flaky program, stunning Stanford, yet also getting blown out by better teams. Over the last three games, though, U-Dub has turned things around, winning three in a row and setting the stage for what might be a fantastic ride into the offseason. The Huskies will be favored to win the next two, which would guarantee that the team finally bests its 7-6 marks of the last two seasons.

Each week that passes in Boulder raises the possibility that it's the final one for embattled second-year head coach Jon Embree. He's 4-19 since returning to his alma mater, leaving athletic director Mike Bohn with some difficult decisions this month. While two years isn't a very long time, the Buffs have been overmatched on the field, losing their last six by at least 25 points.

Why Washington Might Win: Issues remain, especially along the lines, but the Huskies are beginning to put it all together.

Washington has gone old-school during its winning streak, rolling behind the running game and the play of Justin Wilcox's retooled defense. Sophomore Bishop Sankey into the Pac-12's most underrated back, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in Seattle last week. He won't get much resistance from a Colorado defense pulling up the Pac-12 rear in most statistical categories. The Huskies D, to the contrary, has not given up more than 17 points in any of its last three games. The pass defense has been dynamite, bolstered by CB Desmond Trufant and the front-line quickness of DE Josh Shirley and NT Danny Shelton.

Why Colorado Might Win: There were uncommon signs of life on offense last week. The Buffaloes will attempt to turn them into a trend this Saturday.

Colorado produced its most points in almost two months, scoring four offensive touchdowns and dominating time of possession. True freshman Christian Powell continues to look as if he might be the focal point of the offense in the future, notching his third 100-yard game of the year. And with Jordan Webb on the bench, backups Nick Hirschman and Connor Wood did a consistent job of spreading the ball around and limiting mistakes.

What To Watch Out For: Washington QB Keith Price is coming off his tightest game of the year. He'll get an opportunity to build on it this week at Folsom Field. Colorado has just three sacks over the last four games, and hasn't picked off a pass since Sept. 22. The junior will finally get the time he needs to set his feet in the pocket, and decide whether to play catch with WR Kasen Williams and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Price has the talent, which becomes obvious when he also has the time.

What Will Happen: Two schools heading down opposite roads will continue down those disparate paths this Saturday.

Washington is churning toward what it hopes will be a nine-win season, while Colorado already has a foot in 2013. The Huskies are improving rapidly on both sides of the ball, which will only get exacerbated in Boulder. Sankey will make it three straight 100-yard games, complementing the passing of Price. Powell will also run well, but his evolution on its own still won't get the Buffaloes any closer to putting the brakes on the current six-game slide.

CFN Prediction: Washington 44 … Colorado 20
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Washington -20.5 O/U: 54.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 2