Thursday, November 15, 2012
Five storylines: Washington-Colorado
By Mason Kelley
SEATTLE -- Here are five storylines as Washington prepares to travel to Colorado this weekend:
To win out and finish 9-4, Washington will need to keep a clamp on opponents' third-down conversions in its final few regular-season games.
1. Third-down conversions: To be successful on defense, it helps when a team can get off the field on third down. Against Utah, Washington allowed just one conversion on third down as the Utes went 1-for-13.
While the Huskies were able to stop Utah throughout the game, the Utes struggled to slow down Washington, which converted 7 of 15 third downs.
The Huskies will look to keep that trend going on the road this week.
2. Early start time: All but one of Washington’s 10 games have started at 4 p.m. PT or later. The Huskies face their earliest start time of the season Saturday in Boulder, Colo., with the game set to start at 10:30 am. PT.
This shouldn’t be a problem for Washington, which already has a habit of practicing in the morning.
3. Adversity produces maturity: The Huskies have endured a lot in 2012. Whether it is overcoming injuries or recovering from lopsided losses, Washington survived its brutal early-season schedule and has recovered to win three in a row on the way to bowl eligibility.
The Huskies have another chance to win their second road game of the year against Colorado, which has claimed just one win all season.
After everything that has happened so far, Washington still has a chance -- with a bowl win -- to finish 9-4.
4. Offense hits a high note: Can Washington keep its offensive success going for a second straight week?
After getting things going both on the ground -- Bishop Sankey rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns -- and through the air -- Keith Price threw for 277 yards and two scores -- the Huskies put together their best offensive performance of the season against Utah.
Colorado is giving up more than 47 points this season. The Buffaloes have allowed at least 42 points in their last six outings. If Washington can put up 34 points against a solid Utah defense, the Huskies should be able to pile up points this week as well.
5. A long list of injuries: When a team gets this far into a college football campaign, injuries are inevitable. However, the Huskies’ depth on defense is being tested down the stretch. Defensive ends Talia Crichton and Pio Vatuvei didn’t play against Utah and Vatuvei, a true freshman, may miss the rest of the season.