Take Washington Big over Hawaii in Week 1

David Lawrence

Sunday, July 20, 2014 4:16 PM GMT

Sunday, Jul. 20, 2014 4:16 PM GMT

The two head coaches in this season opener between the Washington Huskies and Hawaii Warriors are two of the more accomplished men in West Coast college football coaching. They are both strongly associated with aggressive offensive play calling.

Washington Huskies vs. Hawaii Warriors

Saturday, August 30th – 8:05 PM ET

NCAA Football Odds: Washington -20.5

 

The Huskies Can Win Because…
They have the better team, and they have a coach who is quite familiar with playing Hawaii. Washington should be much stronger up front than Hawaii on both sides of the ball. The Huskies were not able to beat Oregon or Stanford this past season, but they remained competitive into the third quarter against the Ducks and until the end of the game against Stanford. Just to be somewhat effective in the Pac-12, even without big victories, the Huskies have had to recruit at a higher level. They’re far ahead of where Hawaii is. The Warriors won just one game last season. It’s true that Hawaii lost a lot of close games and should be a better team last season, but the Warriors should not expect to be good enough to make a bowl game, either. Hawaii made the 2008 Sugar Bowl and has not been the same program since. When former head coach June Jones left the program to take over at SMU, Hawaii lost its hold on power. The program had a few more good seasons but was not able to sustain what Jones brought to the islands. Washington has that fundamental advantage.

The Huskies also know that Petersen, their head coach, used to coach against Hawaii all the time at Boise State, a school he left last year to come to Seattle. Petersen will not be caught unprepared for what Hawaii does. He’ll also have his team ready to play a game after a change in time zones in an unfamiliar environment.

 

The Warriors can win because…
They kept knocking at the door in 2013 and are probably going to get rewarded a few more times if they keep playing games close. Hawaii put up a good fight in its season opener against USC. It kept battling against Fresno State and lost by only five points to the Mountain West champions. Hawaii lost to UNLV, a bowl team, by only two points. It lost to two other bowl teams, Colorado State and San Diego State by seven points each. It lost to Wyoming by only three. Hawaii finished 1-11, but it didn’t get embarrassed more than once, in a 47-10 loss to Utah State. This team didn’t stop trying throughout the 2013 season, so if the same effort is there this season, fewer turnovers and a slightly more timely show of strength on defense could very reasonably give Hawaii three or four more wins. If Washington is rusty, overconfident, or both, Hawaii can pounce on this opportunity.

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Outlook & NCAA Football Betting Prediction
If Washington is focused, it should win this game handily. Given that this is the first game for Chris Petersen as the Huskies’ head coach, it would be a surprise if Washington came out flat in this one. Take the Huskies big.

NCAA Football Picks: Washington -20.5 at Bodog

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