The Cougars take on Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium in Seattle. The Huskies have not been relevant in at least 15 years as a top flight program.
The Huskies have not had a winning season since 2002, and that year they were 7-6 and last year they only won four games. However, when fans see teams from Non-BCS play and beat a BCS team they assume an upset when it rarely is an upset. Playing in Seattle will be tough, because Husky stadium is a tough place to play, for any school.
The stigma of the Pac-10 is that everyone can score, and little defense is played. Washington could only kind of score and played little or no defense, the Huskies averaged just under 27 per game, but their defense gave up 31 per game. BYU has a high octane offense and should bring the points against Washington.
Offense: Washington returns seven offensive starters back from last years 4-9 team. The Huskies top returning player is QB Jake Locker who is a big man and has speed to burn. Locker had just over 3,000 combined yards with 2,062 passing and 986 rushing yards. Locker did have problems with his accuracy by completing only 47% of his passes and throwing 15 interceptions and only 14 touchdowns. The running back position will need to replace Louis Rankin who ran for just under 1,300 yards, the likely replacement looks to be Junior Brandon Johnson. Johnson had limited playing time with only 196 yards and 51 carries last season. There is no doubt that Washington will be able to put up some points in this game, it just depends who is going to do it for them.
Defense: The Husky defense returns six players on a defense that was not very good at all last year. The Huskies brought in Ed Donatell to shore up the defense, his previous stops have been a defensive coordinator in the NFL since 1995-2007. This team does need the help because they gave up 31 points per game and could not stop teams very often, so we will see if Donatell can turn things around. This BYU team is similar to most Pac-10 schools that they throw the ball a ton and can score a lot of points.
Early Prediction: Looking at the past for BYU they have struggled and lost early non conference games, with such loses to Arizona, Boston College, Tulsa, and UCLA. This BYU team should be able to win this game by ten points or more, but until BYU can prove that they can consistently win non conference road games the Cougars should not look past any team.