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Q&A MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Edition: A small interview with UW Dawg Pound

Jeremy interviews thecassino, one of the managers for SBNation's UW Dawg Pound.

Steve Dykes

We like to keep all our angles covered, from who we interview for our podcasts (it's a surprise!) to who we like to do our Q&A's with. Jeremy asked the guys over at UW Dawg Pound if they would be willing to answer some questions, and they said yes. Here in this interview, Jeremy has a nice long email conversation with thecassino, one of UW Dawg Pound's managers.

JM: Washington is not exactly known for their offense, so what is the game plan to try to move the ball and score points against Boise State's defense which is a top-10 unit?

thecassino: There's not really any mystery to Steve Sarkisian's offenses. He's going to be balanced. The key will be finding a formula on the offensive line that will give Keith Price time to find Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins down the field. If they can get a couple of big plays to those two guys, then the track record for this season says they'll do fine. The run game has been pretty consistent, it's just the passing game that has been up-and-down.

JM: Running back Bishop Sankey appears to be Washington's best offensive weapon, so what are his strengths and how can he be successful against Boise State's rush defense.

thecassino: I don't know if he has any specific strengths. He's a pretty solid all around back, but he's not a bruiser and doesn't have blazing speed either. His success will hinge on the play of the guys in front of him. If there are gaps, he'll hit them and hurt Boise, and even when there haven't been he's been able to make things happen. He's going to get his 25 or so carries, it's just a matter of how hard his offensive line makes him work to break anything.

JM: Quarterback Keith Price has played well with 10 touchdowns to just a pair of interceptions over his last four games, what has he done to turn around his season which stared off a bit rocky?

thecassino: The biggest thing was that in the second half of the season he didn't have to play defenses like LSU, Oregon and Stanford. The offensive line play has steadily improved over the course of the season as well, and Bishop Sankey has had a phenomenal second half to take the heat off of Price.

JM: Does this game carry an extra intrigue since the two schools will play each other to open the 2013 season?

thecassino: From a UW perspective, not really. The matchup to open next season is on a lot of people's radar, but moreso because the Huskies will be returning to a newly renovated Husky Stadium, and the roster will be the best since the Rose Bowl team of 2000. But the new stadium, for the fans, is probably going to overshadow the opponent.

JM: Who are some key defensive players that Boise State should know about?

thecassino: Travis Feeney is a freshman linebacker who has really opened some eyes. He's rangy and quick, having moved from safety over the summer, and always seems to be around the ball and make plays.
The secondary is the strength of UW's defense, with Marcus Trufant being one of the top cover corners in the nation (he held Marquise Lee to 2 catches for 32 yards, which now seems unbelievable).
Shaq Thompson is one of the best true freshmen in the country. He's a linebacker, but Justin Wilcox will move him around to safety and nickle as well and he's going to get his name called frequently, as he has all year.

JM: Who wins and a quick reason why?

thecassino: If I had to predict, I'd say BSU, because their coaching staff has a proven track record of winning games when they have this long to prepare. The Huskies have been too inconsistent this year, especially outside of Seattle, and I don't think the offensive line will have magically improved over the past month to where Keith Price will be able to take a 5 or 7 step drop without fearing for his life.

Make sure you keep reading Mountain West Connection for continuous Vegas Bowl updates, and also check out UW Dawg Pound, for all your Washington Huskies information.