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August 10, 2012
In the second part of our two-part series on the Washington football schedule UDUBNation.com takes a closer look at who the Dawgs will be playing, where the game is at, and when those games fall on the calendar.
October 20, @ Arizona
While the 'Cats aren't likely to be one of the Dawgs' tougher opponents this is a tricky game without question. For starters, it comes on the heels of a three-week slog that sees the Huskies take on Stanford, Oregon and USC. The team's mental state is likely to be crucial in the Arizona game, especially without a week off nestled anywhere in that stretch. We wouldn't be surprised if injuries have mounted, either.
On the flipside, Arizona has a week off to prepare. They will have had some tough games as preparation prior to this one (Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford), but their schedule isn't so brutal that there confidence will be shattered. We think this could be the most deceptively difficult game on the schedule.
October 27, Oregon State
While you can never rest easy, especially in conference play, this is a game most Dawg fans will likely count as a win before the season. Yes, it's true that Washington is just 1-7 against the Beavs in the last eight of this series, including a 1-4 record at home in that span. And yes, it's true that a mediocre Oregon State team handed Washington a 17-point loss in Corvallis last year.
However, relative to the rest of the schedule to this point, a home game against the Beavs should be looked at favorably.
November 2, @ Cal
This Friday night game will be pivotal for both teams in their quest to finish in the upper-echelon of their respective divisions in the Pac-12.
Of course, from 1977-2001 the Dawgs won 19 consecutive meetings in this series, and even in more prosperous times for Cal the Huskies have taken four of the last five. But don't be mistaken: This is likely another tough contest. Washington is just 1-3 in their last four trips to Berkeley.
November 10, Utah
Washington has a perfect 7-0 record all-time against the Utes, though just one game has been played between the two programs since 1979. Of course, the convincing win at Utah last year will be cause for optimism in this one. Washington turned in their finest defensive performance of the season last year in this one, at least in terms of points allowed.
Utah should field another scrappy, tough team, but they will need to generate more offense if they're to have the kind of season they expect. Since the Dawgs play Cal on a Friday night, Washington will have an extra day of preparation - or rest, depending on the physical state of the team at this point.
November 17, @ Colorado
Like the games against Oregon State and Utah, this is the kind of game Washington has to win if they're to have the kind of season many expect (the seven/eight win plus variety).
The Buffs will be outmatched in personnel in this game. It's tough to project advantages or disadvantages this late in the season because the injuries on both sides will have piled up.
November 23, @ Washington State
The Apple Cup had impressive strings of close games from 1995-1999 and 2002-2008, but the Huskies have reasserted themselves since Steve Sarkisian's arrival.
Washington State can be expected to go through some growing pains as they transition in Mike Leach's first year. The personnel isn't where he wants it to be, but by this last contest they should have found their footing on offense, at least somewhat.
Still, the Dawgs have superior talent across the board and should prevail, even on the road. It's a 12:30 kickoff.
Compared to the first half of the schedule the second half should be a cakewalk, right?
In all seriousness, the Huskies are set up to do extremely well on the back half if, and this is a big if, they stay emotionally strong regardless of the results in the first six games.
Last year the Dawgs faded down the stretch. If that happens again this year the record won't be pretty. But if the Huskies can hold their own on the front half and finish like they should in the games you see above, it could be a special season.
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