Washington Huskies Football Preview 2021: Season Win Total Picks, Odds and Predictions
Patrick O'Brien and the Washington Huskies look to have a really good 2021 season with a chance at winning the Pac-12 and a realistic shot at the Playoffs. Husky Stadium will finally have fans, and they will be in for quite a treat if this team meets expectations.
Washington finished the shortened season just 3-1 last year. Concerning putting the ball in the endzone, the Washington Huskies had an average of 30.3 PPG. Offensively they had an average of 176.3 yds on the ground, which had them sitting 55th in D-1. The Huskies earned 1,611 yards in total last year. Washington earned 4 touchdowns through the air and 11 touchdowns via the ground.
The Huskies sat in 52nd in the nation regarding team defense, giving up 25.0 points per contest. They allowed teams to run for an average of 4.5 yards per rushing attempt and 161.3 yards on the ground per game over the course of last season. Overall, they gave up 645 rushing yards through 4 games. Concerning passing yardage, the Huskies gave up 740 yds which put them in 15th in college football. They allowed 5 passing touchdowns and 8 running touchdowns. They yielded 346.3 yards per outing putting them at 38th in the nation.
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For his college career, O'Brien has thrown for a total of 3,586 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 picks. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has attempted running the football 100 times for a total of -7 rushing yds. He has a quarterback rating of 135.3 with a touchdown rate of 3.6% and an interception rate of 2.2%. He is throwing for 199.2 yards per contest. Patrick O'Brien has connected on 272 of his attempted career 448 throws for a completion percentage of 60.7%.
A lot of people have the Washington Huskies going into this season being labeled a surprise team. I wouldn't call them a surprise team, but rather a good team. The over/under wins total opened at 9 at +105. We are now seeing the current over/under still at 9, but the juice is up to as high as -140 in a few places. If you shop around, you might be able to find them at around -134 or -135.
Here is how I arrive at what I'm talking about when it comes to college football. I have six sets of power ratings, and not even one of those sets of power ratings have Washington winning less than 9 games. All of them have the Huskies at 9 or over and only one has them at exactly 9, while the rest have Washington winning more than 9 games. You will see they have 17 starters coming back this season and of those 17, they have got 9 on offense and 8 on defense. The likely starter is Patrick O'Brien and he is a sixth-year senior for the Huskies. He's got an exceptionally good arm and he can throw while on the run which I like. He can also move around a little bit in the pocket. If he struggles at all, he'll be pressured by a redshirt freshman by the name of Dylan Morris. Morris is a drop back passer who can also gun it while on the run.
Overall, it is an incredibly talented offense up front. They will be very strong in the running game and should win the time of possession battle in almost every game. The running game will be physical and should be able to push around opponents without issue. Defensively, the secondary is my favorite unit. They have 8 starters back overall and I expect them to improve on their numbers from the shortened season when they only played conference opponents.
As far as the schedule goes, they travel to Ann Arbor in game 2 to take on the Michigan Wolverines. I'll say that on a neutral field, I have the Huskies in my six sets up power ratings averaging a 10-point better power rating than the Wolverines. That said, I still have them winning in Ann Arbor. They avoid playing USC this season, which is a team that I have winning the PAC-12 South. I have them 3 points better than Oregon on a neutral field and that game will be in Seattle. The one game that scares me is the second to last game of the season against Colorado. It falls right in the middle of games against Arizona State and the final game against Washington State. I have them favored over all three of those teams, but that game is in a tricky spot.
Worst case scenario for the Huskies as far as my combined power ratings go is a 10-2 record for the year. That said, I think they'll go 11-1 and that means they'll have a little buffer on that over/under win total of 9.
Scott's Pick: Take Over 9 Wins for Washington
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