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Huskies look to make a statement vs. Utah, secure bowl game

A win over Utah would give UW bowl eligibility, but a win with ease would change the way the Huskies are viewed.

Otto Greule Jr

If a team isn't playing for a BCS ranking, margin of victory has very little if no impact. A win is a win, and a loss is a loss, it's what makes college football beautiful.

Still, a nice, big win over Utah would feel pretty good right about now for the Washington Huskies. While any win would be great for UW; this is the team's last chance to make a statement this season, and that statement would be a comfortable, double digit win over the Utes.

The Huskies haven't had a comfortable win over a decent opponent this season. Having one would not only provide some much-needed momentum heading into the end of the season and the offseason, but it would reassure the fans and the players themselves that this isn't a team that has to win games by the skin of its teeth.

The Huskies have one more chance to beat up a good team, and it might be more possible than you think.

Yes, the Utes are a good team, but their offense has been downright terrible on the road. Over their last three Pac-12 road games, all losses, the Utes have only managed 28 total points, a byproduct perhaps of starting a freshman at quarterback due to injuries.

Washington's defense is good enough to take advantage, and keep Utah's offense out of the end zone, putting the pressure on the UW offense to finally get some points on the board.

Despite a star-studded defensive line, Utah's defense can be scored upon. UU gave up 37 points to ASU on the road and 38 at home against USC. With Bishop Sankey and the running game taking off for the UW, a good game plan by coach could be all it takes for the Huskies offense to put together a good game.

More importantly, the game is in Seattle, where Utah coach Kyle Whittingham admitted the Huskies are a much different foe.

"[We're] moving on now to a tough road trip to Seattle to play the Huskies, who have played well at home," Whittingham said. "They beat two top-10 teams at their place this year. It will be a good test for us."

Whittingham thinks so much of the Huskies when they play at the Clink that he said defeating them would be, "a signature road win."

So, both teams have a lot to play for this weekend. A win would be fantastic for the Huskies, and set them up for a probable 8-win regular season. But a close win would also feel like a missed opportunity, since the Huskies can, and need to, win by enough points to make a statement.