When Jake Locker originally signed on the dotted line and committed to play at the University of Washington, fans in Seattle dreamed he’d be the next Tim Tebow. If his senior season is anything like his 2009 junior season, Locker may very well collect a Heisman Trophy just like Mr. Tebow. Locker won’t be the only super-recruit quarterback in the game, however. BYU will most likely be led by highly-rated freshman Jake Heaps. After derailing Oklahoma and Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford in the opener in 2009, BYU looks to send Washington and Locker’s Heisman candidacy off to an equally rocky start in 2010.
NCAA football betting: Washington Huskies @ BYU Cougars
Online Betting Odds: BYU -3
Why To Bet On Washington
The Huskies played like a completely different team in 2009 under first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. After narrowly falling to No. 11 LSU at home to open the season, the Huskies took a huge step forward by defeating conference foe and third-ranked USC in Seattle. The win was a statement for both Sarkisian and Locker. After stumbling in midseason, the Huskies finished 2009 with an impressive 42-10 pounding of 19th-ranked Cal. That team returns almost entirely intact (18 starters return). Not only does Locker return, but all of his offensive weapons return as well.
Washington has come a long way from the ill-fated Tyrone Willingham. The sharpness of the Huskies’ offensive attack, their Saturday game plans, and their overall morale have markedly improved in a little over 12 months. Now the program has the ability to make a bowl game. This isn’t the lowly Washington team of past years.
Why To Bet On BYU
BYU knows how to play with the big boys and win. In the past two seasons, the Cougars have defeated Washington, UCLA, Oklahoma, and rival Utah. The Cougars won’t be intimidated by Washington and Jake Locker. It’s especially helpful that they get the game in Provo where they’ve gone 25-5 straight up and 14-13 against the spread since 2005. While some might be wary of betting on a team starting a true freshman in his first game, Jake Heaps will have the luxury of lining up behind an offensive line that returns four of five starters from a year ago. It doesn’t hurt BYU’s chances that Washington was 0-5 (2-3 against the spread) on the road last year.
How The Game Will Play Out
This game promises to be a high-scoring matchup. Washington returns Locker, its leading rusher, and top five receiving targets. That’s bad news for a BYU defense that returns only five starters from last year’s unit that harassed and knocked Sam Bradford out of the game. While BYU will surely be able to move the ball on the ground against Washington, it’s hard to imagine a freshman making his first start being able to keep up with the Huskies and Locker’s passing. A tight game will unfold for a half before Washington pulls away for a win in a shootout.
Washington BYU Betting Pick: Washington