By Mick Holien
You have to hand it to offensive guru Chris Peterson, the former Boise State mentor who took the Broncos to national prominence and made the argument they had to be included in the Top 25 poll, something voters in the east weren’t easily willing to allow.
There are those coaches who, no matter where they hang their hat, seem to have the formula or maybe surround themselves with the right brilliant people to have success wherever they coach.
And one could argue of course a team in Seattle should figure in the national limelight given strong west coast recruiting possibilities.
But it wasn’t that long ago when a team like Washington would never attract a player out of Crenshaw in Los Angeles or similar scenarios because those guys were in most cases going to USC or UCLA.
But the Huskies have it going and Montana journeys to the Emerald City facing the No eight ranked team, arguably the highest ranked opponent they have ever strapped it up with.
While the teams have a rich tradition, having shared spit when they both were members of the old Pacific Coast Conference starting in 1950.
But then again Gonzaga with Hall of Famer Tony Canadeo was playing football in those years and the Pac-6 emerged from that competition.
The Huskies didn’t exactly roll Rutgers last week and in fact even were extremely dominated in time of possession but besides being obviously the largest defensive from Montana will see this year their junior signal caller not only finished sixth in the Heisman race last year but he also was the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.
The Huskies lost to eventual national champ Alabama in the semi final Peace Bowl.
Jake Browning tied a league standard with 43 touchdowns against just nine picks while completing 243 of 391 for north of 3,300 yards.
Against Rutgers he was 17 of 30 for 284 and a couple of scores.
The most worrisome thing for me is the continued inability for the Griz defense to stop the big play even with an emphasis to do so.
In the opener Montana surrendered four plays for 50 yards or more.
And Dante Pettis tied the league mark with a sixth punt return TD last week.
Make no mistake the game will be quite a measuring stick for a Grizzly team that may come home from Seattle understanding what a difference of talent 500 miles makes.