Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 9/12/13
Fighting Illini vs. Dawgs It’s only Thursday, and this weekend of college football can’t come fast enough. UCLA-Nebraska. The Alabama-Texas A&M rematch. And, of course, a big test for the Washington Huskies, as UW travels to take on Illinois. There’s a lot more to this game than meets the eye. The Return of ASJ All-American Austin Seferian-Jenkins, one of Keith Price’s favorite targets and the best tight end in the country, is back from his DUI one-game suspension. With Washington traveling to take on a surging upstart Illinois team at Soldier Field, his timing couldn’t be better. Expect ASJ to be targeted early and often. Opposing defenses had no answer to him last season, and he’s only gotten better. He’ll be integral to UW’s game plan. The return of ASJ will result in big-time plays for the Washington Huskies. A Hard-Fought Game Don’t expect Illinois to roll over and play dead just because the Huskies started the season with a bang. Illinois is 2-0 so far and coming off a 45-17 upset win over Cincinnati. Much like Washington, the Fighting Illini just mauled a team they were favored to lose to and have galvanized their fan base. Soldier Field is a hostile environment. Make no mistake, this will be a competitive matchup.  A Real Test for Washington’s D Although the score of the UW-BSU game won’t indicate it, Washington’s tackling was extremely poor against the Broncos, as evidenced by bruising back Jay Ajayi’s 93 yards — many of them after first contact. The 6’0”, 220-pound Donovonn Young, the Illini tailback of similar size and speed to Ajayi, is looming. Washington’s hyped linebacking corps and so-called improved defensive line will need to bring him down consistently. Defense was a strength for the Dawgs last year, and it needs to be again this year.  Mr. Do-It-All: Nathan Scheelhaase. The Illinois offense starts with the dual-threat quarterback ,who’s already passed for 728 yards and six touchdowns in two games. The senior is averaging 9.97 yards per throw, so essentially, a first down every time he completes a pass. Last year he also rushed for 300 yards and four touchdowns. Basically, Washington can’t slack in the air or on the ground ,or Scheelhaase will make it pay. UW’s secondary, a question mark group in the preseason, will sink or swim in this game. Spreading The Love Look for another offensive playmaker outside the big three to have a big day Saturday. Kasen Williams, Bishop Sankey, and ASJ will be the focal points of the offense, but as Jaydon Mickens and Dwayne Washington showed against Boise State, the Huskies have more options on O this year. Look for Keith Price to take advantage of the greater depth at his offensive skill positions and spread the ball around the same way he did against Boise State. Don’t be fooled by Illinois being unranked. It’s a good team on the rise that will come into this game gunning for the Huskies. Washington has the pieces to handle the Illini, but if the defense fails, this could turn into a shootout. Either way, it’ll be an entertaining game. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE HUSKIES CLUBHOUSE PAGE AT NWSPORTSBEAT!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Man dies after Mirror Lake jump at Ohio State

Patriots owner defends officials: ‘They’re not robots’

Joseph Randle arrested for allegedly assaulting officer

Schefter denies saying Kelly’s days in Philly are numbered

Rodgers looking forward to seeing Brett Favre, Bart Starr

Kobe has worst game of his career against Warriors


Rams WR Stedman Bailey in hospital after being shot in head

Furious Brad Stevens blasts Celtics after lackluster game

Did Bryce Harper deserve the MVP?

Duke 5-star commit posts moving message after successful surgery

Ex-LSU commit still supports Les Miles

Report: Ray Lewis gave Bills pregame pep talk

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Five NFL teams trending downward

Not so fast, USC: Eagles Chip Kelly buys Philly-area home

The five best hockey fights from Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker