Schedule analysis: Washington

We'll be reviewing each Pac-12 team's schedule, starting with the North Division.

Up next: Washington

Breakdown: seven home (five conference games), five road (four conference games)

Nonconference opponents (with 2010 records)

Sept. 3 Eastern Washington (13-2)

Sept. 10 Hawaii (10-4)

Sept. 17 at Nebraska (10-4)

North Division games

Sept. 24 California

Oct. 22 at Stanford

Nov. 5 Oregon

Nov. 19 at Oregon State

Nov. 26 Washington State

Crossover games

Oct. 1 at Utah

Oct. 15 Colorado

Oct. 29 Arizona

Nov. 12 at USC

Conference misses

Arizona State


Key stretch: On Nov. 5, the Huskies play host to Oregon, a hated rival they last beat in 2003. Odds are the Ducks will again prevail, but projecting that game isn't about the Huskies key stretch. Whether they notch the upset or get trenched again, the final three games thereafter -- not unlike 2010 -- figure to decide whether the Huskies season is a success or failure. Washington must shake off a good or bad result against the Ducks and refocus on consecutive road games against USC and then Oregon State before taking on state rival Washington State in the Apple Cup. The finale could determine bowl prospects for both teams -- or the lack thereof -- as well as Cougars coach Paul Wulff's fate.

Trap game: Hawaii isn't the same team off the island, but quarterback Bryant Moniz is the best player you may not have heard of -- just ask USC, which Moniz lit up in 2010. If the Huskies look ahead to a visit to Nebraska, they could suffer a face-plant.

Sure thing: There are no sure things on this schedule. Sure, Eastern Washington is an FCS team, but the Eagles were the 2010 FCS national champions.

Analysis: Seven games in Husky Stadium is a good thing, particularly with a first-year starting quarterback in Keith Price. The visit to Nebraska, a tough place to play in any event, will be a particularly big challenge for Price because the Cornhuskers and their fans will be highly motivated after the Huskies embarrassed them in the Holiday Bowl. And the other two nonconference games are dangerous as well. Not a great bet for a 3-0 opening to the season. Missing Arizona State is probably a good thing, while missing UCLA is probably not. Rivals Oregon and Washington State both come to Seattle (the Apple Cup will be played in Qwest Field). Oct. 7 feels like a good time for an off week. Coach Steve Sarkisian will have five games to evaluate what Price is doing well -- and not so well -- and adjust accordingly before the meat of the conference schedule. This is a tough slate, but one that should yield another bowl berth for the Huskies.