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Pac-12 Networks’ Yogi Roth: UW Huskies ‘very capable’ of winning title

Dec 5, 2023, 3:13 PM | Updated: 3:13 pm

UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr....

UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. celebrates a touchdown against Texas in the 2022 Alamo Bowl. (Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

(Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

The No. 2 UW Huskies are back in the College Football Playoff for the second time, but they’re still looking to reach their first CFP National Championship game.

Brock Huard: ‘College football in its current form is unsustainable’

Does head coach Kalen DeBoer’s team have what it takes to go all the way?

Pac-12 Networks analyst Yogi Roth believes in the 13-0 Huskies’ chances, so much so that he thinks Washington was deserving of the No. 1 ranking over Michigan.

“I thought they got hosed in terms of the No. 1 seed, but regardless, they are very capable of winning a national championship,” Roth said of the Huskies when he joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Tuesday.

What did Roth see personally that gives him confidence in UW? He shared some insight he gained after the Dawgs’ Pac-12 Championship win over Oregon last week in Las Vegas.

“I interviewed Coach DeBoer for the Pac-12 Networks and he said to me (that) at the highest moments with this team in that game, the whole sideline was saying, ‘Hey, calm down,'” Roth said. “First drive of the game, they’re rolling, you think OK, this might be a rout and the whole team is saying to each other, ‘Hey, calm down.’ At the lowest moments, end of the first half, start of the second half, the whole team is saying, ‘Hey, calm down.’ And I just think that even-keel approach, that’s what winners do, and it was just on beautiful display.”

Sugar Bowl preview

If the Huskies had been ranked ahead of Michigan for the No. 1 seed, it’s very likely they would have drawn a spot in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., a game the program has a storied history with. Instead, Washington will see No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on New Year’s Day.

While the location may not benefit UW, Roth is excited to see the matchup against the Longhorns, who are coached by former UW Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian. The main reason for that is both teams have an explosive offense, with Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb set to call plays opposite Sarkisian.

“I think what I love the most matchup-wise is the schemes,” said Roth, who played wide receiver in college at Pittsburgh and was a QB coach over a decade ago at USC under Sarkisian, the Trojans’ OC at the time. “If you’re a football nerd, if you love offensive football, this is the game for you to watch because what Ryan Grubb and Steve Sarkisian do as respective playcallers, it’s as good, I think, as anybody in America. I mean, players are catching the ball on the move. You’re not going to sit in a zone. Your quarterback isn’t just going to have to throw to green grass; he’s going to have to read defenses. It’s going to be really a beautiful thing to watch.”

With two strong offenses in the game, it means the difference could come down to the defenses. And UW just may have the advantage there.

“The two under-served units in this game from a vocabulary standpoint will be the defenses,” Roth said. “And I think Washington’s gotten really minimal appreciation for what they’ve done since the (Oct. 14) Oregon game.”

Listen to the full Brock and Salk conversation with analyst Yogi Roth of the Pac-12 Networks at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the UW Huskies

Heisman Trophy: UW Huskies’ Michael Penix Jr. among four finalists
Damon Huard: Why No. 2 UW got the best path to national title in CFP
Making the Heisman case for UW QB Michael Penix Jr.
Here we go again: How are UW Huskies underdogs in Sugar Bowl?

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Pac-12 Networks’ Yogi Roth: UW Huskies ‘very capable’ of winning title