In Jet City, the hometown college football team saw some sunlight last year after seven seasons of rain and gloominess. 2010 brought the Washington Huskies their first bowl appearance and winning season in 8 years, so crank up the Nirvana and Alice-in-Chains and start moshing with excitement.
Of course, the big question this year is how do you replace Jake Locker, who coulda been a top 2 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, but came back to school for one more year. He was the 8th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans in April. In spring practice, sophomore Keith Price beat out redshirt freshman Nate Montana, yes he is Joe’s son, to be the next UW signal caller.
2010 was: somehow a 7-6 season despite being 96th in scoring offense, and 80th in scoring defense. They were 84th in passing and an abysmal 97th against the run. Yet the beat the Nebraska Corhuskers in the Holiday bowl? And had a winning conference record? Talk about smoke and mirrors.
BMOCs: RB Chris Polk, the heart and soul of their offense. He has two 1,000 yard seasons, and is 6th in school history for rushing already. WR Jermaine Kearse also put up a G, and was All-Pac 10 second team. CB Desmond Trufant has NFL written all over him, as he leads a very solid secondary. Then there’s the DL with all those large Polynesians. If you see a defensive lineman on the roster that you can’t pronounce and struggle to spell his name, chances are he’s pretty good.
2011 will be fruitful if: the defense front gets a lot of pressure in the 4-3 scheme, and helps out the DBs. LB Cort Dennison needs help in his position group too. And we know QB stability is key as well.
2011 will be awful if: Steve Sarkisian is a solid coach, and I think he has the program in the right direction. They won’t pass up Oregon or Stanford in the Pac-12 North, but if they finish lower than third in the division it’ll be a huge disappointment. And if it does play out that way, it’ll likely because they failed to improve the run defense
Bottom Line: I’m not as sold on them as some other experts, but they should finish 7-5 and 6-3 in conference.
UW Rankings: #49 Athlon, #44 Lindy’s, #49 Phil Steele
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