College Football Preview: The 2015 Washington Huskies
Washington Huskies Preview 2014 Record 8-6
Lost TicketCity Cactus Bowl 30-22 vs Oklahoma State
Overview: After a mediocre first year for Coach Petersen, The Washington Huskies look to improve on their 8-6 record. More importantly to improve on their 4-5 conference record. The Huskies grinded through a tough season going 0-5 vs. top 25 teams but they still managed to get a bid to the TicketCity Cactus bowl where they suffered a tough loss to Oklahoma State.
Offense: The University of Washington suffered a huge loss this offseason as Cyler Miles their starting quarterback was unfortunately forced to retire due to a chronic hip injury. Miles started 12 games for the team last year throwing for 2397 yards and 17 touchdowns while only turning it over 4 times through the air. Washington’s next likely candidate will be junior quarterback Jeff Lindquist. Jeff’s doesn’t have much experience besides the opening game last year where appeared in throwing for 162 yards and a touchdown. The Huskies were a top 50 rushing team last year led by the dynamic duo of junior Dwayne Washington and sophomore Lavon Coleman. Both who are back and will look to improve the Huskies ground game. Senior wide receiver Jaydon Mickens led the team with 617 yards and 4 touchdowns. He will be back for his senior year and will likely be the favorite target for the new quarterback.
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Defense: Washington’s front seven dominated in the sack category last year finishing second in the country with 52 total team sacks. Led by the 44th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft linebacker Hau’ oli Kikaha. Kikaha led the nation in sacks with 19. Overall the Huskies maintained a solid defense finishing 40th in the country in points allowed with 24.8. But unfortunately many of the key contributors to this defense were lost. Along with Kikaha three other Huskies were selected in the draft including defensive tackle Danny Shelton, cornerback Marcus Peters, and safety Shaq Thompson all who were selected in the first round. With these seniors excelling there wasn’t much playing time for the backups who look to fill in their shoes. The Huskies will look to Elijah Qualls and Joe Mathis to maintain the pressure up front. It will be interesting to see how the Huskies defense turns out this year.
Special Teams: The Washington Huskies will return both their starting kicker and punter. Kicker Cameron Van Winkle was 20-24 in field goals last year and Punter Korey Durkee averaged 42.1 yards per kick last year.
Overall: The Washington Huskies with a new quarterback and a defense that has lost 3 All Americans has all the makings of a dreadful year. But with what Chris Petersen is capable of doing don’t be surprised to see the Huskies at the top of the Pac-12 in years to come. But as of now it doesn’t seem too promising in an already tough Pac-12 Conference.