#23 Washington Football 2020 Preview

Washington Huskies
Overall Rank: #23
#3 Pac-12
 Washington Logo
This is a bit of a rebuilding year for Washington. Coach Jimmy Lake takes over the head coaching duties after spending the previous five seasons on Chris Petersen’s defensive staff. There is a lot of turnover on the field too, but Coach Lake has enough talent on the roster to push for a Pac-12 title.
2019 Record: 8-5, 4-5
2019 Bowl: Las Vegas Bowl vs. Boise State (W 38-7)
Coach: Jimmy Lake (0-0 at Washington, 0-0 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: John Donovan
Defensive Coordinator: Pete Kwiatkowski, Ikaika Malloe
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Richard Newton, RB, 498 yards
Passing: Jacob Sirmon, QB, 19 yards
Receiving: Terrell Bynum, WR, 368 yards
Tackles: Elijah Molden, DB, 79
Sacks: Joe Tryon, LB, 8.0
Interceptions: Elijah Molden, DB, 4
Other Key Returnees: RB Sean McGrew, TE Cade Otton, DB Keith Taylor, LB Ryan Bowman, DB Cameron Williams, DL Levi Onwuzurike, DB Kyler Gordon, K Peyton Henry
Key Losses: RB Salvon Ahmed, QB Jacob Eason, WR Aaron Fuller, TE Hunter Bryant, OL Trey Adams, OL Nick Harris, LB Brandon Wellington, DB Myles Bryant, DL Benning Potoa’e
The big changes on the field will come on offense where the Huskies need to replace quarterback Jacob Eason and running back Salvon Ahmed. Eason threw for 3,132 yards and was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Sophomore Jacob Sirmon and freshmen Ethan Garbers and Dylan Morris figure to battle it out for the starting job. Sirmon has the most experience, throwing three passes last season. There should be a little less drama at running back. Richard Newton rushed for 498 yards and ten scores as Ahmed’s primary backup in 2019 and should be ready to shoulder more of the load in 2020. Sean McGrew has proven to be a reliable back and he should be a solid secondary option. Finding a few new offensive linemen who can give the new quarterback and running back some space to operate could be the most important aspect of this offense.
While the offense rebuilds, Coach Lake will rely on his defense to carry the team. Linemen Levi Onwuzurike and Josiah Bronson anchor the front line. They will not get as much credit as they deserve since the rest of the defense is loaded with talent, but it all starts up front. Linebacker Joe Tryon led the team with 8.0 sacks and 12.5 tackles-for-loss. Ryan Bowman is another quality pass rushing linebacker and added 5.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss. The inside linebacker spots are more up for grabs. Edefuan Ulofoshio will likely step into one of the spots after finishing strong last season. On the year he totaled 47 tackles. Expect that number to increase significantly in 2020. The secondary is where this group is really strong. Elijah Molden led the team with 79 tackles and four interceptions and Keith Taylor, Trent McDuffie and Asa Turner are back as well. Add in Cameron Williams and freakish athlete Kyler Gordon and there are a lot of great options in the secondary.
The Bottom Line:
Washington obviously has some questions that need to be answered on offense, but while that is going on, the defense will keep this team competitive. They will not have much time to put the pieces together though with Michigan and Utah State both coming to town in September. Their Pac-12 opener is at Oregon and losing that game would quickly put the Huskies behind in the battle for the Pac-12 North.
Projected Bowl: Las Vegas Bowl
2019 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 147.8 (84th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 243.4 (57, 9)
Total Offense: 391.2 (79, 8)
Scoring Offense: 32.0 (41, 5)
Rushing Defense: 126.4 (28, 5)
Pass Defense: 222.2 (56, 3)
Total Defense: 348.6 (35, 3)
Scoring Defense: 19.4 (15, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.62 (19, 5)
Sacks: 2.23 (58, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.69 (40, 2)
Madness 2020 NFL Draft Rankings:
#37 Joe Tryon