#30 Washington Football 2013 Preview

Washington Huskies

Overall Rank: #30
#6 Pac-12

Washington Team Page#30 Washington Football 2013 PreviewBuy Washington Football Tickets

Coach Steve Sarkisian has been building up the Washington program for four years now and it is time to take the next step. The Huskies have been to three straight bowls, but they have not seriously competed in the Pac-12. However, being in the North Division with Stanford and Oregon makes it extremely difficult for any team to make a move right now. The Huskies face the Cardinal and Ducks in back-to-back weeks in early October.

2012 Record: 7-6, 5-4
2012 Bowl: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl vs. Boise State (L 26-28)
Coach: Steve Sarkisian (26-25 at Washington, 26-25 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Eric Kiesau
Defensive Coordinator: Justin Wilcox

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Bishop Sankey, RB, 1,439 yards
Passing: Keith Price, QB, 2,726 yards
Receiving: Kasen Williams, WR, 878 yards
Tackles: John Timu, LB, 91
Sacks: Andrew Hudson, DE, 6.5; Josh Shirley, DE, 6.5
Interceptions: Marcus Peters, CB, 3; Shaq Thompson, LB, 3

Other Key Returnees: TE Austin Serferian-Jenkins, DT Danny Shelton, S Sean Parker, P/K Travis Coons

Key Losses: OL Drew Schaefer, CB Justin Trufant, S Justin Glenn, PR Cody Bruns

The Huskies defense made giant steps in 2012 and there are enough pieces coming back for the unit to get even better. One place the defense could stand to improve is getting into the backfield. Ends Andrew Hudson and Josh Shirley both totaled 6.5 sacks. Linebacker Travis Feeney, who totaled 76 tackles, two interceptions and 4.0 sacks in 2012, is a decent pass rushing threat. Feeney can do so many other things too. Shaq Thompson is another versatile playmaker at linebacker. He is very effective dropping back into coverage or coming up and taking on a ball carrier. Thompson is just a sophomore and his best days are still to come and they will be coming soon. Junior John Timu is the most experienced linebacker and led the team with 91 tackles. The secondary has less experience, but the talent is still there. Sophomore corner Marcus Peters and senior safety Sean Parker will lead the way and help guide some new starters in the secondary.

While the defense was making strides in 2012, the offense took a big step back. Quarterback Keith Price threw for 2,726 yards and 19 touchdowns, along with 13 interceptions, in 2012. In 2011, Price threw for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns. His completion percentage also fell by six percent. That is a pretty significant drop. The hope is Price’s lack of production last year was due to breaking in a lot of new faces around him on offense. Washington is also installing a new no-huddle offense so the offensive numbers will be higher, even if that does not mean better. But this offense should be better. Wide receiver Kasen Williams caught 77 passes for 878 yards and six scores. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught 69 passes for 850 yards and seven touchdowns. Those two are superb receivers, yet the Huskies could use a consistent receiver who can stretch the field vertically. The news at running back is equally promising. Bishop Sankey rushed for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore. The offensive line returns a ton of depth, but the unit was not particularly great at protecting Price last year. They should be better, but the entire offense should have been much more productive than they were. If it is the same story this year, the Huskies may not be able to get any better than 7-6.

The Bottom Line:
However, 7-6 may not be that bad of a season either. The schedule is absolutely brutal. The Huskies face Boise State and Illinois in non-conference play and have to travel to Stanford, UCLA and Oregon State. The best thing about the schedule is they get five conference home games. This could be a very, very good Washington squad even though the record may not show it. The offense could be as potent as they were in 2011 and the defense is only getting deeper and more experienced.

Projected Bowl: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 142.38 (84th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 212.85 (81, 8)
Total Offense: 355.23 (97, 10)
Scoring Offense: 24.00 (88, 9)
Rushing Defense: 160.08 (61, 5)
Pass Defense: 197.31 (23, 2)
Total Defense: 357.38 (31, 4)
Scoring Defense: 24.15 (39, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.38 (39, 6)
Sacks: 2.00 (59, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 2.92 (102, 7)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#20 Austin Seferian-Jenkins
#93 Bishop Sankey
#117 Josh Shirley

Madness 2013 Recruit Rankings:
#108 Elijah Qualls
#131 Troy Williams
#149 Demorea Stringfellow
#162 Darrell Daniels
#164 Joe Mathis


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