Depth Chart |
The program can blame past coaching staffs, turmoil and a
silly blowup over an NCAA basketball bracket for the speedy downfall
from superpower to also-ran to dregs, but now the concern is whether
or not things can ever be back to the way they were.
The problem for Washington, at this point, isn't if it can get
any better, it's if the rest of the Pac 10 can come back to the
pack. USC isn't looking like it's going to slow down too much, Oregon has
rebounded, Cal is on the verge of really big things, Arizona State
and UCLA continue to be strong, Arizona isn't going to get any
worse, Stanford showed last year it can hang with anyone, and Oregon
State and Washington State appear to be better. Unless the Huskies
have a few tricks up their sleeve, this might be another very long
So what was learned by beating Idaho, Arizona and San Jose
State over the last two seasons? That's what second year head man Ty
Willingham and his staff must figure out right away. There are good
athletes on both sides of the ball and there are players with Pac 10
talent, at least there are as many as most of the teams that'll
finish in the bottom half. Now they need a little bit of confidence
that can only come from winning.
Head coach: Ty Willingham
2nd year: 2-9
12th year: 67-60-1
Off. 16, Def. 19, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 31
Best UW Players
1. SS C.J. Wallace, Sr.
2. FS/CB Dashon Goldson, Sr.
3. LB Scott White, Sr.
4. RB Louis Rankin, Jr.
5. WR Sonny Shackelford, Sr.
6. QB Isaiah Stanback, Sr.
7. DT Donny Mateaki, Sr.
8. P Sean Douglas, Sr.
9. LB Chris Stevens, Soph.
10. WR Anthony Russo, Jr.
San Jose State
at Washington State
2005 predicted wins
Air Force L 20-17
California L 56-17
Notre Dame L 36-17
at UCLA L 21-17
at Oregon L 45-21
at Arizona St L 44-21
Oregon State L 18-10
Arizona W 38-14
Things couldn't have
started out worse for Willingham as he tried to pull the team up out of
the 2004 nosedive. There was the stunning last-minute home loss to Air
Force to start the season followed up by a blowout by Cal and then seven
more losses out of the final nine games. Ticket sales have been a
problem, the Seahawks are one of the NFL's best teams putting more
interest in the pro game, and once again, the Pac 10 has improved.
But that doesn't mean this can't be the Pac 10's deep sleeper. If
you believe the adage that veteran teams win close games, then the 15
returning starters, along with all the experienced depth in many key
spots, should be enough to win the squeakers that last year's struggling
team lost. A confident, positive attitude team would've beaten Air
Force. It would've hung on against UCLA, found a way to get by the weird
game against Oregon State, and would've come up with the Apple Cup win.
Veteran, positive teams tend to get the needed breaks for a 6-5 season
instead of a 2-9 stinker.
If QB Isaiah Stanback can be this year's Michael Robinson and make the
senior year transformation the former Penn State star was able to make,
and if the deep stable of running backs turns into something special,
and if the questions can be answered at corner, and if there can be some
semblance of a steady pass rush from the front four, this really, truly
could be a turnaround season.
The Schedule: It's
not a peach after the opener against San Jose State. Forget about
the road trip to Oklahoma, the team really needs to not clunk at
home against Fresno State with UCLA coming into town the following
week. The Huskies aren't likely to beat USC, Cal or Oregon this year
without things being drastically different, so those games might as
well be on the road. However, that means home dates with teams like
Oregon State and Stanford are must wins to have any hope of a bowl
Offensive Player: Redshirt freshman J.R. Hasty. But he's not on
the team this year being declared academically ineligible. The Washington state high school superstar is one
of the few potential difference makers on the offense ... next year. QB Isaiah Stanback might turn out to be the team's best offensive player, and
number one receiver Sonny Shackelford is the team's steadiest
offensive producer, and RB Louis Rankin might get the starting call
on opening day, but Hasty is the most talented player on offense.
Defensive Player: Senior SS C.J. Wallace. Safety/corner Dashon
Goldson is the far better pro prospect, but Wallace is the tone
setter for the defensive back seven with his linebacker-like hits
and great support in the running game. Now he has to make more plays
when the ball is in the air.
player to a successful season: Senior QB Isaiah Stanback. If he
doesn't pull out a least three wins by the end of September, there
might be a change at quarterback just to get looks at some of the
other talented options. Washington fans know all too well what has
happened over the last few years when the quarterbacks start to
rotate. Stanback has to be the one who makes the team a winner in
his third year under center.
season will be a success if ... Washington wins seven games.
There has to be a big upset or two to set a fire under the fan base,
while a win in the Apple Cup over Washington State, and a 5-1 home
record, would do wonders to get the program rolling into 2007 when
the program will finally be three years removed from all the past
game: Sept. 23 vs. UCLA. Washington must win the Pac 10 home
opener for confidence before a two game road trip to Arizona and USC.
The Wildcats are going to want payback after last year's 38-14 loss,
while USC is, well, USC. A win over the Bruins would do wonders for
the team's psyche and could set the tone for a good home season.
- Fourth quarter scoring: Opponents 116 - Washington 70
- Penalties: Opponents 85 for 712 yards - Washington 68 for 556
- Completion percentage: Opponents 66.8% - Washington 52.5%
The Last Time Washington…
…played in a bowl game…2002 (Sun Bowl vs. Purdue)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…1997 (USC)
…was shutout…2004 (USC)
…scored 50 points…2001 (Idaho)
…won a conference title…2000
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2003 (Cody Pickett)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…1997 (Rashaan Shehee)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2003 (Reggie Williams)
…had a first-round draft choice…2004 (WR Reggie Williams)