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2008 CFN Washington Preview
2008 UW Offense
2008 UW Defense
2008 UW Depth Chart
2007 CFN Washington Preview
2006 CFN Washington
Head coach: Ty Willingham
4th year: 11-25
14th year: 76-76-1
Off. 12, Def. 15, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 23
Best UW Players
1. QB Jake Locker, Soph.
2. DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Jr.
3. LB E.J. Savannah, Jr.*
4. C Juan Garcia, Sr. (INJ.)
5. CB Mesphin Forrester, Sr.
6. LB Donald Butler, Jr.
7. FS Nate Williams, Soph.
8. RB Brandon Johnson, Soph.
9. SS Darin Harris, Sr.
10. OT Ben Ossai, Jr.
*Academically ineligible, but he could be back later in the
CFN Prediction: 5-7
2008 Record: 0-0
Aug. 30 at Oregon
Sept. 6 BYU
Sept. 13 Oklahoma
Sept. 20 OPEN DATE
Sept. 27 Stanford
Oct. 4 at Arizona
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Oregon State
Oct. 25 Notre Dame
Nov. 1 at USC
Nov. 8 Arizona State
Nov. 15 UCLA
Nov. 22 at Washington State
Nov. 29 OPEN DATE
Dec. 6 at California
Syracuse W 42-12
Sept. 15 Ohio
State L 33-14
Sept. 22 at
UCLA L 44-31
Sept. 29 USC
Arizona St L 44-20
Oregon L 55-34
Oregon St L 29-23
Hawaii L 35-28
After four consecutive losing seasons, there’s an unmistakable sense of
urgency to win right now at Washington, a program saddled with lagging
interest and too many empty seats in Husky Stadium. If, however, things
are going to turn around, it’ll require all the young players in a
lineup littered with underclassmen throughout the two-deep, to grow up
in a big hurry. That’s not a plus in the solid Pac 10.
The face of the Huskies, QB Jake Locker, is only a sophomore, and
freshmen will be needed to bolster the depth on both lines and at wide
receiver, where five seniors were lost from last year’s 4-9 team that,
even with a little bit of experience, struggled to close out games. It
figures to be a precarious position for Tyrone Willingham, who no longer
has AD Todd Turner in his corner, and who’ll be leaning on a slew of
untested players to fortify his tenuous job security.
On the flip side, if there can be just a little more patience, which
won’t be easy to provide considering the time Willingham has already had
to try to resuscitate the former powerhouse. It has been five years
since the last winning season, 2000 was the last bowl victory, the Rose
Bowl win over Purdue, and seemingly eons since UW was a true player in
the national title hunt.
To remember just how disappointing the last four years have been,
Washington went from to 1977 to 2003 without a losing season.
Unfortunately, it might take a few minor miracles to break the current
streak of futility.
With so much at stake this season for the direction of the program, and
Willingham’s career, it’s the worst possible time to be reshuffling the
depth chart while inserting a bunch of new starters into the lineup.
Unfortunately, there’s no other choice. Unless Locker can hoist the
entire team on his shoulders, an unlikely scenario, the Huskies are
staring down the barrel of another disappointing, sub-.500
What to watch for on offense: True freshman WR Chris Polk. How
good is Polk? Good enough that USC had to have him. Good enough that
coordinator Tim Lappano is searching for new ways to design the offense.
Polk is the kind of playmaker the Huskies haven’t had for years, a
versatile athlete who’ll be used plenty as a runner and a receiver. In
other programs, he might spend a year on the scout team, getting a
little bigger and a lot wiser. At Washington, however, players of Polk’s
caliber have to be prepared to take off the training wheels shortly
after arriving on campus.
What to watch for on defense: The evolution of the secondary.
While the Huskies are loaded with veterans and quality athletes, that’s
hardly enough to begin predicting a turnaround for the leaky pass
defense. Washington’s response to its struggles has been to shift
Mesphin Forrester from strong safety to cornerback, slide Darin Harris
over from free safety, and promote talented neophytes Nate Williams and
Quinton Richardson into starting role. The defense is noticeably bigger,
but will it be better at stopping opposing quarterbacks? It’ll have to
be if the overall defense is going to improve.
The team will be far better if… it learns how to win a few more
close games. Five of last year’s nine losses were by a touchdown or
less, including a pair to teams, USC and Hawaii, that went on to play in
BCS bowl games. If the young Huskies can
mature in a hurry and stop blowing games in the second half, it could be
the difference between a .500 season and a sixth consecutive bowl-less
On the plus side, the Huskies only have to leave the state of Washington
twice for three months, but that's about the only real break. The non-conference games against BYU,
Oklahoma and Notre Dame are in Seattle, but the Cougars are loaded, the
Sooners will be in the national title hunt, and the Irish will be
better. Oh yeah, and the season kicks off with a Pac 10 killer at
Oregon. The Huskies have five league road games to deal with playing at
Washington State and at California wrapped around an off week. There are
plenty of breaks to stay relatively fresh throughout.
Best offensive player:
Sophomore QB Jake Locker. While his freshman season was predictably
sporadic, Locker showed enough in 2007 to be labeled the Husky savior. A
powerful runner and emotional leader, he fell just 14 yards shy of
becoming the first Pac-10 quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a
season. A possible Heisman contender, if everything goes right, Locker
will be borderline unstoppable if he can make the necessary growth as a
2007 Fun Stats:
Best defensive player: Junior DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. Don’t tell
Husky fans that Te’o-Nesheim doesn’t possess the size or speed of some
of the nation’s elite pass rushers. All that matters to Washington is
that the junior produces results and plays harder than just about anyone
in the league. In his second season as a starter, he led all linemen
with 57 tackles and all Huskies with 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Key player to a successful season: Sophomore C Matt Sedillo.
Sedillo was scheduled to enter the starting lineup in 2009, but that was
before Juan Garcia suffered a debilitating injury in the spring. Now the
sophomore will be thrust into the huddle and asked to coordinate a line
lacking consistency, especially in pass protection. If Sedillo can’t
deliver and take on a leadership role, it’s going to reverberate
throughout the Washington offense.
The season will be a success if ... the Huskies can reach .500. A
bowl game would be fantastic, but it would also be a reach considering
the question marks that dominate everywhere but at quarterback and
linebacker. Plus, Washington will probably spend the last two months of
the year trying to dig out of a hole after opening the season with
Oregon, BYU, and Oklahoma.
Oct. 25 vs. Notre Dame. With a large TV audience in attendance, there’ll
be sub plots galore on this Saturday night. It’ll be a big game for the
program. It’ll be an even bigger game for the coach. The Huskies might
be 2-4 by this point, which means the Willingham death watch will be in
full bloom. If Washington loses, forget about the postseason. If
Washington wins, it could be the springboard needed to land a bowl
- Penalties: Opponents 100 for 825 yards – Washington 81 for 613 yards
- Average yards per catch: Washington 14 – Opponents 11.5
- Kickoff return average: Opponents 24.6 yards – Washington 20.9 yards