2009 CFN Washington Preview
Washington DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim
Can the Dawgs get their bite back? With new head coach Steve Sarkisian ready to try to bring back the success to the once proud program, and with a slew of veterans returning like DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Washington might be able to turn things around in a hurry. Check out the CFN 2009 Washington Preview.
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2009 CFN Washington Preview
2009 UW Offense
2009 UW Defense
2009 UW Depth Chart
2008 UW Preview
2007 UW Preview
You’re Washington, dammit. Start acting like it.
Head coach: Steve Sarkisian
Off. 20, Def. 34, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 18
Best UW Players
1. QB Jake Locker, Jr.
2. DE Daniel
3. LB E.J. Savannah, Sr.
4. LB Mason
5. SS Nate Williams, Jr.
6. WR D'Andre
7. LB Donald Butler, Sr.
8. WR Jermaine
9. LT Cody Habben, Jr.
10. CB Quinton
9/26 at Stanford
10/3 at Notre Dame
10/17 at Arizona State
10/31 OPEN DATE
11/7 at UCLA
11/14 at Oregon State
11/21 OPEN DATE
11/28 Washington State
2008 Record: 0-12
8/30 at Oregon L
9/6 BYU L 28-27
9/13 Oklahoma L 55-14
9/20 OPEN DATE
Stanford L 35-28
10/4 at Arizona L 48-14
10/11 OPEN DATE
Oregon St L
Notre Dame L 33-7
11/1 at USC L 56-0
Arizona St L
UCLA L 27-7
11/22 at Wash St L 16-13 2OT
11/29 OPEN DATE
12/6 at California L 48-7
The Huskies have been so bad for so long, it’s getting hard to remember
the rich history that once made this one of the Pac-10’s power brokers.
The job of restoring that pride and building a bridge to the Don James
era now belongs to Steve Sarkisian, the young former USC assistant and
BYU quarterback. Although he inherits an 0-12 team and the mess left by
Tyrone Willingham, this is not Baylor or Vanderbilt. If the program has
hired the right man, which no one will know for a while, it’s still
possible for U-Dub to get near the top of the league and stay there.
Besides being in a great location and having a solid fan base, Sarkisian
and his staff have the luxury of being surrounded by a level of young
talent that’s atypical of winless schools. Yeah, they were extremely raw
and inexperienced last fall, but every class has at least one future NFL
player, a nice starting point to build around. From seniors, like DE
Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and LB E.J. Savannah to sophomores, like RB Chris
Polk and WR Jermaine Kearse, the Huskies are home to some very gifted
players. The job of the staff is to rebuild their confidence and make
sure they fulfill all of that potential. In particular, Sarkisian and
offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have to raise the level of play of
QB Jake Locker, who was on the shelf for the final three-quarters of the
You could feel the difference around the program this spring. Everything
is new, from the coaches and the system down to the uniforms and the
attitude. Having reached rock bottom last fall, it’s time to start
building back up. There’s enough in the cupboard to win three or four
games, but the real dividends won’t come until 2010, when Washington
should be poised for a long-awaited return to the postseason.
What to watch for on offense:
A more stationary Jake Locker. No, he’s not about to become Chris
Chandler, but the staff isn’t sure it wants the second-coming of Marques
Tuiasosopo either. Shades of Mark Brunell would be nice. Obviously,
Locker is going to use all of his talents to make plays, which means
tucking and running on occasion. However, the Huskies believe that the
quarterback is surrounded by enough good, young talent at the skill
positions to keep him from enduring such a pounding. A more balanced
Locker is, in theory, going to be a more effective Locker.
What to watch for on defense:
The evolution of the secondary. If it sounds like an old tune, that’s
because it is one. While the front seven has potential, the defensive
backfield is a total mess. CB Quinton Richardson and SS Nate Williams
provide a nice start, but after them, it remains up in the air who’ll
win the other two spots. The Huskies have provided no resistance to
opposing passers over the last few years, a trend that needs to change
if the defense, as a whole, is to make strides. The competition here
figures to be as hot as the temperature when the team reconvenes in
The team will be far better if…
the defense is respectable. It’s not going to be good after allowing 38
points and 451 yards a game, but if it can make a few more stops,
preferably in the red zone, Washington will be more competitive.
Although the offense shows promise, especially with the healthy return
of QB Jake Locker, it’s not going to be built to survive in shootouts.
It’s been almost three years since the Huskies won a game when it
yielded more than 30 points.
The Steve Sarkisian era doesn't exactly start out slowly
playing LSU and USC in the first three games, but both games are
at home, for what that's worth for the rebuilding program. And
it doesn't get too much easier with three road games in the next
four and five in the next seven. However, three of the five are
against teams that didn't go bowling last year. Even so, that
puts the Dawgs in the ugly position of having to likely beat
Arizona and Oregon to have any prayer of going to a bowl. The Apple Cup
will be in Seattle, but that doesn't end the regular season like normal
with Cal coming to town to close things out.
Best offensive player:
Junior QB Jake Locker. As quarterbacks go, he’s one of the best athletes
in the country, a 6-3, 222-pound locomotive when he leaves the pocket.
If the new staff can coach him up as a hurler, look out—the Huskies
could have one of the scariest dual-threat this side of Gainesville.
After a terrific debut in 2007, his development and his sophomore season
were cut short by a thumb injury. He’s healthy again and ready to become
the leader of U-Dub’s rise from the ashes.
Best defensive player: Senior
DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. While NFL scouts might tell you he needs to get
a little bigger and a little faster, for the Huskies, he’s absolutely
perfect. One of the fiercest and hardest working ends in the country,
Te’o-Nesheim has overcome modest expectations upon arrival to become a
pass-rushing force. Despite getting little support from his linemates,
he’s had at least eight sacks in each of the last two seasons, earning
second team All-Pac-10 honors in 2008.
Key player to a successful season:
Junior QB Jake Locker. More than just the quarterback, he’s the catalyst
and the face of the Husky program. In order to put its recovery plans
into overdrive, Washington needs Locker to flourish now that there’s a
new staff and a new system in place. The Huskies also need him to be
much more than just a running threat, evolving into the type of complete
player, who can vex defenses and maximize the talents of the kids around
The season will be a success if
... the Huskies win four games. Hey, you’ve got to crawl before you
walk, especially after going 0-12 and delivering the worst season in
school history. In the first five games alone, Washington must host LSU
and USC, and visit improving teams at Stanford and Notre Dame, so the
schedule offers little wiggle room. It might be favored just twice all
year, when Idaho and Wazzu come to town, so even getting to 4-8 might
require an upset or two.
Key game: Nov. 28 vs.
Washington State. Not only is it the annual Apple Cup, always a big deal
in the state, but it’s also the Huskies’ best chance to win a Pac-10
game in 2009. Washington will be looking for pay back after dropping a
16-13 double-overtime heartbreaker in Pullman, which pretty much put the
bow on a winless season.
2008 Fun Stats:
- First quarter
scoring: Opponents 120 - Washington 27
- Penalties: Opponents 88 for
802 yards - Washington 56 for 475 yards
- Average rushing yards per
game: Opponents 240.6 - Washington 99.3